Microsoft Unveils Management Software

Microsoft made good on its pledge to
offer its own self-managing computer tools Tuesday when it
unveiled new software to ensure that servers and PCs run more

The idea behind self-managing software is that it governs
computer systems to maintain balance. For example, computers
and networks often experience an ebb and flow in traffic, or
peaks and valleys in computing requirements that can be taxing
on a system, sometimes causing it to crash. Software makers
have been coming up with products to chelp enterprises cope with
that issue.

The Redmond, Wash. outfit drew the curtain on its System Center
product and Dynamic Systems Initiative (DSI) software
architecture this afternoon at the Microsoft Management Summit
in Las Vegas.

System Center, which is slated to debut next year, is made up of
two other Microsoft products: Microsoft Operations Manager
(MOM) 2004, a tool for monitoring, managing and evaluating
Windows, and Systems Management Server (SMS) 2003, whose
arrival is predicated on that of MOM 2004. MOM 2004 will contain
such features as auto-alert resolution, state monitoring,
topological views, an intuitive task-based operator console,
broader management pack support and state-of-the-art

System Center will apply to enterprise management scenarios,
including desktops, laptops, personal digital assistants,
applications and servers. The firm will eventually offer SMS 2003
add-on packs supporting features for Pocket PC devices running
the Windows CE operating system. Nearing final testing stages,
Microsoft plans to release SMS 2003 gold code in September.

DSI centers on a System Definition Model (SDM) a new
XML-based technology geared to maintain Windows systems, as
well as helping to manage security and bug fixes. Microsoft will
add SDM to future releases of the Visual Studio developer tools,
applications and management solutions, which will ultimately make it possible for developers to build application support for
System Center to make self-optimizing software.

Windows Server 2003 will feature these technologies under the DSI: provisioning and administration tool; dynamic systems
resource management; storage virtualization; dynamic load-balancing for incoming traffic; clustering; and a virutal server for
consolidation and migration.

Some of the technologies of DSI will begin showing up in Windows Server 2003 in April, but Microsoft Tuesday made the
provisioning tool available with the beta release of Automated Deployment Services (ADS). ADS helps customers reduce the
complexity and cost associated with managing datacenters. It allows hundreds of Microsoft Windows Server system images to
be deployed across their environments in minutes, instead of days or weeks.

DSI is backed by Centrata, Computer Associates, Consera Software, Dell, EDS, HP, Opsware and Think Dynamics.

Microsoft hopes to join a market fray that already includes familiar competitors such as HP, who offers Adaptive Infrastructure
and IBM, which is perhaps the farthest along in the race with its Autonomic Computing Initiative.

Less than two weeks ago, IBM jazzed up its own autonomic computing offerings, introducing a suite of technologies that allow
IT systems to react in real-time to unpredictable surges in demand and deploy computing resources to handle them.
Meanwhile, HP touts Adaptive Infrastructure as a means to “adapt to change in the enterprise.”