Microsoft targets Windows, Linux management

Microsoft virtualization management tools also rising to surface

Microsoft Tuesday opened its annual management confab saying it would ship the next version of Operations Manager by the end of June and laying out its efforts to manage data centers and virtualized environments.

The company pulled back the curtain on its road map for the next version of Virtual Machine Manager (VMM), which will incorporate the major features of Hyper-V coming in Windows Server 2008 R2.

VMM 2008 R2 also will align with the Azure Service Platform, Microsoft's cloud operating system, and will allow users to manage from a single platform VMs that run locally or in the cloud.

Bob Kelly, corporate vice president of infrastructure server marketing for Microsoft, delivered the first day keynote at the 2009 Microsoft Management Summit, which focused on virtualization and data center management, where Microsoft plans to take on the big boys such as CA, IBM and HP.

On Wednesday, the keynote focus will be on user centric computing.

With Operations Manager 2007 R2, Microsoft wants to deliver integration among Unix, Linux and the Microsoft System Center management software. Microsoft is bridging the gap between its tools and non-Windows platforms on the back of the WS-Management protocol it developed and OpenPegasus, an open-source implementation of the Distributed Management Task Force's Common Information Model and Web-based Enterprise Management standards. Both WS-Management and OpenPegasus are used to discover physical and virtual systems on a network and monitor and manage them.

R2 also will come with a new set of connectors based on Microsoft's 2007 acquisition of Engyro, which built connectors for Operations Manager that hook it into HP OpenView or IBM Tivoli management tools.

Microsoft also will unveil partnerships with HP and Dell, which have been incorporating System Center technology into their management platforms. In particular, HP will introduce HP Insight Control Suite for Microsoft System Center.

As far as virtualization, Microsoft will demo Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2 and highlight features for managing new Hyper-V capabilities such as Live Migration and Cluster Share Volume.

Microsoft also will begin to outline how it plans to straddle its management tools across both online and cloud-based deployments. The company plans to build a foundation from its System Center family of tools, Windows Server and Forefront software, a security suite that can run on the corporate network or in the cloud.

Microsoft will demo Windows Server and System Center tools managing both local infrastructure and cloud-based resources as if it were one environment. The System Center tools will be focused on VMM and Operations Manager.

"We are building out so we can federate and look across environments," said Larry Orecklin, general manager of the Windows enterprise and management division.

Microsoft also plans to introduce the Dynamic Datacenter Toolkit for Enterprises, a new service for creating private clouds, and the Dynamic Datacenter Toolkit for Hosters, which supports the deployment of on-demand managed services and virtualized servers based on System Center and Hyper-V.

Another online service being introduced is the System Center Online Desktop Manager, an integrated security and management tool for desktops. The service, which will go into beta by year-end, is used to monitor, troubleshoot, update, configure and secure desktops.

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