Posted by: Ryan Shopp
Not to be ignored, Microsoft continues to march towards becoming a serious player in the data center automation space. Still of concern remains their holistic focus on of course Microsoft products. I know they have a strategy (connector, partner oriented) but… The reason I believe it continue to become a player is 1) depth of capability and details for the Microsoft components of the data center and 2) very affordable price point compared to other vendors (e.g., hundreds to thousands of dollars…not tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars)
Anyways, this week in Barcelona, Spain at Microsoft TechEd Forum 2007 they announced three new major products to be aware of.
System Center Configuration Manager 2007 -evolving the original SMS product beyond desktop and focusing it on primary configuration, software deployment, inventory, etc. automation in the data center.
System Center Data Protection Manager 2007 – file system & database (e.g., SQL Server) backup/restore capabilities
System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2007 – just what the product name leads you to believe, this product is about automating the provisioning and management of virtual machine instances on physical systems.
These join previous products:
System Center Operations Manager 2007 – previously known at MOM (Microsoft Operations Manager) which as roots back to an OEM relationship with NetIQ for monitoring servers/application/etc.
Systems Center Capacity Planner 2007 – planning/design tool as you prepare to deploy Microsoft application/products (e.g., Exchange)
Red Monk, a blog I watch, has been at the forum providing coverage for Microsoft. Here is a nice write up and video interview. Also, there are a ton of articles being written out there with more depth and perspective then I’m going to cover here. The point to mentioning things was – keep an eye on Microsoft, they are serious and getting more serious in Data Center Automation.
Update: As I was doing more research I came across a great set of resources and also a presentation by my friend Robert Reynolds who is a Senior Product Manager over at Microsoft in the Systems Center Group. His presentation on Operations Manager is here. A number of other videos, whitepapers, etc are available on TechNet for System Center.