RealTime IT News

Dell, Microsoft Team For 'One-Click' Management

Dell and Microsoft continued their joint efforts to automate the data center with a deal to bundle management software that triggers changes with one mouse click.

Slated for delivery in January 2005, SMS 2003 Inventory Tool for Dell Updates is a combination of Dell OpenManage 4 systems management software and Microsoft Systems Management Server (SMS) 2003.

Together, OpenManage 4 and SMS 2003 give customers a single view of all Dell PowerEdge servers on the network, gauging what system software, operating system and applications need to be updated.

OpenManage 4 provides an inventory of servers, a list of system software updates; a view of what system software version resides on a server; automated downloads of firmware and drivers; and hardware updates.

SMS 2003, a core piece to the Redmond, Wash., software giant's Dynamic Systems Initiative (DSI), integrates these features into one window pane for more efficient viewing and management.

The agreement could curb the number of one-dimensional, hardware-only management tools, as the combination of OpenManage and SMS 2003 will trigger hardware and software changes.

During a Webcast Monday, Microsoft President and CEO Steve Ballmer said Microsoft chose to team with Dell in this space because both see eye to eye on systems management, a growing niche where the chief trait is automating computing systems to free up employees from doing repetitive tasks.

For example, technical workers often must perform manual maintenance on hardware and software in a network. With the combination of Dell's latest OpenManage software and Microsoft SMS 2003, changes in an IT environment are performed on the fly.

Bob Muglia, senior vice president of the Windows Server Division, said companies are spending $140 billion a year to run IT systems and that while the cost of running the hardware and software is relatively low, the majority of the money is spent on employing people to perform changes that can otherwise be automated.

"Dell has shown itself to be a tremendous leader and we look forward to see what kind of innovation the companies can drive," Muglia said during the Webcast.

For the Round Rock, Texas-based Dell, the pact means the concern will significantly improve management of its PowerEdge server line, where it competes for market share versus IBM and HP . Microsoft will benefit from having high-profile placement on Dell's servers.

Dell and Microsoft have a rich history of partnerships and Dell leads the market for x86 systems running Windows. But this new endeavor is the follow up to the companies' pledge to work together on systems management.