RealTime IT News

Building Support for the Dynamic Data Center

Microsoft's ambitions for Windows Server 2003, and future versions of the server OS, in the corporate data center and across enterprise server rooms are no secret. To that end, the company has entered into a number of collaborative projects in the hopes of making serious inroads into the high-end IT sector.

During WinHEC 2003, Microsoft and HP pulled the lid off some of the milestones the companies reached in developing an IT infrastructure under the Dynamic Systems Initiative, which was first announced back in March.

At the initiative's core is the development of a new software architecture called the System Definition Model (SDM), a network and systems management technology based on XML that will be integrated into future versions of Visual Studio, Windows operating systems, server tools and industry-standard hardware.

To prove the viability of Microsoft's ambitious plan, the company today unveiled a blueprint for the first Dynamic Data Center (DDC). During the one-year prototyping process, the Windows Server Group developed a future, SDM-compatible version of Automated Deployment Services (ADS), a server provisioning and administration tool currently found in Windows Server 2003.

Developed under the guidelines of SDM, the new ADS is designed to provide seamless and native administration of network resources across a spectrum of compliant server, networking and storage hardware.

Networks built on this foundation automatically optimize hardware and software parameters on the fly, dynamically shrinking and growing available resources used by distributed applications. IT administrators have the added benefit of rapidly deploying Windows Server System images across their network assets, regardless of how expansive or complex, in a matter of minutes.

HP's contributions to the DDC concept include the development of Authenticated Identity for its ProLiant line of servers to enhance boot server security. The company also developed SDM-compatible software that allows the provisioning and management of HP ProLiant Servers, HP ProCurve switches and HP StorageWorks disk arrays via Microsoft software.

Other hardware makers are building systems using a cornerstone of the Dynamic Systems Initiative, Automated Deployment Services. Fujitsu Limited will incorporate ADS into its PRIMERGY servers and SystemcastWizard network management software in Japan.

NEC Corp., meanwhile, will be integrating ADS into the company's ESMPRO server management suite running on NEC Express servers. Microsoft's technology will find a place in NEC's own dynamic computing concept, the VALUMO.

"We recognize the important role the SDM can play in unifying our hardware, software and management solutions and look forward to our collaboration efforts with Microsoft delivering near-term customer value", said NEC's executive general manager of the Computer Software Operations Unit, Yasuo Iwaoka, in describing the new software architecture's role in the company's plans for developing network systems.

Dell, IBM and Newisys Inc. are also among the firms supporting the Dynamic Systems Initiative.