Gates Unveils Roadmap For a Distributed Future


Microsoft Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill
Gates debuted a raft of software tools from the company’s evolving Windows
Server System, including core components of the Dynamic Systems Initiative
(DSI) for automated computer management.


At the Microsoft IT Forum 04 in Copenhagen, Denmark, Gates announced Microsoft
Operations Manager (MOM) 2005, a performance management application,
and Virtual Server 2005.


Offered with a migration toolkit, Virtual Server 2005 makes it easier for
clients to migrate to an operating system and applications from a physical
server to a virtual system running on Virtual Server 2005.


Gates also unveiled
the Windows Server System Common Engineering Report,
which helps technical workers integrate Windows Server System products.


As a software roadmap planned for the next several years, DSI addresses the
complex nature of distributed computing in data centers, where applications
can spiral out of control if a program or technician missteps.


To combat this issue, clients are increasingly looking to software vendors
to automate the functions in their data centers, such as patch management.


Microsoft, which competes with IBM , HP ,
Computer Associates and Mercury Interactive in the
management software sector, pledges to equip its software with more
intelligence to help in this endeavor.


“The distributed nature of computing makes it challenging for customers to
manage the cost and complexity of their technology investments,” Gates said
in a statement. “We are committed to a unique approach that builds
operational knowledge into the applications themselves, enabling customers
to reduce complexity now and in the future.”


Gates said DSI will be further fleshed out through management packs built
with MOM. Ultimately, customers will benefit
from a schema called the System Definition Model (SDM), which creates
definitions of distributed systems. SDM will be available in
Visual Studio 2005.


Microsoft further fleshed out DSI with two new Systems Management Server
(SMS) 2003 feature packs: the SMS 2003 Device Management Feature Pack for
device discovery and software inventory; and the SMS 2003 Operating System
Deployment Feature Pack to help administrators automate the execution of a
Windows operating system desktop image.


Other new perks under DSI include a Windows Update Services public beta to
aid administrators in automating Microsoft software updates, as well as a
new accelerator designed to reduce the cost and complexity associated with
desktop deployment.


In related news, the Redmond, Wash., software giant is looking to spread the
influence of DSI in other ways, agreeing
to bundle its SMS 2003 product with Dell’s OpenManage 4 software.


The goal is to 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.

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