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Gates Unveils Roadmap for a Distributed Future

By Clint Boulton (Send Email)
Posted Nov 17, 2004


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. Microsoft updates its Dynamic Systems Initiative, releasing performance management and server consolidation software.

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,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. Article originally appeared on Internetnews.com.

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