Microsoft Outlines Systems-Management Road
Microsoft wants to make software performance simpler for IT departments
to manage, and it plans updates to two key systems-management products
next year and in 2007 that include new technology for monitoring the
health of applications.
But much of the plan depends on additional software not yet on the
Systems-management software historically has been complex and taken
too long to install, Kirill Tatarinov, a corporate VP in Microsoft's
Windows and enterprise management division, said in an interview at
the Microsoft Management Summit 2005 conference in Las Vegas Tuesday.
In a keynote address at the conference, Tatarinov said, "Some of
you may have heard systems management called one of the most boring
disciplines in enterprise IT." But better systems-management software
can help overcome a "crisis of complexity and cost" in IT
Microsoft's road map looks something like this: The next versions of
Microsoft Operations Manager, for monitoring software apps' performance
levels, and Systems Management Server, for deploying patches to PCs
and servers, will include the ability to understand new XML models generated
by Microsoft's development tools.
When developers write apps in Microsoft's upcoming Visual Studio 2005
Team System development tools--currently in beta and scheduled for release
by year's end--the tools will create an XML document, or "systems
definition model," that will show other Microsoft products, such
as Windows or Exchange, how healthy an application is.
These models can broadcast information about whether an application
is providing fast enough response time, or coordinating with disk drives
correctly, for example.
"Future versions of [Microsoft Operations Manager] and Systems
Management Server will be able to consume the system definition model,"
The new versions of Operations Manager and Systems Management Server
are due by 2007, sometime between the release of the latest next client-side
version of Windows, code-named Longhorn, next year, and a server-side
Longhorn release in '07.
Microsoft software--and potentially products from independent software
developers--will be able to read the XML schema created by Visual Studio
2005, which delivers a common way for apps to share information about
The model will be transmitted among software products using the WS-Management
protocol specification, which Tatarinov said will start appearing in
Microsoft's products with the release of Windows Server 2003 R2, an
update to that product due this year.
Tatarinov also said Microsoft plans to turn on a new Web site called
Microsoft Update in two months for keeping Windows, Office, Exchange,
SQL Server, and Visual Studio up to date with patches. Microsoft's current
site, Windows Update, is used to keep some 200 million machines up to
date, and 120 million PCs have been successfully updated with Windows
XP Service Pack 2.
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is scheduled to speak at the conference
here Wednesday morning