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Of Flying Pigs

Yes, Las Vegas is generally an interesting place without shows above and beyond its regular fare.

But the 2008 Microsoft Management Summit (MMS) had its own debut - pigs with wings. Now these were not live pigs, but four inches long by three inches high, complete with wings ... and sunglasses. And big smiles on their faces, being hurled by eager Microsofties into a cheering audience.

What was this about? Its often said that when Microsoft announced it was going open source, "pigs would fly" ... okay, you get it. The other saying at MMS this year was "well we tried to freeze this place over, but Las Vegas is too hot."

The hoopla, if you read my article from last week (http://www.networkworld.com/community/node/27354), had to do with the announced beta release of the Operations Manager 2007 Cross Platform Extensions (X-Plat), available on CD to conference-goers on April 29th.

While John Fontana (http://www.networkworld.com/news/2008/042908-microsoft-management-platform.html) saw this as a way for Microsoft to target CA and HP by extending System Center (Operations Manager in particular) to monitor Linux and Unix-based machines, the customers I spoke with saw it a bit differently. If you are using OpsMgr to monitor your Windows enterprise and have something in your organization that's not Windows-based, you have a gap. How do you monitor that web-server running on Linux? What about your financials package running on a flavor of Unix? Sure there is software for that, but its another user interface, another data repository, another type of reports to become familiar with.

By taking the OpsMgr 2007 user interface and integrating X-Plat into it, Microsoft announced its intent to provide a seamless interface to monitor multiple hardware platforms from a single console ... theirs. Not to "target" CA and HP, but because this is something their customers have been asking for. And I have heard those customers asking.

So the pigs were flying. In celebration of Microsoft reaching beyond Windows, and because the code is going to be open source.

Now X-Plat only extends to the operating system level. To monitor your application of interest, Microsoft is asking its partners to step in.

This is all very new and exciting. During the keynote announcement, Bob Muglia made the statement that it's "not your grandmother's Microsoft. " Now I don't know how old HIS grandmother is, but I believe Microsoft itself is in its early 30's ... however, the enthusiasm was contagious, nevertheless.

To flying pigs! Do you see X-Plat as helping you with your monitoring needs? What do you think of Microsoft's announcements? If you use OpsMgr, are you trying out X-Plat yet? Let me know!

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