The Dynamic Datacenter

Today at the 2008 Microsoft Management Summit (MMS), Bob Muglia's keynote focused on what Microsoft is calling the "Dynamic Datacenter." What does Microsoft mean by dynamic?

Microsoft has an infrastructure model, also known as the IO model, which can be considered a framework for aligning IT with business needs.The 4th stage of this model is "dynamic," where IT becomes a strategic asset to the organization. The IO model is discussed at

A dynamic data center will generally be heterogeneous. Will Microsoft, through System Center, be managing other operating systems? Yes folks, to quote Bob, "it's not your grandfather's Microsoft" (although I don't think Microsoft is as old as my grandfather).

Dynamic datacenters have to be adaptive, which includes the capability to crank out new servers, or apps on any platform, as needed. In a word, we're talking Virtualization, and Bob's talk focuses on new initiatives by Microsoft and System Center in the areas of virtualization and going cross-platform.

Announced today was the beta release of System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM) 2008, which will be able to manage VMWare and ESX, in addition to Microsoft's Virtual Server and Hyper-V (to come out out later this year as an add-on to Windows Server 2008) products. With SCVMM 2008, Microsoft wants to be the single management console for server virtualization, providing a seamless management experience, while exposing each product's unique capabilities.

Bob's second announcement was the Cross Platform Extensions to Operations Manager 2007. What these two announcements mean is that Microsoft, with System Center, is expanding the breadth of its management capabilities to not just manage Microsoft products but Linux, Solaris, AIX, etc.

Cross-Platform Extensions (X-Plat for short) allow you to use Operations Manager as the monitoring engine to manage other platforms using a similar framework to what you already use with Microsoft operating systems and platforms. This includes discovery, monitors, performance views, and reports; using standard protocols such as WS-Management and SSH. Core OS management packs will ship with XPlat. The code will be open source. Management Packs for applications on those platforms such as Oracle, MySQL, etc., will be written by Microsoft partners.

The Cross Platform Extensions Beta Kit was available to today's attendees, and is available on Microsoft's Connect beta site, Microsoft has also started a blog,, driven by the System Center Cross Platform and Interop team.

System Center has been morphing over the past five years or so, as Microsoft has announced and released various "waves" of the product. These announcements certainly start like a new wave, to say the least. System Center (to quote Bob again)... its a ten year project, and Microsoft's about 5 years into it.

Copyright © 2008 IDG Communications, Inc.

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