Microsoft’s view on managing heterogeneous environments

It was interesting to hear Kirill Tatarinov (Microsoft Corporate VP for Enterprise Management) comment (at last Friday’s UK re-run of the key Microsoft Management Summit 2005 presentations) on Microsoft’s support for heterogeneous environments through its management products (especially as they are finally waking up to the idea that organisations want to run – and do run – non-Microsoft guest operating systems under Virtual Server).

At both the partner breakfast briefing and the main event, the message was that basically, Microsoft will embrace other environments but will not (for example) write Linux agents for Microsoft Systems Management Server (SMS), Microsoft Operations Manager (MOM), or any other Microsoft management product. To quote Tatarinov:

“[it’s] not part of our DNA and I don’t think this is something that we should be doing.”

Microsoft’s view is that products should be scalable and interoperable, providing open interfaces (e.g. WS-Management) alongside technologies such as the MOM connector framework and the SMS software development kit (SDK) to work with other products in the management space.

That may be a smart move – if only to avoid another law suit for supposed anti-competitive behaviour – but it also helps Microsoft to present itself as a team player, at a time when people are starting to take SMS seriously, when MOM is really gaining traction, and when the whole area of systems management for infrastructure built on Microsoft technologies is finally being addressed through the dynamic systems initiative (DSI).

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