While some of the comments on the release of an Amazon AWS management pack for the Microsoft System Center regard it as Amazon making inroads into the adoption of the Microsoft Azure cloud solution, it seems that Microsoft, who jointly developed the management pack (MP) with Amazon, sees it as a proof of concept that the Microsoft management solution can be the management tool of choice for any application solution running anywhere in the cloud.
Using a public .NET API and an Operations Manager Watcher node, the MP integrates Amazon's existing CloudWatch information so that it appears as management information, and alerts within Microsoft System Center Operations Manager. The management pack can monitor EC2 instances (Windows and Linux), Auto Scaling groups, Availability Zones, Elastic Beanstalk, Elastic Block Store (EBS) volumes, Elastic Load Balancing, and CloudFormation stacks.
Using this management pack also makes it possible to drill down into applications running on the AS cloud, providing there is an appropriate application management pack for the Application available to MSSC. The MP is also capable of separating the operating system from the virtual machine, allowing problem resolution at a much more granular level. This means that the monitoring console can be used to determine if the issue is in the cloud itself or in the specific OS/application running in the cloud.
If Microsoft is serious about becoming a major provider of services rather than just applications, this type of third-party integration is just the start for Systems Center.