Act II: Dell. Blades. Microsoft. Drama. Action!!

Looking for more drama? You've come to the right place.

Looking for more drama? You've come to the right place. Just two days ago, as I was penning a blog entry about the bigger picture of a Dell/Microsoft joint announcement regarding the management of Dell's blades with Systems Management Server, I realized that the only piece that was missing was a way for SMS to manage Dell servers with Linux on them. It prompted me to say "whereas Microsoft's solutions will obviously be biased towards Windows, there are other options -- like those from Altiris -- for server administrators who are looking for a single platform that can work with multiple server operating systems such as Windows and Linux."

Well, now, Microsoft has dropped the other shoe. OK, more like a slipper. As ZDNet UK's Dan Ilett reports, Microsoft has invested in Lindon, Utah-based Vintela. In addition to providing solutions that integrate Unix and Linux with Windows, Vintela is also about to deliver a solution that's built on top of Microsoft Operations Manager (MOM) that manages Linux, Unix and Mac OS X systems. By investing in Vintela instead of acquiring it, Microsoft needs no restatement of direction when it comes to its loyalty to Windows. But, even at arms length, the Microsoft-Vintela relationship is an acknowledgment by Microsoft that the Redmond, WA-based company will have to play a more proactive role in the world of non-Microsoft platforms.