Microsoft Management Summit opened on Tuesday. Microsoft's Bob Muglia, senior VP of Microsoft's Server and Tools business announced that two products, System Center Operations Manager 2007 Cross Platform Extensions and System Center Virtual Machine Manager, have reached the public beta phase of product development. It appears that Microsoft's main message this time around is Microsoft can manage multi-vendor environments too.
System Center Operations Manager 2007 Cross Platform Extensions are designed to provide management support for Red Hat Enterprise Linux and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, as well as HP-UX and Sun Solaris. I note that IBM's AIX and many other important UNIX offerings aren't listed. While supporting Red Hat and SUSE Linux distributions is a good first step, there are many other Linux distributions that are important in different regions. If placed against the overall management framework marketplace, this beta test software doesn't quite reach the level of cross-platform management that is offered by others, such as CA or IBM's Tivoli.
Microsoft also launched the public beta of System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008. Once again, the major messages centered on a limited openness and interoperability. The tool was designed to manage both Microsoft's Hyper-V and VMware's ESX Server. Xen technology, regardless of whether it came from Citrix, Red Hat, SUSE, or Virtual Iron wasn't mentioned. As with the other public beta, Microsoft is making a good first effort in a market that already has many competitors.
It's good to note that Microsoft is finally internalizing what's been common knowledge for a long time: most datacenters of any size include solutions based upon mainframes, Linux, Unix, Windows and a number of single-vendor midrange operating systems. Microsoft is really beginning to act on its understanding that just managing Microsoft's own products isn't really going to win the prize. When these products come to market, Microsoft will be in a much better position that it is today.