Q&A: Microsoft Extends Investments in Dynamic Systems Initiative to Help Drive Down IT Cost and Complexity

LAS VEGAS, April 19, 2005 – Through its Dynamic Systems Initiative (DSI), Microsoft continues to address IT customers’ desire to be more cost-efficient, proactive and responsive to business requirements. At the core of DSI is software that embeds IT knowledge within models that can be applied throughout the system lifecycle, resulting in less reactive maintenance by IT professionals and more time to focus on new projects.



Kirill Tatarinov, Corporate Vice President, Microsoft Enterprise Management Division

Speaking to over 2,600 IT professionals here today at Microsoft Management Summit 2005, Kirill Tatarinov, corporate vice president of the Windows and Enterprise Management Division, unveiled the two-year roadmap for the company’s systems management products and highlighted the more than 25 partner announcements supporting DSI and Microsoft management solutions. In addition, Tatarinov unveiled plans to incorporate the Microsoft Operations Framework into the company’s System Center products as part of its DSI efforts. Based upon best practices and methodologies from the widely adopted IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL), Microsoft Operations Framework provides operational guidance that enables organizations to achieve infrastructure manageability throughout the IT lifecycle.

PressPass sat down with Tatarinov to better understand what these announcements mean for customers and the IT industry as a whole.

PressPass: What’s driving Microsoft’s efforts with DSI?

Tatarinov: Our customers have been telling us they spend far too much time and money maintaining their existing systems. The cost of operations has continued to climb as enterprise IT gets more complex. We want to change that with DSI by providing software that allows our customers to build systems that are designed for operations from the get-go. DSI is about capturing and transferring knowledge in models throughout the IT lifecycle. That lifecycle spans processes – such as changing, operating, supporting and optimizing IT – and people such as developers, IT professionals, information workers and the end users within an organization. The goal is to liberate IT professionals from time-consuming, reactive management tasks so they can be empowered to focus on meeting important business objectives.

PressPass: How has DSI progressed over the past two years, and how can customers begin realizing the benefits of DSI now?

Tatarinov: Two years ago, we articulated the vision and set the strategy to fulfill this vision. As part of the strategy, last fall we shipped Microsoft Operations Manager (MOM) 2005. This product allows customers to capture system knowledge in models, such as health models and service discovery models, and put them in the MOM 2005 Management Packs. Using this technology, IT professionals can now identify and resolve problems before they occur. There are management packs for all Microsoft Windows Server System products, and a large number of third-party applications and systems.

We also used a model-based management approach in our patch management technology. System Management Server (SMS) 2003 and the upcoming Microsoft Update and Windows Server Update Services use modeling technology to intelligently determine when and to what degree servers and desktops need to be updated. As a result, less time and network bandwidth is necessary to help keep systems up to date.

With Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Team System, which is currently in beta, Microsoft is enabling operations managers and application architects to collaborate early in the development phase to ensure systems are designed with operational requirements in mind. These tools will enable operations managers to specify their deployment environment and allow architects to verify that their applications will work within the specified deployment constraints.

PressPass: In your keynote you discussed future versions of MOM and SMS. What can customers expect?

Tatarinov: The DSI’s “secret sauce” is the System Definition Model (SDM), which is a common modeling language used to express knowledge across the lifecycle. SDM helps to create a live blueprint of an entire system to optimize development, deployment and operations. We’re using this model-based management approach in the next versions of MOM and SMS by taking full advantage of SDM. With MOM, this will enable customers to monitor distributed applications and services in addition to individual servers. The next version of SMS will use SDM to monitor the desired configuration of each component of applications or services. That means customers can use SMS to enforce IT policies and compliance throughout application lifecycles. We’re also focused on simplifying the setup and deployment of SMS and providing a new user interface. Most importantly, we will continue to invest in security management capabilities of SMS. The release will add capabilities to manage the upcoming Network Access Protection feature of Windows, for example.

PressPass: How does the Microsoft Operations Framework fit into DSI?

Tatarinov: Capturing and applying best practices knowledge and processes is key to successful systems management. Microsoft Operations Framework is our implementation of ITIL. MOF extends ITIL by adding prescriptive guidance and best practices. It focuses on the IT operational lifecycle and divides the world of IT into four areas: change, operations, support and optimization.

MOF processes are the foundation of how we are developing future products. We continue to provide Solution Accelerators that supply MOF guidance to customers as they use our existing management products for specific scenarios, like system configuration management. Moving forward, we will encapsulate workflow knowledge across the System Center family of products. For example, customers will have change and configurations best practices within SMS, more operational knowledge within MOM, and optimization guidance in System Center Capacity Manager 2005 – formerly code-named “Indy.”

PressPass: What role are Microsoft’s industry partners playing in DSI?

Tatarinov: DSI is an industry-wide effort, and its success relies on the participation of our partners. A growing ecosystem of hardware and software industry partners have so far introduced more than 80 MOM Management Packs that extend DSI to third-party solutions, as well as non-Windows operating systems. For example, we are now seeing management packs for line-of-business applications, such as those for SAP and Siebel from TIDAL Software, and others for custom .NET applications from Avicode.

Also today, Dell announced the availability of MOM Workgroup Edition for Dell PowerEdge servers, which further extends the company’s systems management offerings for the small and medium-sized business market. HP is demonstrating its Inventory Update Tool for SMS 2003 to provide HP ProLiant and Integrity server customers a faster and more cost-efficient way to update enterprise systems. All told, more than 25 partners announced enhanced support for DSI and Microsoft management products today at MMS. And we’re working with AMD, BMC, Dell, Intel, Sun and others to advance WS-Management, a Web-services specification that provides a common way for systems of all types to access and exchange management information across the infrastructure. This is an essential part of Microsoft’s efforts to make DSI a cross-platform initiative. WS-Management capabilities will be delivered within Microsoft Windows Server 2003 “R2,” and, beginning in 2006, Intel AMT will use WS-Management to take full advantage of those capabilities.

PressPass: Which products make up System Center?

Tatarinov: In the past we have discussed System Center as an independent product. Based on customer feedback, however, we’re establishing System Center as the overarching family name for Microsoft’s systems management solutions. In addition to MOM 2005 and SMS 2003, the System Center family will include three other products this year: System Center Reporting Manager 2005, System Center Data Protection Manager 2006 and System Center Capacity Manager 2006.

System Center Reporting Manager 2005 consolidates change and configuration information from MOM and SMS, so IT professionals can better understand how changes in their environment are affecting system and service availability. System Center Capacity Manager 2006 uses information generated from System Center Reporting Manager to enable organizations to intelligently design system architectures using “what-if” scenarios and stay ahead of performance issues. System Center Data Protection Manager 2006, previously known as Data Protection Server and available in beta now, helps organizations more effectively back up and recover business-critical data at a lower total cost of ownership.