Microsoft Announces Dynamic Systems Initiative

REDMOND, Wash., March 18, 2003 — Microsoft Corp. today announced the Dynamic Systems Initiative (DSI). This initiative unifies hardware, software and service vendors around a software architecture that enables customers to harness the power of industry-standard hardware, and brings simplicity, automation and flexibility to IT operations. The new breed of dynamic systems enabled by this software promises to streamline IT operations and lower costs for the enterprise datacenter and make datacenter capabilities accessible to a much broader array of businesses. The unifying software architecture centers on a System Definition Model (SDM) that provides a common contract between development, deployment and operations across the IT life cycle. Microsoft will begin delivering on this initiative with Windows® Server 2003. Support for the architecture and SDM also can be expected in future releases of the Visual Studio® developer tools, Microsoft®
server applications and management solutions.

“The Microsoft Dynamic Systems Initiative will deliver a significant improvement in simplicity, automation and flexibility to IT systems of all sizes,”
said Bill Veghte, corporate vice president of the Windows Server Group at Microsoft.
“By enabling dynamic systems that address operational needs throughout the IT life cycle, we are helping customers take advantage of the great economics of industry-standard hardware to capture breakthroughs in productivity and cost savings.”

The Crisis in the Datacenter

Low-cost, high-volume, industry-standard hardware components and operating systems are becoming the foundation of the datacenter. However, software architectures and application models have not kept pace with the rapidly evolving nature of modern distributed systems. With 70 percent of IT dollars spent on sustaining and running systems, IT budgets are weighted toward maintaining existing capabilities rather than taking advantage of new opportunities. Operations are an afterthought in application design today; developers don’t have an easy way to describe their application’s characteristics and needs for the datacenter, and IT managers lack the required tools to help them drive IT requirements back into development.

Designing for Operations: The System Definition Model

SDM is a live XML-based blueprint that captures and unifies the operational requirements of applications with datacenter policies, serving as an explicit contract between development, deployment and operations across the IT life cycle. Tools supporting SDM will give IT managers the ability to explicitly define datacenter standards and policies for development, and will give developers the ability to encode operational requirements into their applications at design time. In the datacenter, the operating systems support of SDM will enable IT professionals to automatically provision and dynamically change applications along with their underlying resources as workload or business needs change.

Delivering on the Dynamic Systems Initiative

During the mid-1990s, Microsoft Research initiated a focused effort to examine the operational challenges of large enterprise datacenters. The result was improved software architecture, aimed at dramatically simplifying and automating how customers develop, deploy and operate scalable systems. More than two years ago the Microsoft Research team working on this effort was transitioned to the Windows Server core group, where the product development effort began. The first results will be delivered with the release of Windows Server 2003. Over the next three to five years, Microsoft will deliver incremental technology that spans the company’s product portfolio.

Capabilities in Windows Server 2003 include the following:

  • Automated Deployment Services. New provisioning and administration tool

  • Windows System Resource Manager. Dynamic systems resource management

  • Volume Shadow Copy Services and Virtual Disk Service. Storage virtualization

  • Network Load Balancing. Dynamic load-balancing for incoming traffic

  • Windows Server Clustering. High-availability and scalable services

  • Virtual Server. Virtual machine technology for consolidation and migration

An Industrywide Effort

The Dynamic Systems Initiative is backed by a growing industrywide effort, supported by companies such as Centrata Inc., Computer Associates International Inc., Consera Software Corp., Dell Computer Corp., EDS, HP, Opsware Inc. and Think Dynamics Inc. The SDM-based architecture will unleash new hardware innovations, bring new capabilities to development tools, result in rich new management solutions and enable service providers to bring leading-edge offerings to market more quickly. The SDM, already based on industry-standard XML, is straightforward and open, enabling customers and partners to build innovative new products and service offerings around this architecture.

About Windows Server 2003

Windows Server 2003 is a comprehensive, integrated and secure infrastructure designed to help customers reduce costs and increase the efficiency and effectiveness of IT operations. Building on Windows 2000 family strengths, the new server platform helps customers extend existing resources while laying the foundation for building a new generation of connected applications that improve business productivity. More information is available at

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software — any time, any place and on any device.

Microsoft, Windows and Visual Studio are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

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