Interop: Microsoft To Manage Linux, Unix Servers


"This idea of interoperability by design is now something we've taken very seriously," Muglia said during his Interop keynote presentation.

During his keynote, Muglia announced Cross Platform Extensions for System Center Operations Manager 2007, extending cross-platform management for the data center by allowing Microsoft to manage and monitor Unix and Linux servers along with open source databases and Web servers. The Cross Platform Extensions enable administrators to find and manage both Windows and non-Windows tools using open source technologies and industry standards, Muglia said.

Available now for public beta, Muglia said the Cross Platform Extensions, which build on existing Operations Manager 2007 technologies, can help users extend the value of their System Center investment.

He said customers can use the extensions to monitor IT systems end-to-end using industry standards and open source technologies like Web Services for Management (WS-Management) and OpenPegasus, extending the capabilities across physical and virtual Windows and non-Windows operating systems and applications.

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Cross-platform support includes HP-UX, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Sun Solaris and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server operating systems so partners can add their expertise in the form of management packs. Other companies, like Novell, Quest Software and Xandros have also showed support by working to deliver monitoring capabilities for applications made by organizations such as The Apache Software Foundation, MySQL AB and Oracle.

Barry Shilmover, Microsoft's senior program manager of System Center Cross Platform, said administrators can find non-Windows systems based on IP address, DNS and other attributes. Using WS Management for open communication or SSH, administrators can retrieve a list of what's on the network and deploy and install components to those systems.

Shilmover demonstrated the new functionality using a fictional company called "Dinner Now," a Web site that allows customers to find restaurants online and have their orders delivered. Using the application, Shilmover was able to manage a MySQL database server and other servers from Red Hat and SUSE.

"We've taken the concepts Operations Manager administrators are used to and extended that to Unix/Linux," Muglia said.

And while Muglia happily promoted that fact that Microsoft is playing nice and helping monitor and manage non-Windows tools, he joked that users should still think Microsoft first, despite Shilmover's demo that managed several other servers.

"I can't say you should run this many non-Windows servers in your environment," he said. "But if you do we want you to run Microsoft System Center Operations Manager to manage them."