Dell Software Readies Email, SQL Server Management For TechEd

Dell Software plans to announce major enhancements to its portfolio for the management of Microsoft environments at Microsoft's TechEd Conference next week, including email management, new mobile SQL Server monitoring and SQL Server health checks.

The email management "carries on the commitment Quest [Software] was well known for" before Dell acquired Quest in July 2012, said Michael Tweddle, Active Directory, Identity and Access Management Expert at Dell Software.

Leveraging new features within Exchange 2013, in which Microsoft added emphasis on security and compliance as well as data leak protection, Dell's new enhancements to MessageStats Business Insights 7.2 add on to that, Tweddle said.

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New data leak protection features of MessageStats Business Insights for customers using an on-premises version of Exchange 2013 will enable organizations to control the flow of sensitive information. Previously, data leak reporting was only available for Exchange Online, according to Tweddle.

For example, if Exchange 2013 identifies and quarantines email for approval from a financial services user because it includes account numbers, "the next logical thing is how do I report on violations or assign a severity of violations," Tweddle said.

"Microsoft has done some basic reports for Office 365 customers, but not provided on-premise [reporting]. We started working with Microsoft's Exchange product team and provided those reports for online Exchange 2013 customers," Tweddle said. "It's exciting for us to be able to provide added value above and beyond what Microsoft provides in just DLP, including visibility into any violations. Jointly, we think this will increase Exchange adoption increase."

The data leak reporting also gives channel partners another talking point to migrate customers up to Exchange 2013, he said. "That helps their business and gets customers over to the latest and greatest from Microsoft. Microsoft's approach here is a huge push to get people to Office 365. It's good for the channel to facilitate that movement, but it won't be a good fit for everyone. Some still want on-premise Exchange, and they can have a hybrid deployment. This can help fill that gap."

Meanwhile, Dell Software also plans to unveil Spotlight for SQL Server Enterprise 9.5 at TechEd, allowing administrators to monitor the health and performance of SQL Server environments from anywhere on any device thanks to new Windows 8 and Android mobile apps to complement the current iOS app, said Peter O'Connell, product manager for SQL Server Solutions at Dell Software.

"Last year at TechEd, there was a desire to get more mobile. We had an application on iOS. Now we have complete mobile coverage with native applications. It's not just the same user interface across different mobile devices," O'Connell said.

In addition, Dell plans to formally introduce Spotlight Project Lucy, an Azure-based set of productivity tools that enable SQL Server users to take a full performance and system health check for free, O'Connell said.

"We will give all SQL Server users the ability to upload performance data into an Azure implementation," he said, "We've taken that to the next level this year. It's officially part of the Spotlight solution set, and it will be available free to all SQL servers."

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The free health check within Project Lucy is a big opportunity for VARs, O'Connell said. "By its nature, it allows customers to diagnose their infrastructure, and it lets VARs come in and solve issues for them."

Finally, Dell plans to detail the Dell Kace K2000 Deployment Appliance at TechEd, which helps VARs facilitate customers' upgrades from Windows XP to Windows 7 or Windows 8. The K2000 captures the user state, deploys the new OS and then restores the user state model from a single tool, according to Dell.

With a reported 30 percent of businesses still using XP and Microsoft set to end support for that OS in April 2014, the K2000 should be of special interest to VARs helping customers migrate of XP, said Dell's Tweddle.

"The clock is ticking for [companies] with no migration in place. They will be hit with support costs from Microsoft, security patches," Tweddle said.

The K2000 will also do application compatibility testing to make sure Windows 32 applications and browser-based apps function like they did before, he added.

"The K2000 will greatly ease that transition. From a channel perspective, we see the channel doing these projects for customers, doing application compatibility testing and leveraging Kace appliances to do the actual upgrade," Tweddle said.

PUBLISH MAY 30, 2013