MOM 2005 Released to Manufacturing

Microsoft on Wednesday announced the release to manufacturing of Microsoft Operations Manager (MOM) 2005 and MOM 2005 Workgroup Edition, a new version that the company previously called MOM 2005 Express.

Microsoft executives say the product will be generally available in about six weeks.

MOM is designed to improve IT efficiency by providing operations management of Microsoft infrastructure products. MOM 2005 is the second Microsoft version of a technology the company bought from NetIQ. Extended Management Packs (XMPs) from NetIQ are available to extend the MOM infrastructure to allow management of non-Microsoft infrastructure.

Some of the features that are new since MOM 2000 include a redesigned interface that looks more like Outlook, an operator console, auto alert resolution, nested computer groups, diagram views, agentless monitoring, 64-bit agent support, internationalization and reporting through SQL Server 2000 Reporting Services. The new Workgroup Edition will be limited to the management of 10 devices and won't support the SQL Reporting Services or the MOM Connector Framework, which allows MOM to plug into heterogeneous frameworks such as HP OpenView and IBM Tivoli.

Above individual feature improvements, Microsoft has also committed through its Dynamic Systems Initiative to a central role for MOM in managing Windows-based infrastructures. All new server releases are supposed to ship simultaneously with a MOM management pack that is designed to be the preferred way to administer the server. Microsoft officials say the servers will still be fully manageable independently of MOM.

"It's a major release for us. It's more than three years since we last released this product," says David Hamilton, a director in the Windows and Enterprise Management division at Microsoft. "MOM is an important piece of the [Dynamic Systems Initiative], primarily because of the management packs."

Hamilton says MOM 2000 currently has about 30 management packs. Another 20 are on the way for MOM 2005, although reissues will mean about 40 management packs for MOM 2005 rather than 50. But third-parties are adding on aggressively. In the past, NetIQ was the only path to heterogeneous platform management for MOM. "They really jump started the whole process," Hamilton says. But now vendors who had been connected to MOM through NetIQ are getting there on their own with management packs they're developing directly with Microsoft. Examples include Dell and HP, Hamilton said.

Third-parties announcing support for MOM 2005 in various products through management packs or monitoring integration included Veritas Software, Quest Software and BindView.

With the RTM, Microsoft announced a simplified pricing structure designed to bring the product in line with similar products such as Systems Management Server 2003. The MOM 2005 Server license carries an estimated retail price of $795. Each MOM-managed device will require an Operations Management License (OML). An OML five pack will cost $2,689. The Workgroup Edition is listed at $499, and no OMLs are required.

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.