Microsoft Operations Manager 2007 to RTM in March

Microsoft says in late March it will release to manufacturing (RTM) the latest version of one of the most significant administration tools in its emerging System Center brand.

The company is in the final phases of readying System Center Operations Manager 2007 for market, according to Netherlands-based Windows enthusiast site The statements came at Microsoft’s System Center Airlift -- a five-day partner technology event held in downtown Bellevue, a few miles from Microsoft’s Redmond campus. Attendees attend 300 and 400 level technical sessions presented by various System Center product teams.

In addition, System Center Virtual Machine Manager is set for RTM at the end of the third quarter, and the System Center Service Desk will enter beta by the end of March. Statements on Microsoft’s site describe System Center Virtual Machine Manager as “a standalone server application used to manage a virtualized datacenter running either Virtual Server or Windows virtualization.”

Other tidbits from the Airlift include support coming in System Center Capacity Planner 2007 for new server roles in Exchange Server 2007, for audit collection services in Operations Manager 2007, and support for 64-bit processors. Capacity Planner 2007 is set to begin beta testing at the Microsoft Management Summit in late March, with RTM scheduled for May, according to Techlog.

Also, company officials reportedly told attendees that the next version of System Center Data Protection Manager, which is currently in beta, will add support for Virtual Server 2005 R2. This will enable IT shops to protect non-Windows servers as virtual machines. The product will also add support for SharePoint.

Microsoft officials could not be reached for comment. As part of a move to unify its systems management products into a single line, the company rebranded Microsoft Operations Manager to System Center Operations Manager 2007, and Systems Management Server to System Center Configuration Manager 2007 in late April.

The upcoming release of Operations Manager 2007 will herald the first time the product has taken advantage of Microsoft's System Definition Model (SDM). Initially rolled out in 2003, SDM is part of Microsoft's Dynamic Systems Initiative.

Operations Manager 2007 also aims to deliver service-oriented management capabilities for Exchange Server, SharePoint technologies, Active Directory and LOB applications built on SQL Server 2005. The company is also extending the product beyond server management to provide proactive monitoring of Microsoft Windows Vista and Windows XP client environments, the company said in a statement last year.

About the Author

Stuart J. Johnston has covered technology, especially Microsoft, since February 1988 for InfoWorld, Computerworld, Information Week, and PC World, as well as for Enterprise Developer, XML & Web Services, and .NET magazines.