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Microsoft stresses interoperability at Interop

Microsoft touts interoperability at Interop and unveils an upgraded Operations Manager 2007 with cross-platform support.

Microsoft took its time in the Interop spotlight Tuesday to highlight its support of interoperability with non-Windows environments.

Bob Muglia, Microsoft's senior VP of servers and tools, spent the bulk of his keynote address promoting the Microsoft System Center Operations Manager 2007 with Cross Platform Extensions, which can now monitor and manage Linux, Unix and Windows servers, as well as open source databases. Previously Operations Manager could only manage Windows.

"We take interoperability very seriously," Muglia said at the head of the keynote. "We need to define protocols and make sure that we publish them."

Microsoft has released 45,000 pages of protocols this year, he said, which will enable integration with other software providers.

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A lot of people ask when Microsoft will open up. "We have," he exclaimed. Publishing protocols was a big step, he said, considering that was once considered Microsoft's "secret sauce."

Microsoft is using the open network management protocols OpenPegasus and Web Services for Management (WS-Management) to provide cross-platform capability on Operations Manager 2007.

The Cross Platform Extensions support HP-UX, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Sun Solaris and Novell's SUSE Linux Enterprise Server operating systems.

Muglia said Microsoft's theory now is that "data created by the customer is owned by the customer," so they need to be able to extract it and "use it across the customer environment."

As a result, Microsoft is working with "dozens of standards bodies" as well as with independent software vendors and customers. This week, Microsoft joined the OpenPegasus steering committee.

During Muglia's keynote, Barry Shilmover, Microsoft's senior program manager of System Center Cross Platform, demonstrated Microsoft System Center Operations Manager 2007 by creating a fake company called Dinner Now that would allow customers to find a restaurant online and then order food. He showed how Operations Manager 2007 could monitor and manage the entire process across non-Windows platforms.

Muglia said the Operations Manager and the move to release protocols were all part of the company's 10-year Dynamic IT vision that stresses interoperability. Operations Manager 2007 is available now for public beta.

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