I have been to a lot of sessions and attended two keynote sessions this is my third VMworld and this year was really more about the Cloud message. Really while the term Private Cloud is new the concepts are the same thing customers wanted 5-7 years ago when embarking on the server consolidation journey. When service utilities, just in time infrastructure, service oriented infrastructure was all the rage. At Microsoft during that same time we announced our Dynamic Datacenter initiative which was focused on modeling, operations and developer knowledge coming together and rich application knowledge deployed into the management infrastructure. This allowed the applications to be managed automatically when they were deploying into the infrastructure. So what is the difference today you ask, well of course machine virtualization is the key enabler that provides the decoupling of the virtual machine from physical hardware and the movement of virtual machines without downtime takes what we can do to new levels. That being said it was clear to Microsoft years ago that rich information about the applications was key to a great management platform and building that information at application development time was key. This week I watched as the VMware message was directed at management and deep understanding of the applications running in the virtual machine all goodness but something we understood years before (It is about the applications). We are taking different approaches to get to the same end instead of depending on a tool to listen to application calls on the network and gather information about application knowledge; we provide the infrastructure for application developers with the best expertise of their application to provide us this information in the form of a comprehensive management pack. How many applications provide this knowledge you ask well take a look here:
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/systemcenter/cc462790.aspx there are hundreds of examples including a management pack for ESX as well. Also Dell just released an updated to their management pack that gives you deep hardware information at:
http://support.us.dell.com/support/downloads/format.aspx?releaseid=R237719. So providing the infrastructure to unify physical, virtual and application management is something that Microsoft does well today and will continue to innovate on. Sometimes in the software industry a lot of weight is placed on code maturity clearly Microsoft has a much more mature Systems Management toolset with System Center and a head start in unified management across physical, virtual and applications. I plan to spend the next few blogs on this topic.
Allen Stewart – PM Lead Windows Server