Windows Server and System Center are the Best Blenders for Your Data Center!

However it happened, all sorts of different hardware, operating systems, applications, and tools have made their homes in our data centers.  Some platforms, tools, and procedures were mandated as part of the adoption of a critical business system.  Often these systems are selected outside IT standards to meet a specific need and not all of these pieces of software (gasp) come from Microsoft or even (double gasp) run on Windows Server.

Unfamiliar and incompatible systems / technologies have in the past required separate infrastructures – their own monitoring, management, backup, even perhaps different virtualization layers and tools. 

With the ever increasing mission critical role of Windows in data centers, Microsoft has focused substantial resources on interoperability – striving to harmoniously combine, monitoring, and managing all manner of data center operations. 
We realize that a key to reducing cost and complexity is integrating disparate systems and eliminating duplicate / redundant data center infrastructure components. 

IT organizations recognize the need to:

  • Consolidate servers and platforms
    (driving much of the move toward virtualization)
  • Reduce redundant infrastructure “silos” for multiple platforms
  • Optimize resources including identity/directory services, monitoring, networking, storage, other

Microsoft just introduced a new site ( to illustrate Microsoft’s increasing capabilities for mixed environments and showcasing interoperability “evidence”.  From the increased capabilities and support for Linux on Hyper-V to System Center Operations Manager Cross Platform Extensions for monitoring Linux and UNIX, Microsoft can help you simplify and manage more of your data center.

Check out what the customer/partners have to say about Microsoft’s capabilities in mixed environments in this video from MMS 2010.   It highlights what I am hearing more and more - not only is Windows running alongside UNIX and Linux, but it’s doing so in an integrated fashion.  The site points to case studies like this one from Siemens IT Solutions and Services Thailand where they were able to consolidate 46 physical servers to 8 and manage numerous different operating systems (Windows and Linux) and applications.  With the mixed platforms (virtualized on Hyper-V and managed with System Center), they saved a whopping $60,000 a year!

Be sure to check back with the “mixed” site as it continues to grow and evolve. 

Speaking of mixing it up, be sure to check out these two sessions next week at TechEd in New Orleans covering mixed environments (shameless plug for sessions I’m presenting with others!):

  • WSV318 Living in a Mixed Environment: Integrating Your Heterogeneous Infrastructure
        Room 387 Monday, June 7  - 4:30 PM - 5:45 PM 
  • WSV305 Deploying, Virtualizing, and Managing Linux and UNIX with Hyper-V
        Room 356 Tuesday, June 8  - 8:00 AM - 9:15 AM

Hope to see you there!


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