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Microsoft Expands System Center

Microsoft unveiled two new System Center products and said it plans to get into the software asset management business.

Microsoft unveiled two new System Center products and said it plans to get into the software asset management business.

At its annual management summit in San Diego last week, the Redmond, Wash.-based software giant launched plans to ship a virtualization manager and System Center service desk offering to enable workflow automation and integration of management tasks based on ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library).

Microsoft also announced its acquisition of AssetMetrix and the company’s software asset management (SAM) platform. Plans call for integrating the software into System Management Server 2003 within the next six to nine months and later into Configuration Manager 2007, Microsoft said.

The acquisition is a good move for Microsoft, said Frederic Esnouf, delivery manager at PI Services, a Paris-based Microsoft solution provider. “It’s a good option for the enterprise,” he said.

Still, Microsoft continues to announce plans for new System Center capabilities, even though it is struggling to get its rebranded System Center Configuration Manager 2007 and Microsoft Operations Manager (MOM) 2007 out the door.

There was some progress, however. At the summit, Microsoft announced the availability of System Center Reporting Manager 2006 and two new solutions accelerators to whet the appetite of IT administrators and integrators anxious for the core management software upgrades.

During his keynote, Ron Markezich, CIO and vice president of Microsoft’s managed solutions, announced the Desired Configuration Monitoring (DCM) solution and a service-level monitoring (SLM) solution.

Attendees said they like Configuration Manager 2007, but they have customers who would be interested in managed solutions. “If Microsoft can do it cheaper [and] more efficiently, I’d consider it,” said Rob Van Orden, network engineer at Verisign, Olympia, Wash. “The question is, can they do it?”

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