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"Topaz" Set to Shine

But the next version of Microsoft Systems Management Server wasn't the only management tool that Microsoft showcased in Las Vegas.

David Hamilton, Microsoft's product management director for the company's management technologies, unveiled at the Altiris SMS & Win2K Users Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada a mix of tools for managing enterprise implementations of Windows 2000. Among the tools was "Topaz," the project codename for the forthcoming update to Microsoft Systems Management Server for Windows 2000.

But "there's a lot more to management than change and configuration management", said Hamilton, explaining that SMS is typically used to manage software rollouts to corporate desktops. He then unveiled Microsoft Operations Manager 2000, which the company hopes corporations will implement to address enterprise-scale server management.

Hamilton says that Topaz' focus on configuration and change management will feature better Active Directory integration, enhanced mobile user support and a slew of monitoring and reporting tools. Microsoft Operations Manager 2000 (MOM) integrates technology from its licensing of NetIQ's Operations Manager. MOM will focus on centralizing automated network and device discovery and server management. It will require SQL Server to store statistical data for reporting and trend analysis.

Microsoft hadn't revealed pricing for the news tools at the time of this report's filing. You can find the latest information on SMS 2000 at http://www.microsoft.com/smsmgmt/default.asp. Microsoft will reveal more details about Microsoft Operations Manager 2000 at http://www.microsoft.com/windows2000/management/default.asp.

Mark Wingard contributed to this report.

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