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Heavy Hitting ERP Apps Certified for W2K Datacenter

Key enterprise vendors are endorsing Microsoft's Windows 2000 Datacenter Server by taking the trouble to get their well-known enterprise applications certified for Microsoft's upstart platform.

Microsoft introduced Windows 2000 Datacenter Server in September 2000. It's Microsoft's first high-end enterprise server operating system with support for up to 32 processors, four-node failover clustering, process control and a rigorous service and support program.

As part of its enterprise push, Microsoft created a special application certification, run by the independent Veritest labs, for Datacenter applications. To get certified, the apps must run on a 32-processor machine, a four-node cluster, survive a stress test, and have documented 24X7 support. Microsoft's hope was to attract the kinds of vendors to the certification program whose applications are already staples of RISC/Unix servers in glasshouse environments.

IBM was one of the first major vendors to lend credibility to Microsoft's application certification process by pushing its DB2 database through the rigorous and costly tests.

SAP and J.D. Edwards were the first ERP vendors to get their enterprise applications certified for the Windows Datacenter platform. In recent weeks, the other ERP heavyweights -- PeopleSoft and Baan -- have punched their applications through the Veritest program, as well. In addition, data warehousing giant SAS Institute got its Base SAS system certified for Datacenter this month.

"Certification is a very good proof point that the ISVs are seeing value and customer demand. We're getting the big names and, really, the premiere applications that the customers are deploying in these high-availability, high performance scale ... environments," says Bob Ellsworth, group product manager for Windows Datacenter Server.

Zul Abbany, SAS vice president of alliance development, echoed the sentiment in the company's public statement about achieving the certification: "The certification of SAS for Windows 2000 Datacenter Server and Advanced Server demonstrates our confidence in the customer value of these platforms."

The early thrust of Windows Datacenter certified apps came in the categories of databases from Microsoft and IBM and management tools from industry names such as Tivoli, CA, BMC, Veritas, NSI and NetIQ. The next wave will include more antivirus and backup tools, as well as Microsoft .NET Enterprise Servers, Ellsworth says. New backup tools to undergo certification include three new tools from EMC and Veritas Volume Manager. Microsoft is working on gaining certification for its BizTalk Server, which would be the third Microsoft app after SQL Server and Exchange Server to earn the Datacenter logo.

Veritest has certified 29 applications from 18 vendors in the 18 months since the Datacenter Server launch. Ellsworth says the program is just getting started.

"We're continuing to see the ramp, just like with the Datacenter product itself," he says. The certification program will continue for Windows .NET Datacenter Server, the second-generation of Windows Datacenter Server scheduled for release in late 2002. Certification requirements will be similar, with a fast-track option for vendors who have already pursued certification on Windows 2000 Datacenter Server.

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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