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Microsoft Shows System Center Roadmap at TechEd Europe

Microsoft this week at TechEd 2005 Europe confirmed that it is progressing with development of two new management products in the System Center family, Reporting Manager and Capacity Manager, and promised to refresh all the System Center products in the Longhorn timeframe.

Netherlands-based Windows enthusiast Steven Bink posted a session slide on his Web site this week. TechEd Europe 2005 is being held in Amsterdam.

The session slide shows two waves of System Center products -- in April Microsoft switched System Center from the name of a management suite to an umbrella for its entire family of management products.

The first wave encompassed 2004 and 2005 and has already delivered Systems Management Server 2003 (November 2003) and Microsoft Operations Manager 2005. Still to come this year, according to the slide, are System Center Data Protection Manager 2006, Visual Studio 2005 (which belongs to several other roadmaps and product families), System Center Reporting Manager 2005, System Center Capacity Manager 2006 and a Windows Server 2003 R2 version of WS-Management.

Bink also reported from TechEd Europe that Microsoft signed off on Release Candidate 1 of Data Protection Manager on Wednesday, and that the first generation product will ship within the next three months.

A second wave will hit in 2006-2007 with Windows Longhorn as its foundation. Longhorn, the next version of Windows, is expected in late 2006. The Longhorn wave will include a third version of MOM, a fourth version of SMS, a second version of Capacity Manager and a second version of Reporting Manager, according to the slide.

Reporting Manager was originally planned as a component of the System Center suite and Microsoft confirmed at the Microsoft Management Summit in April that it would be released as a separate product despite the suite's demise. Reporting Manager is an OLAP-based reporting server that would give administrators different views of their infrastructure from data collected by SMS and MOM.

Microsoft used the April MMS show to unveil Capacity Manager, which will build on information generated from System Center Reporting Manager to allow administrators to create "what-if" scenarios and to plan for performance issues in designing system architectures. The technology, which carried the code-name "Indy," will include optimization guidance.

About the Author

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

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