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Microsoft To Offer Opalis Management Solution

Microsoft soon will offer the Opalis solution to server management licensees, the company announced on Wednesday.

Microsoft acquired Opalis Software in December, and described its plans at that time to integrate the technology into System Center and other Microsoft product lines. Opalis makes IT process automation software that's used for managing datacenters.

Customers who purchased Microsoft's server management suite enterprise (SMSE) license or server management suite datacenter (SMSD) license with software assurance "on or after December 10, 2009" will be granted access to the Opalis software, according to a System Center blog. Customers without an SMSE or SMSD license will be able to download a 180-day trial version the Opalis software through Opalis.com. Microsoft also plans to make the trial software available through the Microsoft Download Center "in upcoming weeks."

The SMSE and SMSD licenses include access to Opalis' software, as well as to System Center Service Manager, a new Microsoft platform for automating service management. Microsoft expects to release System Center Service Manager sometime in the first half of this year.

Those organizations planning to buy SMSE and SMSD licenses will face a price hike "on July 1, 2010," according to a January System Center blog post. The blog suggested that prices will increase by about $400 and $600, respectively. Customers also need to purchase a two-year software assurance option as part of the licensing.

The SMSE license is designed for organizations with nonvirtualized servers or "low-density virtual hosts with four or fewer virtual machines." SMSD is licensed per processor and targeted toward organizations with "high-density virtual hosts with more than four virtual machines," according to Microsoft.

Opalis' software currently works with System Center and other management solutions, but Microsoft has a number of plans for it in the near future, including Linux integration, according to Louise Johns, a System Center product marketing manager.

"In Q2 we will expand on interoperability capabilities with new Integration Packs for UNIX, Linux Redhat and Suse," Johns wrote in the blog. "In Q3, Integration Packs for Service Manager 2010, Configuration Manager 07 R2, VMM 2008 R2 and DPM 2010 will be made available. Planning for Opalis v-next, 2011 releases are underway and will be communicated in the upcoming months."

Opalis' technology also could help with automating workloads in cloud computing scenarios, such as tapping into Microsoft's Windows Azure platform. Microsoft has typically stressed a strong need for deploying management solutions when integrating services in enterprise environments.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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