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Microsoft enlists Operations Manager partners

The software heavyweight signs up several companies to write connectors that will link its Microsoft Operations Manager 2000 to third-party management software.

Microsoft announced a program to link its management software to similar administration tools from other management providers.

The software giant on Wednesday officially unveiled a "connector framework" for its Microsoft Operations Manager (MOM) 2000 product. The hooks for linking in third-party software are designed to give systems administrators a way to share systems that monitor information, such as alerts between MOM and management products from companies such as Computer Associates International, IBM and Hewlett-Packard.

As previously reported, Microsoft announced the management

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partnership program at the company's Professional Developers Conference in Los Angeles this week.

Microsoft's own management products, which monitor the health of corporate networks, are focused exclusively on Windows systems. The partnership program is intended to give customers the ability to monitor both Windows and non-Windows resources, such as Linux servers, and to get a more unified view of their computing operations.

The Redmond, Wash.-based software giant has signed on several companies to build MOM connectors: CA, IBM, HP, Systems Management Arts, Micromuse, MetiLinx, NetIQ, Aprisma Management Technologies, Maranti Networks, and Skywire Software.

CA said a connector between its Unicenter management product and Microsoft's MOM will be completed by the first quarter of next year.

In the area of applications that are written around Web services standards, Microsoft said a number of Web services management companies have created "management packs," or plug-ins, for MOM. The Web services management packs are available now from Actional, AmberPoint, Service Integrity and Adjoin, which CA acquired this summer.

AmberPoint's management tools for monitoring system performance and availability will bundled with the testing version of the Whidbey edition of Microsoft's Visual Studio.Net, a development tool due out in the latter half of 2004, along with the finalized product, according to AmberPoint.

Microsoft's aim to open up its MOM monitoring software to third-party systems is part of the company's long-term plan for systems management, called Dynamic Systems Initiative. The plan calls for a blueprint software developers and systems administrators can share that will provide guidelines for application implementation.