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Microsoft's MOM goes out the door

Software giant takes big step toward October release of Microsoft Operations Manager 2005.

Microsoft's main Windows server administration console is slated for release by the beginning of October and will be part of a management suite planned for next year.

Microsoft Operations Manager (MOM) 2005 was shipped to manufacturing on Wednesday, and it will be available by Oct. 1, the company said. The rollout will include a low-priced edition for organizations that have fewer than 10 servers to manage.

Microsoft Operations Manager is used to administer Windows servers and applications, offering tools to track performance and address tasks such as end-user security. The latest version introduces a system for plugging in third-party management applications. Software maker MetiLinx, for example, sells a product for running Unix and Windows servers from MOM.

Microsoft's update adds a simplified installation process, an improved user interface and tools to automatically generate reports on Windows network usage.

David Hamilton, director of Microsoft's Windows and Enterprise Management Division, said MOM 2005 is an important component in the company's long-term vision of simplified systems management. Called Dynamic Systems Initiative, the multiyear plan is meant to simplify administration of Windows networks by automatically feeding performance information from Windows applications to management systems.

Another key piece of the Dynamic Systems Initiative is Visual Studio.Net Team System, a version of Microsoft's flagship development tool designed to smooth out the process of installing new applications in corporate data centers.

In the first half of next year, Microsoft will begin to unify its different management tools, Hamilton said. The company will bundle MOM 2005 with Systems Management Server 2003, a set of tools for installing software. The suite will include a new product called Systems Center Reporting Server, which is meant to gather performance statistics, he said.

Hamilton also said that Microsoft is in discussions with standards bodies and partners to create some interoperability between its own Dynamic Systems Initiative for managing Windows systems and other management-related standards.

A license for MOM 2005 will cost $729. MOM 2005 Workgroup Edition will cost $499 and will be limited to managing 10 servers.