Dell has unveiled three additions to its OpenManage line of system management tools.
The software is designed to provide better integration between Dell's hardware management products and Microsoft's management software.
The tools are the Dell management pack for Microsoft operations manager, the Dell update packages for Microsoft systems management server, and the Dell deployment toolkit, which works with Microsoft's automated deployment services.
"The software is focused on integrating hardware and operating system management," said Chad Engelgau, Dell's senior manager for server management planning.
Dell hopes to eliminate the "islands of management" created by separate hardware and software management tools, he added.
Competitors such as Hewlett-Packard and IBM, which have already invested much more than Dell in developing management tools, use their systems management software as a point of competitive differentiation, said John Enck, vice president of server strategies with industry analyst company Gartner.
"By taking this path, what Dell is saying is, 'it doesn’t matter anymore. Everyone is going to standards.'"
With the update packages, customers will be able to use Microsoft's latest systems management server to manage software patches from both Microsoft and Dell.
The Dell management pack, which will include Dell's monitoring, patch management and deployment tools, is designed to be used with Microsoft's operations manager console, so that administrators will not have to switch between consoles to use the Microsoft and Dell software, are all available now.
The Update Packages and Management Pack software are available for free at www.dell.com/openmanage.
Dell has also announced a Deployment Toolkit, which will work in conjunction with Microsoft's automated deployment services software to let Dell customers remotely configure Dell servers. It will ship by the end of the year.
Robert McMillian writes for IDG News Service