Microsoft introduces web services management packs

Microsoft's next version of its operations management software will introduce a set of packages to monitor web services.

Microsoft's next version of its operations management software will introduce a set of packages to monitor web services.

Microsoft Operations Manager (Mom) 2004, due next summer, will include an end-to-end web services management pack for monitoring the availability and performance of services that span multiple systems and applications.

There will be no separate charge for the management pack, which will ship with Mom, said David Hamilton, director of Microsoft's enterprise management division.

In addition, the company is planning a set of additional management packs for key elements of the web services stack, such as the UDDI directory protocol and the .net Framework, Hamilton said.

Eric Rudder, senior vice-president of servers and tools at Microsoft, said in August that the company would enter the web services management market with compelling offerings to monitor the services and use them to manage their other systems.

But at the time, Microsoft was still collecting feedback to gain an understanding of customer needs in the area of web services. Hamilton said the decision to introduce management packs is based on that customer feedback.

"They're still learning what they can do in the web services space," he said, noting that the need for web services management has been basic so far. Hamilton said customers mainly want to know if a service is up or down.

Bob Muglia, senior vice-president of Microsoft's enterprise management division, said customers eventually will want to understand the cause of response time delays and the level of resources taken up by different attributes of the application.

He said Microsoft will enhance the product over time, particularly once it completes work on the System Definition Model, an XML-based schema that will define the resources on which an application depends, its operational behaviour and the manner in which it's deployed.

In addition to its own web services management efforts, Microsoft is working with other suppliers to ensure that .net-based web services written for the Windows operating system can be managed in a heterogeneous environment.

Mom management packs for web services from Actional, AmberPoint and Computer Associates International will be unveiled at Microsoft's Professional Developers Conference in Los Angeles later this month.

Also due at the conference are connectors to enable users to integrate Mom with third-party management products from IBM's Tivoli division, CA and System Management Arts via a Web-services-based framework that enables bi-directional alert forwarding and synchronisation.

Microsoft officials disclosed last week that the company's long-awaited Systems Management Server 2003 will be released to manufacturing next week. It is scheduled to launch on 11 November at an IT forum in Copenhagen. The latest version features enhanced support for remote PCs, tight Active Directory integration and support for non-PC Windows devices.

Carol Sliwa writes for Computerworld

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