Microsoft claims to offer a comprehensive management solution for Windows 2000 networks through its first centralized event and performance management server, Microsoft Operations Manager. MOM 2000 complements tools such as Microsoft Systems Management Server (SMS), which provides change and configuration management capabilities, and Microsoft Application Center 2000, which provides centralized management for Web applications.

MOM 2000 builds on NetIQ-licensed code to provide server, desktop, device, and application management functionality through a central console that has automated response and notification capabilities. MOM 2000 also provides event and performance monitoring for Win2K Server, Active Directory (AD), and the .NET Enterprise Servers, such as SQL Server and Exchange Server.

"For scale-out environments, management is not just important—it's fundamental," said Cliff Reeves, Microsoft's vice president of marketing for the Windows.NET Server Product Management Group. "Microsoft Operations Manager 2000 extends our management portfolio with a best-of-breed solution for managing Windows-based servers and applications in the datacenter."

In addition to MOM 2000, Microsoft is working on a new version of SMS, code-named Topaz, that will be particularly adept in AD networks, allowing better software distribution, metering, and reporting functionality. "While Active Directory and Windows 2000 are not required for running Topaz, the overall solution gets a lot better when all three are working together," said David Hamilton, the group product manager of the Microsoft Management Technologies Group.

Microsoft says it defined new goals for its management strategy in early 2000. The company says it has designed its management products, technologies, and plans to make Windows the most elegant management environment available.