At its annual Microsoft Management Summit (MMS) show this week in Las Vegas, the software giant is talking up its many software management tools and has released new versions of some of its solutions. Key to this year's event is the emerging trend of virtualization, with ever-increasing numbers of enterprises turning to centrally-managed virtualized environments, and the management of heterogeneous environments.

"At Microsoft we are helping redefine what it means to do IT management in the enterprise with the new capabilities we are announcing \[at MMS 2008\]," Microsoft senior viceo president Bob Muglia. "By taking our knowledge of the Windows environment and expanding it to address heterogeneous management needs across platforms, applications, hardware and virtualization, we are opening up a new level of opportunity for companies to drive greater efficiency, responsiveness and value for their business."

Microsoft announced the release of a public beta of System Center Operations Manager 2007 Cross Platform Extensions, which helps manage physical and virtual Windows and non-Windows systems such as HP-UX, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Sun Solaris, and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server and server solutions from Apache, MySQL, and Oracle. Microsoft also unveiled a beta of an updated System Center Operations Manager 2007 Connectors version, which interoperates with non-Windows management environments like HP OpenView and IBM Tivoli Enterprise Console.

On the virtualization front, Microsoft released a new public beta version of System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008, which provides centralized management facilities for virtualized environments running on Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V, Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 R2, or VMware ESX Server. Information about all of these products, including the public beta of SCVMM 2008, can be found on the Microsoft System Center Web site.
http://www.microsoft.com/systemcenter/