Microsoft has just released beta versions of several technologies that will help it’s System Center Operations Manager 2007 software to communicate with platforms other than Windows.  The new extensions will allow the platform to manage virtual and physical servers including Unix, Linux, and VMWare ESX, and also include integrating with HP-Openview and IBM’s Tivoli. 

The company unveiled a slew of new management systems for enterprise networks this week, with a heavy dose of tools designed to keep tabs on multiple virtual machines and storage partitions. At the same time, the company offered a major olive leaf to the open source community.

Indeed, Microsoft has only reluctantly opened up their software to integrate with competing technologies, so this move seems to be a major concession by Microsoft.

Microsoft System Center gets cross-platform support (Computerworld)

Microsoft Powers Up Virtual Management (IT Business Edge)

Betas Boost Capabilities of Operations Manager 2007 (Application Development Trends)

I don’t really see this as any kind of “olive branch” to anyone, it is the only good business move for this application.  In order for Microsoft to capture business for their system management products, the system must be able to handle the huge number of heterogeneous environments.  There is a very limited market for a management system that only deals with Windows, and Microsoft is going after market share, pure and simple.

As always, I am also leery of version 1 products, which the new extensions as well as the upcoming Hyper-V certainly are.  Still, I have to admit that I have been generally happy with the enterprise class products over the past few years, so I hope that the trend will continue.  Will you begin using any of these new technologies in test or production in the near future?