Microsoft Tuesday introduced what it called the Windows Server System Common Engineering Roadmap, an effort intended to create consistent server capabilities across the entire Windows Server System product line.
"This is analogous to the time when word processors and spreadsheets didn't look or work alike," said Andy Lees, Microsoft corporate vice president of server and tools business, during the Tuesday keynote of Microsoft's Tech Ed conference in San Diego. "Word and Excel and, later, Office changed that. The common engineering roadmap is our strategy for doing the same thing on the server."
CRN first reported on this new set of criteria earlier this month.
The first deliverable from this vision of a common services architecture carries the unwieldy title, the Windows Server System Common Engineering Criteria for 2005. Criteria will include Microsoft Operations Manager (MOM) Management Packs, providing information for remotely managing and monitoring Windows Server System software. Also, beginning in 2005, the Windows Installer and Windows Update will support all product members of the Windows Server system, enabling IT users to schedule patches and updates, as well as roll back changes when necessary. In addition, Microsoft will release white papers, best practices and training on how to make best use of its engineering criteria.
MOM 2005 and Virtual Server 2005, both due this fall, will be the first products from the Windows Server system family to meet the Common Engineering Criteria.
Also during the keynote, Ilya Bukshteyn, Microsoft director of product management, demonstrated the newly announced Best Practices Analyzer for SQL Server and SQL Server 2005 Data Encryption. The combination, said Bukshteyn, helps IT administrators ready their systems to update to the latest SQL Server version, due next year. "This allows you to look at existing systems to making sure it's optimally configured," he said.
Bukshteyn demonstrated a fictitious branch bank needing access to local file access for better performance. "The issue is how to give information workers global access to their local files via file replication," he said. "In the next release of Windows Server 2003, code name R2, there will be a hub and spoke topology that replicates files to the branch server so that its users can see large files faster. And the next release will introduce remote differential compression, reducing the amount of traffic over the wires because it only sends changes between the replicated file and the server."
Other presentations included a "conceptual demo" for the Windows Server System R2 release of Client Inspection and Isolation technology, an Exchange Intelligent Message Filter and Exchange Edge Services that shield against spam, malicious email, viruses and generally reducing vulnerabilities.
Garnering the biggest share of applause, however, was Lees' announcement that all Tech Ed attendees who register will can download free copies of Systems Management Server 2003 and Operations Manager 2005 Express, when those products are available.
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