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Microsoft's Parallel Universe

5:55 PM -- It's not easy to navigate Microsoft's latest foray into enterprise IT management. One needs to learn a new language just to set forth.

The unprepared will founder on the shoals of MOM, SMS, SML, and DSI -- and those are just the basic terms you'll need to get in. Even if you've got the lingo down, it's doubtful you'll get the message without an interpreter.

I certainly needed help to digest the following: Microsoft's new System Center Operations Manager is the latest embodiment of the vendor's 10-year Dynamic Systems Initiative, and it contains the first instance of Service Modeling Language, a technique for defining systems, networks, and even storage devices that is based on the older System Definition Model. The Operations Manager replaces the Microsoft Operations Manager 2005, which is still for sale. The new Operations Manager incorporates a two-way adapter from EMC Smarts, which presently supports the funneling of basic alerts between Smarts and Operations Manager, improving on an earlier adapter that just went one way.

And that's just the tip of the iceberg. (See Microsoft Calls on EMC Smarts and Microsoft Grows Its Grand Plan.)

No wonder people make money teaching classes in Microsoft products. Still, one teacher of such, Nelson Ruest, senior enterprise IT architect with Resolutions Enterprises Ltd., a consultancy based in Victoria, B.C., says most data center types catch on pretty quick.

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