Microsoft Details Dynamic IT Strategy at Tech•Ed 2007
Bob Muglia, senior vice president of the Server and Tools Business at Microsoft Corp., today kicked off the 15th annual Microsoft® Tech•Ed conference by detailing the company’s strategy for Dynamic IT for the People-Ready Business (Dynamic IT). Dynamic IT builds on the company’s Dynamic Systems Initiative and ongoing Application Platform efforts to provide customers with the key areas of technical innovation necessary to make their IT and development organizations more strategic to the business.
“We consistently hear from customers that they spend too much time and budget maintaining the systems they have, which leaves limited resources to focus on innovative solutions,” Muglia said. “With Dynamic IT, we are bringing together the capabilities of the core infrastructure and the application and development platforms to help customers build integrated systems that will make IT a stronger partner to the business.”
In his keynote address, Muglia discussed the challenges IT professionals face, including the pressures of global competition and regulatory compliance requirements. IT professionals are also trying to determine how to take advantage of new technologies and computing approaches, such as mobile devices and Software as a Service (SaaS). In outlining Dynamic IT, Muglia identified four areas of technical innovation — spanning infrastructure, applications and business processes — that enable customers to address today’s challenges and to determine the best strategy to achieve more dynamic environments:
• Unified and virtualized
• Process-led, model-driven
Muglia noted that Dynamic IT will serve as the framework for Microsoft’s development efforts in the coming years, and that new and soon-to-be-released products were created with these technology innovation areas in mind. He encouraged companies eager to become “dynamic” to start evaluating the needs of their business over the next 12 to 18 months by using Microsoft Optimization models. These models are designed to help customers evaluate their IT needs, optimize current systems and design a path toward a more dynamic environment. More information about Microsoft Optimization can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/io.
“Most IT departments are struggling with the cost of managing complexity, rather than making investments that create real business advantage,” said Tom Bittman, vice president and distinguished analyst, Gartner Research. “But those that are on a path toward a real-time infrastructure have experienced a dramatic reduction in their costs, improvements to their quality of service and, most importantly, significant value-add in terms of business-differentiating agility.”
Muglia also described the new wave of innovation and progress coming from Microsoft in the areas of application development, server, enterprise security and client management.
Momentum for the Microsoft Application Platform
The Microsoft Application Platform helps IT organizations realize a dynamic application environment for greater business efficiencies, stronger customer connections, and more informed decision-making. Composed of industry-leading technologies and strengthened by prescriptive guidance, the Microsoft Application Platform enables customers to move toward a dynamic state in a manner most appropriate for advancing their business. At the event, Microsoft announced advancements to the Microsoft Application Platform:
• The name for the next release of SQL Server™: Microsoft SQL Server 2008, formerly code-named SQL Server “Katmai,” and the delivery of the first SQL Server 2008 Community Technology Preview (CTP), now available for customer download at http://www.microsoft.com/sql/prodinfo/futureversion/default.mspx
• The acquisition of Dundas Data Visualization Inc.’s Data Visualization products, which provide rich charting within SQL Server Reporting Services, enabling users to create information-rich reports and applications
• The name for the next release of Visual Studio®: Visual Studio 2008, formerly code-named “Orcas.” Visual Studio 2008 Beta 2 is expected to be available later this summer and will include the Visual Studio Shell, a new offering that enables developers to create and distribute their own custom tools built on top of the Visual Studio integrated development environment (IDE).
• Two recent releases, the first public beta of the Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 and a CTP of BizTalk® Services, that support Microsoft’s “real-world” approach to service-oriented architecture (SOA) and the company’s vision of enabling customers to build more dynamic applications. Microsoft will deliver BizTalk Server 2006 R2 in the third quarter of 2007; it will provide radio frequency identification (RFID) infrastructure, native support for electronic data interchange (EDI), and new technologies for integrating the .NET Framework 3.0, the 2007 Microsoft Office system and Windows Vista®. Beta 2 of the product is available now.
Windows Server 2008, Server Core Installation Option
The Server Core installation option of Microsoft Windows Server® 2008 provides a minimal environment for running specific server roles that reduces the maintenance and management requirements and the overall attack surface area. As a result of strong customer and partner feedback, Microsoft today announced that the Server Core installation option of Microsoft Windows Server 2008 now includes Internet Information Services 7.0 (IIS7). This new version of Microsoft’s Web server is dramatically easier to manage, introducing new capabilities such as shared Web server configuration across servers. Customers will benefit from an extremely modular, low-footprint Web hosting platform on top of the already small Server Core. Server Core is ideal for hosting the PHP scripting language and now runs 10 to 20 times faster than before as a result of improvements in IIS.
Customers can experience all these benefits today by acquiring the free Go-Live license for IIS7 at http://www.iis.net/golive, which permits them to put beta releases of Windows Server 2008 into production.
Security and Management News
Microsoft continues to drive deeper integration between its security and management solutions to help customers simplify the deployment, management and protection of IT environments, improve the productivity of their IT staff, and more closely align IT to the needs of their business. At Tech•Ed 2007 Microsoft announced a series of updates related to its Forefront™ and System Center line of products:
• Microsoft is rolling out the road map for its next-generation business security products. Forefront codename “Stirling,” is a unified security product that helps customers reduce complexity, lower costs and improve security of their IT environment. With this solution, Microsoft becomes the first vendor to develop a single security product that integrates comprehensive protection technologies across the client, server and network edge with unified security management, configuration and reporting. “Stirling” will be initially available in a limited beta by the end of 2007.
• As part of the product road map leading to “Stirling,” Microsoft launched the beta 2 release of Forefront Server Security Management Console, a centralized, Web-based management solution for onsite or remote administration of Forefront server security products.
• This week Microsoft has acquired Engyro Corp., a successful partner company that provides software solutions to help organizations integrate, consolidate and simplify their IT operations, extending the enterprise interoperability of System Center Operations Manager 2007 with other enterprise management systems. This alliance will further Microsoft’s commitment to its customers’ longer-term need for interoperable enterprise solutions and further the System Center family of solutions including Operations Manager and System Center Service Manager when it is released.
Windows Vista, Desktop Management
Deploying and managing multiple desktops across a large organization can be an expensive, labor-intensive task without the right infrastructure in place. Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP) for Software Assurance recently reached the important milestone of one million subscriptions sold, and the second version was released to manufacturing with all new components this week. Using a combination of Windows Vista and MDOP, IT professionals can standardize their desktop management process, simplify the deployment of large application inventories and enable their departments to focus on more strategic initiatives. At Tech•Ed 2007, Microsoft announced the addition and availability of several components to MDOP including these:
• SoftGrid Application Virtualization. Softgrid turns Windows® applications into centrally managed services that are streamed to any desktop or laptop. Using SoftGrid, IT pros can deploy applications that are not installed on the machine and do not require regression testing against other software, yet are available wherever and whenever the user needs them and can run alongside otherwise conflicting applications. SoftGrid for Windows Vista will be available July 1, 2007.
• Asset Inventory Service (AIS). AIS decreases the complexity of application life-cycle management by providing IT pros with an advanced software inventory scanning service capable of translating data for more than 430,000 software titles into useful, intelligent reports. AIS is delivered as an easily administered, hosted service. A Windows Vista-compatible version of AIS will be released in beta on July 1, 2007.
• System Center Desktop Error Monitoring (DEM). New to MDOP, DEM helps IT pros reduce help desk costs by centralizing desktops’ operating system and application error reports, and proactively providing alerts and trend analysis. DEM will be available July 1, 2007.
• Microsoft Advanced Group Policy Management (APGM). APGM provides IT pros with more effective change-management, versioning and roll-backs via group policy objects, such as configuration settings, firewall settings and auto update settings. APGM also offers a role-based administration and delegation model that acts as an extension to the Active Directory® Group Policy system. APGM will be available beginning July 1, 2007.
• Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset (DaRT). This consolidated set of tools helps IT pros minimize the recovery time from a desktop crash or non-booting system. DaRT provides a single, unified user interface that IT pros can use to restore a PC. DaRT is available today.
Office Business Applications, Open XML SDK
The industry is increasingly seeing the creation of a new class of software applications that connect mission-critical back-end systems with Office and SharePoint®-based applications already being used by customers. Microsoft refers to this new breed of software as Office Business Applications (OBAs). To date, developers have been challenged by the amount of special code that needed to be written to enable scenarios such as server-driven document creation. Today, however, that pain point is being eased by the release of a software development kit (SDK) technology preview:
• The Open XML SDK was designed to help developers create Office Business Applications that take advantage of the Ecma Office Open XML Formats (ECMA-376). Hundreds of OBAs have been created by developers worldwide, building on the power of the recently released 2007 Microsoft Office system. Through the Open XML SDK’s sample code and how-to articles on the programming object model, developers will be able to decrease their development time for scenarios such as these:
• Creating documents programmatically
• Customizing parts within documents
• Adding and inspecting custom XML within documents
• Working with and customizing document properties
The SDK is available for free from the Open XML Developer Center.
See video interviews with Microsoft’s Server and Tools business leaders as they discuss Dynamic IT and provide more information the four technology innovation areas: unified and virtualized; process-led, model-driven; service-enabled; and user-focused.
About Microsoft Tech•Ed 2007
Tech•Ed, one of Microsoft’s premier developer and IT professional training events, reaches more than 75,000 people worldwide annually, providing attendees with access to technical experts, the latest technical information and hands-on labs to learn the skills they need to build state-of-the-art solutions. People can visit http://www.virtualteched.com to access the keynote address, session information, blogs and videos from the show floor.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
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