Microsoft touts common engineering plan

Microsoft on Tuesday announced the Windows Server System Common Engineering Roadmap, a long term plan for simplifying IT complexity by building common services across Windows Server System products.

The first delivery in that plan, the Common Engineering Criteria for 2005, was unveiled in San Diego at the company's annual TechEd conference.

The purpose of the effort is to weed out complexity at the engineering level, providing better integration through a consistent set of server features, according to Microsoft officials.

"Not only is there complexity at each step of the lifecycle, but also between each step," said Ilya Bukshteyn, director of product management for Windows Server System at Microsoft. "That complexity drives the pain these guys feel. We want to achieve less complexity through greater integration."

The Common Engineering Criteria for 2005 is a set of capabilities that will be available in all Windows Server System servers released after Jan. 1, 2005, according to Microsoft officials. These features include MOM (Microsoft Operations Manager) Management Pack support, which will let customer use MOM 2005 to remotely manage Windows Server System servers; Support for Windows Installer and Windows Update with transaction capabilities, including the ability to roll back changes if needed; and prescriptive guidance, best practices, and training included at the time of release.

Other Microsoft announcements Tuesday at TechEd:

- Windows Server System Infrastructure Environment, designed to offer a set of guidelines and best practices for building solutions based on Windows Server System.

- Windows Storage Server 2003 Feature Pack, provided through integration with Exchange Server 2003. The pack offers storage consolidation options by allowing users to store Exchange database and log files on Network Attached Storage devices.

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