Dell, Microsoft streamline management

In an effort to reduce the number of tools customers need to run their IT environments, Dell on Tuesday rolled out updates to its OpenManage product to provide a single console for managing hardware, software and operating systems.

Today most companies must use a hodge-podge of separate tools to manage hardware and software in their data centers, says Neil Hand, director of worldwide marketing for the Dell product group.

The enhancements to OpenManage, Dell's server management software, are based on open standards and work with a variety of systems management tools, but the product is most tightly integrated with Microsoft's management products, Hand says.

"So the customer will be able to use a single process to manage both their hardware elements and their software elements and their operating system elements in their environments," Hand says. "That gives them a single console view, not (just) of their hardware or their software, but of the entire environment they're using."

The updates to OpenManage include:

-- The Dell Management Pack for Microsoft Operations Manager (MOM), which enables hardware level monitoring and alerts from PowerEdge servers to be integrated with MOM information in one user interface.

-- Dell Update Packages with Microsoft Systems Management Server (SMS), designed to automate management of patching and other tasks for hardware, software and operating systems with a single tool.

-- Dell Deployment Toolkit, aimed at helping users deploy Dell servers using Microsoft Automated Deployment Services.

"What we've heard from our customers is patching and upgrading their systems, both hardware and software, is the most important thing they can do," says David Hamilton, director of Microsoft's enterprise management division.

With the partnership with Dell, "the administrator who deploys patches of software can deploy patches of Dell hardware in exactly the same way, through the same wizard interface, generating the same report and same understanding of what's happening in their enterprise environment," Hamilton says.

Dell OpenManage Management Pack for MOM and Update Packages with SMS are available immediately at no extra charge to Dell customers. The Dell OpenManage Deployment Toolkit is expected to be available by the end of the year.

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