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MS Beta Software To Manage Unix/Linux Systems

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the acknowledging-heterogeneity dept.

Microsoft 246

Tumbleweed writes "The Cross Platform and Interop team at Microsoft today announced some new beta products for managing Unix/Linux systems from MS Operations Manager 2007, as well as connectors for HP OpenView and IBM Tivoli Enterprise Console. Both betas are available at Microsoft Connect (search for systemcenter), according the blog."

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"Resistance is futile..." (5, Funny)

BUL2294 (1081735) | more than 6 years ago | (#23245698)

"You will disarm your command prompts and escort us into Linux as root. If you attempt to intervene, we will destroy you."

Re:"Resistance is futile..." (4, Insightful)

ClickOnThis (137803) | more than 6 years ago | (#23245898)

"You will disarm your command prompts and escort us into Linux as root. If you attempt to intervene, we will destroy you."
I think MS would like to destroy Linux whether anyone "intervenes" or not.

Maybe I'm just paranoid, but I do wonder whether this is another "Embrace, Extend, Extinguish" tactic. Or at least an attempt by MS to create a "view" of Linux that it can control, perhaps in a way that is unflattering to Linux.

Re:"Resistance is futile..." (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23246304)

I am actually pro-life, but I believe that Obama is reasonable, and willing to listen. Besides, a very effective, and obtainable way to drastically reduce abortions is through the consistent use of effective contraception. To do this, we need Universal Healthcare, and a very proactive effort to get that contraception out and used(preferably the types that don't require daily administration).

Re:"Resistance is futile..." (-1, Offtopic)

buswolley (591500) | more than 6 years ago | (#23246334)

Obama represents change in a way that you have not quite perceived: Obama is not the change. We the People are the change.

Let me explain: Obama is an organizer at heart. He's good at it, evidenced by his impressive grass roots organization, but also Obama believes in it. Obama believes in grassroots, in democracy in action..of ordinary citizens working for change.

You ask: How would this work?

Answer: By not working against those self-organized grassroot citizens, as is usual in our politics these last decades. Obama, unlike Bush, would not seclude himself from opinions and opinions that are contrary to his own. He does not intend to let himself be surrounded by yeahsayers, and groupthink. He will not seclude his mind from protesters and activists. He believes in it.

When pro-life activists interrupted a rally last year, and the crowd heckled them, Obama chided his supporters, and stood up for protesters.. saying that it took a lot of guts to come here and work for change like that.

THAT is the change he is working for. Letting the citizen back in.

A president is not a legislator, the President is a leader that points the direction, and the direction Obama is pointing it to us.

Us. He says We the People are the direction. He is leading us back to Democracy. Obama is Lincoln returned to heal America, and make it We the People.

Re:"Resistance is futile..." (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23246696)

Ron Paul 2012!

Nope. MSFT needs some Wall St. Cred STAT! (1)

mikelieman (35628) | more than 6 years ago | (#23246632)

So they're going to pretend to be competent enough to play in the "Enterprise Management" arena. Like they pretend to be competent enough to play in every arena they've entered...

Sometimes it works better than others. Now? Not so much... I see MSFT is down today, and going down further in after hours.

RHT and GOOG are up, however.

No thanks Bill, (1, Funny)

twitter (104583) | more than 6 years ago | (#23245904)

things are being managed well without your help.

Opps (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23246072)

Just for a second I thought "yeah, that's right" but then I saw your sig.

Re:"Resistance is futile..." (2, Funny)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 6 years ago | (#23246180)

Indeed; I wonder how many times this app will randomly send a "kill -9 1"

April Fools Joke (1)

Bananatree3 (872975) | more than 6 years ago | (#23246348)

Imagine this playing over [youtube.com] Microsoft's recruitment center PA on April 1st.

We are the Borg...We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own. Your culture will adapt to service us. Resistance is futile.

Manage Unix/Linux Systems? (2, Insightful)

apoc.famine (621563) | more than 6 years ago | (#23245710)

Wtf? The gui tools available NATIVELY don't allow for any comprehensive management of Unix/Linux systems. Less is more, terminal is faster, text over ssh, bash scripting - the entire culture of *nix is anti-gui.

How the fuck is MS going to make a gui to manage such systems?

Or are they just reimplementing an ssh terminal?

Re:Manage Unix/Linux Systems? (1)

oyenstikker (536040) | more than 6 years ago | (#23245840)

webmin.

Re:Manage Unix/Linux Systems? (2, Insightful)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 6 years ago | (#23246106)

Indeed... webmin can be quicker for stuff you can't remember the command line for, but it is ALWAYS best to learn the text/terminal/shell commands for the very same thing.

I like a lot of webmin, but would rather just script quite a bit of stuff where I can. Much simpler than clickety clicks -- YMMV

The REAL question is: Are there *ANY* *nix system admins out there that WANT MS to manage their systems? My head about exploded when I read the title. On second reading, well, it makes sense to be able to deal with all things in the data center. I'm just not sure if MS has the m4d sk1l5 for doing so. I have yet to see a well managed MS data center installation.

Just an opinion

Re:Manage Unix/Linux Systems? (3, Insightful)

InlawBiker (1124825) | more than 6 years ago | (#23246210)

Because then, theoretically, you don't have to have both Linux and Windows people on staff. I.T. managers want to hire less people, not more, and the Windows guys are usually cheaper.

Re:Manage Unix/Linux Systems? (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 6 years ago | (#23246924)

Not when you need twice as many of them for the same number of servers. it might be down to 1.5 times now with win 2k3 but you still need more windows admins.

So quantity over quality? In the end Windows costs the industry over $60 billions dollars a year. A figure from MSFT's sponsors.

Re:Manage Unix/Linux Systems? (2, Insightful)

PPH (736903) | more than 6 years ago | (#23245850)

Command line or GUI, what Microsoft needs to do is to restrict the number of options available when administering Unix/Linux systems to the subset available for Windows. Then, the next question is: What can you do with *nix that you can't do with Windows (ignoring the crippled interface)? If the answer to that is: Nothing, then the next question is: Why not just use Windows?

I'll be impressed if they cover two commands (1)

Gazzonyx (982402) | more than 6 years ago | (#23246704)

What can you do with Linux that you can't do with Windows, and how can they interface it? Well... I'm still waiting for someone to actually _FIGURE OUT_ and then program a comprehensive interface to 'tc' and 'ip'. I'd hate to be the microsoftie assigned to those two! You could probably quite literally spend months just becoming familiar with all the various flags and options for both of them. Seriously, check out man tc and man ip. After the part about the six or seven balancing _OPTIONS_, they lead you in to ingress filtering for traffic control. I think MS is biting off more than it can chew, again.

What you can do with xNIX you can't do with windoz (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23246920)

Then, the next question is: What can you do with *nix that you can't do with Windows

Higher level of service and performance, lower total computation cost.

Re:Manage Unix/Linux Systems? (1)

oolleq (742995) | more than 6 years ago | (#23246266)

This is the 21st century compliment to the Speak 'n Spell interface for NORAD.

Re:Manage Unix/Linux Systems? (1)

Whatanut (203397) | more than 6 years ago | (#23246322)

Many large corporations are still stuck in the mindset of a microsoft centric world. So in many cases management may have decided on using MOM or SCOM as their monitoring system. That being said, it actually wouldn't be a bad thing to have decent clients for *nix machines. Of course there are other cross platform monitoring systems. But sometimes you don't have a lot of choice...

Re:Manage Unix/Linux Systems? (1)

Venik (915777) | more than 6 years ago | (#23246590)

For the past year I've been struggling with Scali Manage - a cluster management tool that came with our two new HPC SLES clusters from HP. Essentially, Scali is an attempt to create a parasite OS on top of Linux. Scali does offer a couple of useful features, but nothing that can't be done by hand almost as easily and nothing that's worth all the additional problems it creates. The moral of the story is: if there are idiots willing to pay big bucks for useless software, there always will be those ready to take the money.

Re:Manage Unix/Linux Systems? (1)

Z34107 (925136) | more than 6 years ago | (#23246712)

How the fuck is MS going to make a gui to manage such systems?

Windows (c)(tm)(R) for Linux! (Professional Business x64 Ultimate Edition!) (With powershell!)

With Microsoft's experience in GUI development, Linux will finally be a real alternative to Windows for desktop machines!

Wait...

Re:Manage Unix/Linux Systems? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23246762)

Or are they just reimplementing an ssh terminal?

Doubtful. First, Microsoft write code to a specification? Have they ever? Kerberos, LDAP, NIS, OOXML? Not going to happen.

Next issue is security.If you can't fix Windows, move the problem into UNIX. Problem solved. This might work for Microsoft. You can't beat them, destabilize them.

Oh, this is going to be so much fun to watch this blow up. Something like UNIX tools for NT/AD, never was reliable or compatible enough. Which isn't a Microsoft strong point either.

Is it just me... (1)

Infonaut (96956) | more than 6 years ago | (#23245726)

Or does that Connect Center login look like a dating site?

Re:Is it just me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23245766)

Or does that Connect Center login look like a dating site?

A dating site for gay men.

Surprise (1)

Daffy Duck (17350) | more than 6 years ago | (#23245742)

Microsoft wants to control Linux. What a shock.

Re:Surprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23245914)

I'd say it wants users to manage their leased vpn servers without leaving windows. Don't let them try a desktop distro and witness it works good enough to start spending more time on the linux partiton.

I just tried ubuntu hardy on a fairly new acer 5720 (bought with intel 3d card to run linux without proprietary drivers, if possible). All I tested worked, 3d, sound, WEP wireless, integrated cam. It is not as stable as debian, but debian required some more line editing to get WPA wireless and sound working. Windows desktop, be very afraid.

Better late than never (1)

discogravy (455376) | more than 6 years ago | (#23245752)

I hope they find a way to tie tools like these together with their existing tools for windows; something like a built-in mremote [mremote.org] , even if not freeware/OSS like mremote (although the mremote author today posted that he's going to be moving to a for-pay model and away from GPL).

Keep away (2, Insightful)

Wowsers (1151731) | more than 6 years ago | (#23245756)

I dual boot Linux and Windows, the less Windows knows about Linux on the system all the better, especially when you consider Windows wants to do stuff like on re-installing Windows, install it's boot loader over the better Linux one. Who knows what Windows would do to file permissions.

Re:Keep away (1)

jrgp (1240388) | more than 6 years ago | (#23246346)

Oh good god. I don't see any point whatsoever in Microsoft creating client to manage software it has no experience with whatsoever. $50 says every file on the system will be owned by root.

So, they are including (1)

lazy_nihilist (1220868) | more than 6 years ago | (#23245762)

Putty.

Chose Wisely (1)

Hibia (1279782) | more than 6 years ago | (#23245764)

A) Complete fail, with plenty of problems B) Useless Also: Cygwin if you are THAT attached to your Windows. But seriously, who wants to be managing something with a GUI under Windows, when you could be SSHing in and changing all the settings.

Re:Chose Wisely (1)

vux984 (928602) | more than 6 years ago | (#23245848)

But seriously, who wants to be managing something with a GUI under Windows, when you could be SSHing in and changing all the settings.

Yeah, that's why all those cpanel and webmin products are so unpopular. Oh wait... they are extremely popular. Hmmm... maybe people do want this.

I know I do... I like to be able to ssh and change all the settings. But I also like being able to flip a checkbox on a form when I just need to change one setting, or even better, delegate flipping that setting to somebody much less tech savvy than me... and without worry that one typo can bork the entire [whatever].

Choice is good. Competition is good. We're not losing anything here so what's the problem?

Re:Chose Wisely (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23245998)

"Choice is good. Competition is good."

I could go for that in this case except that almost everything Microsoft produces is crap. Their products are not competitive because their market is not and they sit on their intellectual asses. Therefore they provide little if any real choice.

Plus, I distrust them, but only because they've earned that distrust.

Re:Chose Wisely (4, Funny)

Mr. Sketch (111112) | more than 6 years ago | (#23246012)

But seriously, who wants to be managing something with a GUI under Windows
A Windows user?

Re:Chose Wisely (2, Insightful)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 6 years ago | (#23246140)

Many people. Have you ever used MOM or something like it? There are no FOSS products that can give an overview and easy management of a hundred or so Linux systems like MOM, or BMC, or CA or Tivoli can do with Windows. Attitudes like your are why FOSS is so far behind. Many people want an easy way to manage 100 desktops before they deploy 100 desktops. And while Microsoft makes some crappy products, they are always easy. Microsoft could own this market very fast, and that should scare you. The fact is that all the easy ways to manage a large number of Linux systems are closed source. Why is that? PS: If I am wrong, please post some links. I hope I am wrong, because SSHing into all the systems I support is killing me.

Re:Chose Wisely (2, Insightful)

Kent Recal (714863) | more than 6 years ago | (#23246344)

Many people who want to deploy "100 desktops" (or rather "100 servers" in this context) will first want to hire competent staff to manage said hosts.
For OSS unix-management stuff I'd point to puppet, cfengine, FAI (debian specific) and others. As usual there is not "one tool to rule them all" but a set of building blocks that competent staff will assemble into something suitable to the task.

Re:Chose Wisely (1)

isj (453011) | more than 6 years ago | (#23246216)

IMHO, A mix of GUI+command-line works best. I use Yast for the initial setup, and the command-line for tweaking. I wouldn't dream of setting up network cards initially via the command-line. I guess that it depends on whether the GUI simplifies a task without being too limited. Examples:
Adding network cards: Yast manages udev detection, persistent interface naming, and ip/mask. Command-line would be too cumbersome.
Adding NFS mount: command-line wins here (1 line in /etc/fstab)
Adding software: yast is OK. Yum is nice too. download+untar+compile+install? Only if I have to.
Adding a user: I always end up using "useradd" and "groupadd" to have complete control.
Configuring init.d: GUI runlevel management is easier than making symbolic links myself.
Adding a printer to cups: GUI wins here.

So I think the whole idea of managing unix and linux from a Windows GUI tool depends on on the quality of the software an whether it offers any value for a system administrator.

Re:Chose Wisely (1)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 6 years ago | (#23246434)

Configuring init.d: GUI runlevel management is easier than making symbolic links myself.
But a command-line tool such as chkconfig or rc-update is easier than either a GUI or making the symbolic links yourself. In fact, Red Hat's system-config-* tools are very effective.

Re:Chose Wisely (1)

Drakin020 (980931) | more than 6 years ago | (#23246364)

But seriously, who wants to be managing something with a GUI under Windows, when you could be SSHing in and changing all the settings
Umm...because it's easier?

Itsatrap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23245768)

OK, OK, it gets overused on MS stories... but there certainly hasn't been a more appropriate one for it recently.

Re:Itsatrap (1)

mysidia (191772) | more than 6 years ago | (#23246006)

That's probably exactly what they're using to build this tool.

SNMP Traps and SNMP Queries.

Some times of monitoring of Unix systems will work.

Advanced system management features will probably only work on Windows hosts.

Hmmmmm. (1, Funny)

jd (1658) | more than 6 years ago | (#23245776)

I see you are trying to manage Linux. Do you want help installing Vista instead?

  • Yes
  • No, I'll install Vista myself now
  • killall clippy

Indemnity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23245782)

Manages them? Or documents the number of patent violations employed by a company and reports back to Microsoft?

it's the GUI stupid (1)

noshellswill (598066) | more than 6 years ago | (#23245792)

Long overdue. Until now a casual home lusr had to UNDERSTAND his *nix system to manage it. Thank goodness for the M$ GUI.

Re:it's the GUI stupid (1)

plantman-the-womb-st (776722) | more than 6 years ago | (#23246494)

Why exactly do you think that the casual home user is trying to manage a room full of servers?

we really promise to play nice this time... (1)

harvey the nerd (582806) | more than 6 years ago | (#23245802)

Uh, no thanks. We work too hard to avoid defective products, extortion, and sources of malware for anymore chances. Please extend, embrace and extinguish yourselves.

Better management and monitoring tools (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23245814)

There are much better solutions out there:

Nagios, Hyperic, Versiera, Zennos and SpiceWorks.

Re:Better management and monitoring tools (1)

drakaan (688386) | more than 6 years ago | (#23246592)

I can't speak to how easy MOM is to use, but (about a year ago), I gave nagios and Zennos a try, without much luck. Configuration was difficult enough that I didn't know where to look for what to try and reconfigure. I was looking for an open-source OpenView replacement. I may revisit them (and look at the other two), if they're working better now...

GPL? (0)

Gonoff (88518) | more than 6 years ago | (#23245834)

Will this stuff be infringing the GPL in any way? You might wonder if MS' lawyers have looked over this but we have heard in the past that Bill & Steve consider it a Communist plot or something...

Re:GPL? (1)

shadylookin (1209874) | more than 6 years ago | (#23245980)

even MS can use linux. They'd only violate the gpl if they took code from an existing gpl'ed project and made their own without releasing the source.

That's not a control panel! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23245844)

Look out, it's a trap!

Thanks Microsoft, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23245870)

...Unix/Linux systems can be managed just fine without your supposed "help." You'll find that out soon enough when no one uses your piece of shit beta.

Microsoft Linux (3, Interesting)

calebt3 (1098475) | more than 6 years ago | (#23245974)

So they are building a GUI to manage Linux servers. Could this eventually lead to a MS Linux distribution? (of course one that masks the cli and possibly has it's own proprietary clones of all the 'standard' programs)

Re:Microsoft Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23246110)

It is called Xenix. (Ok, so it's Unix and not Linux)

Re:Microsoft Linux (2, Informative)

jcr (53032) | more than 6 years ago | (#23246132)

MS washed their hands of Xenix a long time ago. They sold its rotting corpse to SCO.

-jcr

Re:Microsoft Linux (1)

Deanalator (806515) | more than 6 years ago | (#23246640)

I believe you are referring to SUSE. Not that there is anything wrong with that, I think microsoft is actually trying hard to make sure you can easily run a linux server farm in a windows datacenter.

I think that this is why microsoft has been hiring up so many xen/suse people. From their hires and acquisitions, you can tell that microsoft is investing a TON into the virtualization market.

Manage a Unix/Linux System from an MS System? (1)

walter_f (889353) | more than 6 years ago | (#23245982)

Why should anybody want to do this?

Strange idea, very strange.

Re:Manage a Unix/Linux System from an MS System? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23246136)

So that MSCEs can continue to point and click in bliss?

Afterall *nix admins manage windows boxes by installing unix style utilities. Microsoft must realize that if their point and click experts were to actually learn the standard cli tools, most wouldn't want to work with Windows ever again.

Re:Manage a Unix/Linux System from an MS System? (1)

ancientt (569920) | more than 6 years ago | (#23246164)

Well, for those of us using MS management tools, this may (potentially) provide a nice consolidation of the tools we use. If I could get a plug-in that would consolidate the updating processes and reporting, then yes, that would be handy.

Certainly I can do everything that I need to with the tools from each system, but it wouldn't hurt my feelings if it could all be done through one interface with the reports bundled into one system that works well with MS Severs that I already have to support. No argument that it would make me just as happy if Red Hat, Novell or Ubuntu came out with the same product that would manage multiple systems, but MS has source code and the ability to develop directly for both, which as unfair as it may be, the Linux community cannot have.

The way I see it, if MS decides to develop tools for Linux systems management, the admin of mixed systems will have three choices:

  • Continue to use the tools that come natively with each system
  • Build custom tools to consolidate the common functionality of updating, monitoring and reporting for each
  • Use tools that manage homogeneous systems even if those tools come from MS.

MS will make me consider two questions. First, are the tools provided by MS good enough to replace some of the ones I already use for Linux systems? And as an ancillary second, do I prefer to take a stand for my ideals or do I prefer the convenience?

Re:Manage a Unix/Linux System from an MS System? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23246456)

Why should anybody want to do this?
Simple, to allow virus writers easy access to a Unix/Linux system.

Step 1, infect Windows Operating system with virus
Step 2, use Windows remote control software to gain easy access to Unix/Linux system as MS control software may/will run as root on *nix
Step 3, root Windows and all controlling *nix boxes at the same time.... claim "Cracker of all OS" status
Step 4, listen to Microsoft say: see *nix can be infected, it's not just our OS.
Step 5, MS will add UAC patch to *nix kernel to make it as secure as Vista

And yes, some previous poster is correct, http://connect.microsoft.com/ [microsoft.com] looks like a dating site....

Give me a brake it is 2:30am here....

Re:Manage a Unix/Linux System from an MS System? (1)

Hucko (998827) | more than 6 years ago | (#23246926)

And it looks like they are using Ubuntu brown!

Ha, I'm doing just the opposite (4, Interesting)

rwa2 (4391) | more than 6 years ago | (#23246018)

A lot of my work these days deals with getting Windows boxes to act more like *NIX boxes so I can operate them remotely from a central Linux box.

It's working out pretty well, actually... I set up cygwin with sshd installed in interactive mode, so I can run a script on the central server and have a cluster of WinXP machines all open an application simultaneously, such as play a video simultaneously or connect to a set of VNC servers all at once. I can also use rsync to efficiently distribute and keep a set of files up to date.

Still running into a bunch of limitations of what I can do remotely, such as set the display mode to a certain resolution, etc. so it ultimately won't keep me from replacing the remote machines with a bunch of custom Knoppix LiveCDs eventually. But at least this way I can still leverage the other Windows sysadmins we have an abundance of.

Re:Ha, I'm doing just the opposite (1)

fbartho (840012) | more than 6 years ago | (#23246204)

I'm not endorsing this since I've never used it, but there is a freeware application that lets you change the resolution from the commandline:
http://www.softpedia.com/get/System/OS-Enhancements/Resolution-Changer.shtml [softpedia.com]

It can do it temporarily or permanently, and you can set it to run a second application and revert resolutions when the application quits.

Re:Ha, I'm doing just the opposite (1)

rwa2 (4391) | more than 6 years ago | (#23246760)

Yeah, the main deficiency is that I actually have to set up the special clone modes used by the nVidia drivers. nVidia does ship with a handy profile manager tool as part of nView, but I haven't figured out how to launch it from the command line in such a way that it actually restores a profile. Maybe if I played around with AutoHotKey some more I could create a script/macro that does it by manipulating the GUI, but yuck.

Another nVidia / nView problem I'm running into is launching applications on other displays. I can set up nView to automatically place applications with a certain name on the 2nd display. But when I launch the same thing remotely through ssh, it always comes up on the primary desktop, even if I launch it via a batch script or AutoHotKey script. I've tried comparing and tweaking various environment variables between the local command prompt and the ssh command prompt, but no joy.

Sorry to hijack thread with work woes :P

actually you could probably do that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23246458)

that is actually quite interesting....
i can vision mass installs or something?

you can write a lot of fascinating scripts using pywin-32 that do things like change resolution... specialized windows stuff that pywin32 hooks into... the problem is how to securely set them off remotely. . . ???

Re:actually you could probably do that (1)

fbartho (840012) | more than 6 years ago | (#23246554)

sshd with keys isn't secure enough for you?

Interesting implications (1)

bcmm (768152) | more than 6 years ago | (#23246038)

It almost seems as if they have just noticed that there is nothing they can do about Linux's domination of the server world, or the decline of the desktop, and have decided that Windows can be the the frontend/thin client.

Ignorance is bliss (2, Informative)

thethibs (882667) | more than 6 years ago | (#23246040)

Does anyone here have even a faint idea of what Operations Manager is? Judging from the posts so far, the answer is obviously "Not a clue".

It's not a remote shell.

"Infringing the GPL?!" LOL!

Re:Ignorance is bliss (1)

thethibs (882667) | more than 6 years ago | (#23246054)

Come to think of it, I think it deserves a full-blown ROTFLOL!

Re:Ignorance is bliss (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#23246282)

An attempt to put an MS label on non MS boxes.

This may be a good thing in the long run (4, Insightful)

mlts (1038732) | more than 6 years ago | (#23246044)

Devil's advocate here:

Long term, this might be a help for Linux and other UNIX variants. A lot of companies are required, either due to regulations, contract or their own corporate policies to perform audits on computer systems. Having a "one stop shop" by MS where someone can punch a button and generate a report on vital machine statistics for every single thing hooked up to the corporate network, down to the USB powered urinals, regardless of OS being run, will allow IT shops more freedom in choosing operating systems.

Having OS independence for this tool would allow a shop to use Linux for a number of servers, but when audit time comes around, it will be as easy to print out a report about the machine's and how it adheres to corporate policy as the Windows machines. Audits of machine and network infrastructure security are a critical part of a lot of businesses and any tool that allows this to be made easier is definitely a help.

Using a tool like this, a business can not just say to a prospective client that "all our network connected computers have antivirus, antispyware, and firewall software installed that are kept updated", but actually show it, by showing a report that even the Solaris boxes have Mcafee installed [1] with current vdef files.

[1]: Yes, we all know about UNIX boxes and viruses, but there are lots of times when virus scanning software has to be present on all machines due to contract or legal reasons, even if the installed program just takes up space in /usr/local and the only thing it does is fire up a cron job to update the virus definitions and occasionally run a filesystem scan.

Re:This may be a good thing in the long run (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23246074)

The thing that most impressed me about your post was that you actually know what MOM does (unlike almost every other post in this thread).

Re:This may be a good thing in the long run (1)

thethibs (882667) | more than 6 years ago | (#23246194)

Listen to the man—he knows whereof he speaks.

Microsoft didn't just dream this up. Their customers, including a few of my clients, have been asking for this. A lot of non-trivial data centres run a mix of platforms—LAMP for Web, Windows Server for file services and AD, something else for databases,... They want to manage all this with a single management environment and toolkit.

Microsoft is doing what it does best. It's responding to a well-defined customer need.

Re:This may be a good thing in the long run (1)

Kent Recal (714863) | more than 6 years ago | (#23246278)

Admittedly I have only glimpsed at TFA. But what the hell does "manage" mean in this context?
Last time I checked our hosts ran a mixed set of services, most of which are best (and most comfortably) "managed" from the command line - by editing config files.

What is MS gonna do, create a GUI frontend for every piece of OSS unix software out there?
Preferably a unified one?

Excuse me while I go laugh my ass off.

It's called Tivoli -- And it's by IBM. (1)

mikelieman (35628) | more than 6 years ago | (#23246666)

And when your data center grows up to be big and strong, you can buy it too.

Re:This may be a good thing in the long run (1)

grcumb (781340) | more than 6 years ago | (#23246354)

...USB powered urinals....

Man you give a whole new meaning to the phrase 'hot plug'.

One Command (1)

KwKSilver (857599) | more than 6 years ago | (#23246064)

My guess is that they will only support one command, e.g., dummy@dodo:~# rm -rf

8-(

From Microsoft (1)

Ariastis (797888) | more than 6 years ago | (#23246130)

"Please use our BETA software to manage your stable servers. kthnxbai"

Re:From Microsoft (1)

s4ltyd0g (452701) | more than 6 years ago | (#23246818)

Well of course. Besides, Microsoft has a proven track record for building secure systems. What could possibly go wrong?

Microsoft Helps Police Crack Your Computer (1)

chartreuse (16508) | more than 6 years ago | (#23246188)

I can't believe it -- am I really the first person to think of this story [slashdot.org] and wonder if they'd make a USB key to unlock Linux, too?

Awesome! (1)

Vexorian (959249) | more than 6 years ago | (#23246220)

You do not need windows anymore to get locked into Microsoft!

Hmmm.. (1)

PenguinGuy (307634) | more than 6 years ago | (#23246240)

I read it as 'MS Beta Software to Mangle Unix/Linux Systems'..

Which makes more sense..

OH BOY !!! (2, Funny)

unity100 (970058) | more than 6 years ago | (#23246250)

their software cant manage their own systems thoroughly. now its gonna manage linux ? oh boy oh boy oh boy !! hot jupiters !

Re:OH BOY !!! (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#23246298)

Well, this system has the advantage of managing non-MS systems.

Cool... (1)

PaulusMagnus (797138) | more than 6 years ago | (#23246310)

...and next week I'll be giving the keys to my Porsche to my 12 year old son to look after.

Bite the Bullet (2, Interesting)

VeteranNoob (1160115) | more than 6 years ago | (#23246338)

Why doesn't Microsoft just bite the bullet and base the next version of Windows on Linux or BSD?

We could finally see a secure and maintainable version of Windows. And Linux might finally see its adoption on the desktop like it has always sought.

It is obvious that Windows has become stagnant. Adoption seems to be nil, or possibly even negative. When ordinary (read: non-geek) acquaintances go out of their way to trash Vista, you know it's in trouble. And I don't believe their code-base is the issue, either, since they've purportedly redone it. Instead, I think they're suffering from decades of complacency due to having no competition. And if they don't change their tune soon, they risk being surpassed.

OTOH, Linux is ready for prime-time. With technologies like HAL, Udev, and Dbus (amongst many others), Linux is easily growing out of its role as a server O/S. Everything is in place to create any kind of application, securely, from a Compiz-enabled desktop to a POS register. That's more than I can say for Windows, despite it being deployed on these platforms. The only barriers left are formalities and time. Linux is poised to dominate, and Microsoft must be aware of that considering their recent behavior.

They should take a hint from Apple, hit the reset switch on Windows and rebuild it from Linux. They could use their experience to develop a more modularized, secure, stable operating system than they have ever been able to offer.

They probably wouldn't reap the profits that they are used to, but then again they probably aren't doing that now. In fact, I would expect that they would divert some of their focus away from their Windows product line. After all, Linux-based Windows could be a nearly free enabler to all of their other product lines. Also, Microsoft could gain a bit of goodwill by contributing their changes back to the community and finally owning up to their so-called open source initiative.

It can be easily argued that Microsoft needs goodwill more than it needs wealth at the moment.

Re:Bite the Bullet (1)

turing_m (1030530) | more than 6 years ago | (#23246850)

Everything is in place to create any kind of application, securely, from a Compiz-enabled desktop to a POS register. That's more than I can say for Windows, despite it being deployed on these platforms.
I think you are being too harsh. Windows ME is widely regarded as the gold standard of POS operating systems. Vista comes close, at least on slashdot.

some more information (2, Informative)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 6 years ago | (#23246374)

Yahoo News [yahoo.com]
Microsoft leverages two community projects promoting open protocols for network management-- Web Services for Management and OpenPegasus-- to enable cross-platform support. Microsoft also has joined the steering committee for the OpenPegasus project and will contribute royalty-free code to the project

some articles via Google News [google.com]

Nexus SC: The System Center Team Blog [technet.com]

Information Week [informationweek.com]

Microsoft won't just rip the code from OpenPegasus, but will join IBM, HP and others on the OpenPegasus Steering Committee and contribute code back to the project under the OSI-approved Microsoft Public License, which the Free Software Foundation has said is compatible with the GNU GPL version 3. The terms of the Microsoft Public License mean that any code Microsoft contributes will be freely modifiable and usable by anyone, so long as copyrights in the code are left intact.

"It's very important to me that we use OSI-approved licenses when using open source," Sam Ramji, Microsoft's director of platform strategy and one of its top open source advocates, said in an interview.

Microsoft's adoption of OpenPegasus for the Operations Manager add-in could be seen as a small data point that shows Microsoft is getting a little bit more comfortable with the open source world by working with IBM and others on an open source project. It's not like Microsoft is open sourcing all of System Center, but it is a step nonetheless.

Re:some more information (1)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 6 years ago | (#23246422)

Crap. Take off the trailing 'J' from the Yahoo article for that one to work. *sigh*

IBM Called (1)

bhmit1 (2270) | more than 6 years ago | (#23246386)

They're pulling support [ibm.com] for the Tivoli Enterprise Console (TEC). You're supposed to be developing for Omnibus [ibm.com] now.

yet another virus vector (1)

fred fleenblat (463628) | more than 6 years ago | (#23246414)

So when my windows box gets pwned, the botmaster can just wait for root access next time I uses MOM and then he gets my linux cluster too? No thanks.

Say what? (1)

thatskinnyguy (1129515) | more than 6 years ago | (#23246510)

For a second there I thought I misparsed the title as "Fox guards hen house".

One GUI (1)

unchiujar (1030510) | more than 6 years ago | (#23246674)

One GUI To Rule Them All, One GUI To Find Them, One GUI To Bring Them All And Under Windows Bind Them....

oxymoron (1)

gzipped_tar (1151931) | more than 6 years ago | (#23246676)

>"The Cross Platform and Interop team at Microsoft"

What an elaborate oxymoron.

btw Why don't they develop a Linux tool for managing Windows machines instead? We already have OpenSSH.

GPL (1)

Danzigism (881294) | more than 6 years ago | (#23246680)

would someone please modify the GPL to say "Anyone can use this code unless you are Microsoft"

MS Open Standards Participation (1)

bluescreen (90218) | more than 6 years ago | (#23246732)

These extensions are built using a recently ratified open standard called WS-Management from the DMTF.

Microsoft and 11 vendors submitted a proposal to this standards body in 2005.
They then worked with the committee through the standards process as the spec evolved and came to its final standard status just recently.
The spec was ratified as preliminary standard in mid-2006.
Many changes were made by committee voting process. Microsoft's implementation is a core part of the OS, called "Windows Remote Management" or "winrm". As this was happening Microsoft kept its development team in sync with the committee so that changes could be made in the OS.
  Vista shipped compliant with the Preliminary Standard version and MIcrosoft has shipped updates both to Vista and downlevel operating systems like windows XP to bring it into compliance with the standard.

The system center extensions make use of the winrm component to communicate with non-windows systems including Linux and embedded hardware such as Intel vPro and AMD equivalents.

you can find the specification at: http://www.dmtf.org/standards/wsman [dmtf.org]

Windows 7??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23246748)

Could this mean that Microsoft will be releasing their own flavor of Linux/BSD under the guise of Windows 7?

I just shot... (1)

sblanky (643844) | more than 6 years ago | (#23246806)

Beer out of my nose I laughed so hard at the thought. Why in THE HELL would anyone want to do this? Next up: How to put a 4-cylinder engine in your corvette.

...what? (1)

FedeLebron (977157) | more than 6 years ago | (#23246934)

The Cross Platform and Interop team at Microsoft...

Cooperating with China's Public Information and Human Rights team?
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