In-Depth

Muglia Maps Microsoft's 'Journey Towards Dynamic IT'

Bob Muglia, senior vice president of the Microsoft Server and Tools division, talks .NET, Windows Server 2008, SQL and more

The traditional "vision" keynote gives way to optimization, virtualization and standardization of existing IT infrastructure along with new agile business processes and modeling to reverse the 70/30 ratio of IT maintenance to new solution spending at Tech●Ed's 15th anniversary.

Following a 15-minute opening video segment with Christopher Lloyd ("Doc" Brown from the "Back to the Future" movie trilogy), Bob Muglia, senior vice president of the Microsoft Server and Tools division, got down to business by lamenting the traditional 70/30 split of IT spending between maintenance and "new business value."

Muglia went on to say that Microsoft wants to create a "roadmap to solving the business problems you have" today with "optimization models … in four steps from basic to dynamic … to get better business results." He said that adopting these three optimization models produces a "tremendous return on investment" for Microsoft customers:

You can learn more about Core Infrastructure optimization on this TechNet page, which also describes the four steps (stages) in the process as:

Muglia said Microsoft's been working for four years on DSI (Dynamic System Initiative), which is a 10-year project, and even longer on .NET for building business applications with a high return on investment (ROI). He also mentioned the Trustworthy Computing Initiative for securing the platform and best policies for securing applications.

Despite Doc's declaration in the intro video that "vision" was verboten, Muglia listed these "four technology innovations [that] provide a vision of the future" for dynamic environments: unified and virtualized; process-led, model-driven; service-enabled;  and user-focused.

Following a brief video of an optimization testimonial by Energizer, Gartner Vice-President Tom Bittman assumed the stage, observing that "connections are becoming more pervasive," "response times are shrinking" for business partners and suppliers, and "windows of opportunity are smaller … but more frequent." He said that "agility is becoming a major factor in industry" and the "gap between agile and less agile companies is growing." Bittman defined agility as "sensing something new in the environment and doing something about it" and claimed that "agility is becoming more of a differentiator in a connected world." One problem, according to Bittman, is measuring agility; he claims your customers will measure it for you. (Note that agile in this context doesn't mean agile programming.)

The remainder of Muglia's keynote consisted primarily of demos of future products that might enhance agility. Windows Server 2008 "Server Core" technology will install and run the minimum services required for a designated server role; Internet Information Services (IIS) 7.0 will be allowed to run as a Server Core role. Virtual Machine Manager for Virtual Server will convert VMWare to Microsoft virtual machines automatically. The Intelligent Placement Wizard will recommend the optimum physical location for a new virtual machine. Quick Migration will move a virtual machine from one machine to another automatically. Unfortunately, the virtualization technology for Windows Server 2008 (code name "Viridian") is scheduled to ship about six months after the server RTMs in late 2007. The irony of future product demos is that agility delayed is agility denied.

Next came demos of Microsoft Operations Manager 2007 as a model-driven management tool running yet another expense account app, SQL Server 2008 (formerly "Katmai") policy-based management (RTM scheduled for 2008), BizTalk Server 2006 R2 (RTM in 2008Q3) and an incubator project called BizTalk Services (no RTM provided), and Visual Studio 2008 (formerly "Orcas," RTM planned for late 2007).

Finally, a Silverlight 1.0 app (beta) played video in a browser and the audience caught a glimpse of a video-editing app named "Top Banana" running in Silverlight 1.1 (alpha). It was not clear how Silverlight fit into the keynote's stated topic.

Muglia concluded with the announcement that Microsoft has acquired Engyro Corporation, maker of the Engyro Product Connector Suite for Microsoft Operations Manager. Microsoft also announced on Monday that the company had acquired Dundas Data Visualization Inc.'s Data Visualization products for SQL Server Reporting Services.

About the Author

Roger Jennings is an independent data-oriented .NET developer and computer book author. He's also a Visual Studio Magazine contributing editor and the author of oakleafblog.blogspot.com

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