Windows IT Pro UPDATE--March 27, 2007--Microsoft Updates Management Roadmap

----------------| Windows IT Pro UPDATE |----------------

In This Issue * Microsoft Updates Management Roadmap * From Windows IT Pro:
Tell Us About the Products You Love! Voting Has Opened in the Windows IT Pro 2007 Community Choice Awards! * From the Community:
FAQ: Administrative Installation of Office 2007
Networking Perspectives: Daylight Saving Time 2007
Updates * Protect Your PCs From Unauthorized Portable Storage Devices



FREE UTILITY: Disk Performance Analyzer for Networks

Protect Exchange Server with Microsoft's Data Protection Manager


Sponsor: Argent Software

NETWORK TESTING LABS COMPARES ARGENT TO MOM 2005 Network Testing Labs, one of the world's leading independent research companies, concluded that "Argent's suite had a smaller footprint, was more scalable, supported more platforms, had a more responsive and intuitive user interface and gave us more useful reports," the report says. "Argent's suite of monitoring products emerged from our testing with flying colors."

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***Commentary: Microsoft Updates Management Roadmap
by Paul Thurrott, News Editor, [email protected]

Microsoft Management Summit 2007 is taking place this week, and during the event, Microsoft will lay out its plans for the busiest year ever with regards to the company's management products. If you're familiar with the current lineup, which includes such products as Systems Management Server (SMS) and Microsoft Operations Manager (MOM), be prepared for some name changes: All of Microsoft's management products are being rebranded under the System Center moniker. But these new products aren't just about rebranding. This year, we're going to see some major changes.

First, about those name changes. MOM is being renamed System Center Operations Manager and SMS is being renamed to System Center Configuration Manager. Microsoft says the name changes are all about keeping these interrelated solutions in the same product family, so that customers can quickly and easily understand that they integrate. Too, the new name for SMS--System Center Configuration Manager--is more descriptive: This product is about configuration management, and the new name reflects that.

OK, let's get a bit specific, though it's a big list. Here are some of the product announcements Microsoft will make at the show this week:

System Center Operations Manager 2007. Operations Manager will provide proactive monitoring of your IT services, including distributed applications, applications, servers, and clients. Like so many Microsoft servers these days, it will be roles-based, especially with regards to security, and self-monitoring. The new Operations Manager management console uses a now-familiar Microsoft Outlook-like design and integrates with Microsoft's best-practices data so that you don't get just alerts for problems, but also receive information about fixing those problems, right from the console. This product will be finalized in April and shipped to customers soon thereafter.

System Center Configuration Manager 2007. One big focus is getting all those management packs into the core product while using the new task-based Microsoft Management Console (MMC) 3.0 management interface. Like its predecessor, Configuration Manager 2007 is designed for deploying client software and security updates, and change and configuration management; Beta 2 was released in February. This product will be finalized in late summer.

System Center Data Protection Manager 2.0. The current version of the Data Protection Manager disk-based backup solution is targeted at file servers only, but the upcoming version, (2.0) reaches a much broader audience. It will work with both disk and tape storage devices and will back up Exchange Server 2007 and Exchange Server 2003, SQL Server 2005 and SQL Server 2000, and Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 and Microsoft Office SharePpoint Server 2007, in addition to Windows Server 2003 and Longhorn Server file servers and Windows Vista and Windows X-based file shares. But the big news is that Data Protection Manager 2.0 will also back up Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 R2-based virtual servers as well. Beta 2 is expected publicly in April with the final release expected in late summer.

System Center Essentials. This new tool, aimed at mid-sized businesses and also expected in "Centro" Medium Business Server and the next version of Microsoft Small Business Server (SBS), provides a unified console for proactively managing servers, clients, hardware, software, and IT services, while being aimed at the IT generalists who typically work in this market. It's designed for businesses with as many as 30 servers and 500 clients and includes a simple, Outlook-like management console. System Center Essentials recently shipped in release candidate (RC) form. The final version is expected in the next quarter.

System Center Virtual Machine Manager. When you consider the suddenly burgeoning family of Microsoft virtualization products--which includes such things as Virtual Server, Virtual PC, SoftGrid, presentation virtualization in "Longhorn" Terminal Services, and the upcoming Windows Server Virtualization (Hypervisor) add-on for Longhorn Server, it makes sense that Microsoft would finally turn its attention to managing virtual machines (VMs). Virtual Machine Manager will help an organization manage its datacenter-based virtual assets from a central location and include VM provisioning, resource optimization, physical-to-virtual (P2V) conversion functionality, all via a MOM/Configuration Manager-type UI with PowerShell-based scripting capabilities. This product will also be finalized in late summer.

System Center Service Desk. A new product aimed at the service desk, Service Desk (not the final name) will provide tools for managing incidents, changes and provisioning, assets, service requests, and internal knowledge bases. It will include a number of report types and progress-tracking tools and integrate with other System Center products. (For example, you can automatically create and escalate incident reports in Service Desk that are based on services monitored by Operations Manager 2007.) This product will hit public beta in April and be finalized in the first half of 2008.

Oh, and ... Public Beta of Office Communications Server 2007 Is Now Available Finally, I wrote about Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 last week and noted that I'd provide an update when the public beta was available. Well, it is. Head over to the Microsoft Web site to find out more and grab the beta.

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***From Windows IT Pro

Tell Us About the Products You Love! What products are you using that save you time or make your workload a little lighter? What hot product discoveries have you made that other IT pros need to know about? Let the world know about your experiences in Windows IT Pro's monthly What's Hot department. If we publish your story in What's Hot, we'll send you a Best Buy gift card! Send information about your favorite product and how it has helped you to [email protected]


Voting Has Opened in the Windows IT Pro 2007 Community Choice Awards! Vote for your favorite products from the Buyer's Guides we published in Windows IT Pro over the past 12 months. The first three categories--Host-Based Intrusion Systems, KVM over IP Switches, and Ultra-Portable Laptops--are now open for voting on the Windows IT Pro forums. We'll open three new categories each week for the next three weeks, and voting will remain open for three weeks per category. To see the list of products in each category and place your vote, follow these links: Host-Based Intrusion Prevention Systems ( )

KVM over IP Switches ( )

Ultra-Portable Laptops ( ).

***From the Community FAQ: Administrative Installation of Office 2007
by John Savill,

Q: How do I create an administrative installation of Microsoft Office 2007?

Find the answer at

------ Networking Perspectives
by Alan Sugano, [email protected]

Daylight Saving Time 2007 Updates Alan Sugano has created an outline of the processes he went through to patch his consulting clients' systems for the DST change. Find out whether you've forgotten anything.


Tell us what you think in this month's Instant Poll: "Does your organization use or plan to use SharePoint document-sharing and collaboration technologies?"

~~~~ Hot Spot: ~~~~

Protect Exchange Server with Microsoft's Data Protection Manager
Learn how you can use Microsoft System Center Data Protection Manager 2007 (DPM) to extend the native Exchange Server feature set for continuous data protection. From business case to recovery scenarios, this whitepaper demonstrates how DPM 2007 will integrate with your Exchange Server infrastructure.

Download your version of the white paper now.


***New and Improved
by Blake Eno, [email protected]

Protect Your PCs From Unauthorized Portable Storage Devices
CoSoSys announced Secure it Easy, endpoint security software for Windows Vista that works as a protective layer between PCs and portable storage devices. With Secure it Easy, only devices that have been authorized by the PC's administrator can be used to transfer data to and from the PC. All other devices are automatically blocked from reading or writing data. Secure it Easy also provides administrators with notification emails when unauthorized devices have been connected to PCs. Secure it Easy is compatible with Windows XP and Windows 2000, in addition to Vista. Licenses for Secure it Easy start at $44.95 per installation. You can download a free, 30-day trial of the software at CoSoSys' Web site.

==== Events and Resources ==== Deploy Exchange Server 2007 Without a Hitch! This one-day technical training event teaches you how to preempt pitfalls and avoid corrupting your infrastructure. Learn how to effectively install, manage, and secure Exchange Server 2007 in a 64-bit environment. You'll also get a peek into the integration of Outlook, SharePoint Server 2007, and Exchange Server 2007. Register today!

Windows Connections 2007 April 1-4, 2007, Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress in Orlando, Florida. Dive into the new Windows, Exchange, and Office releases as Microsoft architects and industry experts present over 130 sessions! Register and reserve your hotel room, and get a FREE hotel room night (three-night minimum stay). For details, call 800-505-1201 or 203-268-3204.

Windows + UNIX/Linux = You Need TechX World! If you work in an environment that includes Windows plus UNIX or Linux, TechX World is the place to go for practical strategies and resources to add to your toolkit. This one-day technical training event will teach you how to make the most of open-source tools on Windows and how to manage and sync multiple directories. Register today!

Get Ready for the Windows Server Longhorn Roadshow! Seize control of your Windows infrastructure with Microsoft's biggest server release since Windows 2003. Get a live, under-the-hood look at Longhorn virtualization, deployment, Web services, and breakthroughs in core reliability. This one-day event is filled with demonstrations and in-depth discussions designed for IT pros who want a deep understanding of Windows Server Longhorn.

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