What's new in Microsoft Systems Management Server?

InfoWorld |  Networking

MICROSOFT WILL HIGHLIGHT new features in the forthcoming release of its Systems Management Server (SMS), code-named Topaz, at the SMS and Windows 2000 User Conference, which runs this week in Las Vegas.

The gathering of developers and users gives IT and Windows administrators a chance to learn about product developments and receive hands-on technical training for SMS and Windows, according to event organizers.

David Hamilton, Microsoft's Director of Product Management, will deliver the opening keynote Tuesday, in which he will outline the Redmond, Wash.-based company's management road map.

Hamilton is expected to discuss new features of SMS, including support for mobile users and tighter integration with Active Directory capabilities in Windows 2000. Other enhancements being outlined are a new software metering client that allows the administrator to track which applications are being run and a new Web reporting feature.

Topaz will focus on change and configuration management processes such as distributing, updating, repairing, and removing computer systems, according to Microsoft officials. Topaz will be released for initial beta testing in the second half of the year.

In addition, Microsoft will showcase its Microsoft Operations Manager, a new application based on technology licensed from partner company NetIQ that is designed to work in tandem with SMS to monitor the performance and availability of networked systems, such as Windows 2000 Server and the Microsoft .NET Enterprise Server line of applications.

Microsoft Operations Manager is scheduled for beta testing in the first quarter of this year.

Houston-based Compaq Computer will also be on hand at the show, highlighting products and services designed to help users migrate to Windows 2000.

The user conference, which runs through Friday, includes a hands-on lab where users can learn from the Microsoft development team how to better manage and deploy a Windows environment.

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