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Microsoft and EMC go both ways with new tool

Redmond gets some Smarts

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Microsoft and EMC plan to fuse EMC's Smarts diagnostics software with Windows System Center Operations Manager as part of a licensing and technology collaboration, the companies said this week.

EMC Smarts is a network monitoring and mapping tool that pinpoints and prioritizes service problems. While its new B.F.F., Windows System Center Operations Manager functions as a server and client management package.

Currently, Windows System Center Operations Manager users must tap the Smarts Connector to bridge the two pieces of software. EMC has announced a new adapter available in May for Operations Manager 2007 that improves upon its predecessor. The new two-way connector will share network discovery, mapping and error detection with Operations Manager, while Operations Manager will return the favor in kind with alerts for Smarts.

Building on the corporate union, EMC has added Microsoft as a partner to develop a cross-platform service modeling language. A standard model would reduce the need for custom descriptions of every service on a network, lowering costs and system complexity for customers. EMC previously recruited Cisco to the cause, and hopes the two companies will inspire others to join.

"Instead of getting everyone around a white board to figure out how everything will work, our plan is first get two or three companies to take the first cut at it," said EMC Software Senior VP, Chris Gahagan. "You'll see the list become longer with more well-knowns in the industry in the near future." ®

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