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Amazon cloud floats into Microsoft data centers

AWS condenses inside System Center management software

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Admins can now manage Amazon Web Services infrastructure resources through Microsoft's System Center management tool – an incremental update that belies Bezos & Co's increasingly flamboyant seduction of Redmond data centers.

The AWS management Pack for System Center 2012 - Operations Manager, and System Center Operations Manager 2007 R2, was announced by Amazon on Wednesday. It bring Amazon cloud resources into the management interface of System Center, Microsoft's consolidated infrastructure fiddling platform.

"The AWS Management Pack enables you to view and monitor your AWS resources directly in the System Center Operations Manager console. This way, you can use a single, familiar console to monitor all your resources, whether they are on-premises or in the AWS cloud," Amazon wrote.

At launch, the management pack lets admins view EC2 instances, EBS storage volumes, Elastic Load Balancing, CloudFormation stacks, and AWS platform-as-a-service (Elastic Beanstalk) apps within System Center, but as with all Amazon launches this is likely to broaden over time.

It allows for granular app-level monitoring as well, so long as the EC2 instances are running an operations manager agent, and that the application-specific management packs are imported into Operations Manager.

Besides making it possible to view AWS resources within System Center, the tool has built-in integration with Amazon CloudWatch so that metrics and alarms in Amazon are displays as performance counters and alerts in Operations Manager.

"With the AWS Management Pack, you can gain a deep insight into the health and performance of your applications running within the Amazon EC2 instances," Amazon wrote.

By making it easier than ever for Microsoft admins to consume and manage AWS in a way that is deeply familiar to them, Amazon is slowly tip-toeing up on Azure's traditional stomping ground.

The integration of AWS into System Center follows a sustained campaign of increasing .NET compatibility. And with Microsoft Azure getting more expensive recently, there's no innate cost advantage over running Windows workloads there instead of in Amazon.

The free pack became available for download on Wednesday. It can be run with System Center either on-premise or in the cloud. Further information on configuration and system requirements is available online. ®

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