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Microsoft Operating Systems Software Unix Linux

MS Beta Software To Manage Unix/Linux Systems 246

Tumbleweed writes "The Cross Platform and Interop team at Microsoft today announced some new beta products for managing Unix/Linux systems from MS Operations Manager 2007, as well as connectors for HP OpenView and IBM Tivoli Enterprise Console. Both betas are available at Microsoft Connect (search for systemcenter), according the blog."
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MS Beta Software To Manage Unix/Linux Systems

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  • by BUL2294 ( 1081735 ) on Tuesday April 29, 2008 @07:08PM (#23245698)
    "You will disarm your command prompts and escort us into Linux as root. If you attempt to intervene, we will destroy you."
    • by ClickOnThis ( 137803 ) on Tuesday April 29, 2008 @07:25PM (#23245898) Journal

      "You will disarm your command prompts and escort us into Linux as root. If you attempt to intervene, we will destroy you."
      I think MS would like to destroy Linux whether anyone "intervenes" or not.

      Maybe I'm just paranoid, but I do wonder whether this is another "Embrace, Extend, Extinguish" tactic. Or at least an attempt by MS to create a "view" of Linux that it can control, perhaps in a way that is unflattering to Linux.
      • So they're going to pretend to be competent enough to play in the "Enterprise Management" arena. Like they pretend to be competent enough to play in every arena they've entered...

        Sometimes it works better than others. Now? Not so much... I see MSFT is down today, and going down further in after hours.

        RHT and GOOG are up, however.
        • So they're going to pretend to be competent enough to play in the "Enterprise Management" arena.

          When I hear about Microsoft getting into the "Enterprise Management" arena, I always expect them to pass out red shirts as freebies.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by mrbluze ( 1034940 )

        Maybe I'm just paranoid, but I do wonder whether this is another "Embrace, Extend, Extinguish" tactic.

        It is. Microsoft is trying to create an abstraction layer to Linux. This means that, gradually (or in one foul swoop), Microsoft can replace all the abstracted functionality with its own code. That's if anyone bothers to use the product. Why anyone would want to introduce this kind of level of inefficiency is beyond me. Linux is perfectly able to be managed through its own interfaces - with free updates!

        If you want to control Linux from a Microsoft system (or OS X), then there already are X clients aroun

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Culture20 ( 968837 )
      Indeed; I wonder how many times this app will randomly send a "kill -9 1"
      • Indeed; I wonder how many times this app will randomly send a "kill -9 1"
        I think rather it would be more subtle and issue:
        nice 19 firefox
        nice -15 iexplore
        nice 10 gimp
        nice -13 Silverlight
        nice 18 bash
        nice -18 wmiprvse
        nice 17 ssh
        nice -20 TrustedInstaller
    • Imagine this playing over [] Microsoft's recruitment center PA on April 1st.

      We are the Borg...We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own. Your culture will adapt to service us. Resistance is futile.
  • by apoc.famine ( 621563 ) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .enimaf.copa.> on Tuesday April 29, 2008 @07:09PM (#23245710) Journal
    Wtf? The gui tools available NATIVELY don't allow for any comprehensive management of Unix/Linux systems. Less is more, terminal is faster, text over ssh, bash scripting - the entire culture of *nix is anti-gui.

    How the fuck is MS going to make a gui to manage such systems?

    Or are they just reimplementing an ssh terminal?
    • webmin.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by zappepcs ( 820751 )
        Indeed... webmin can be quicker for stuff you can't remember the command line for, but it is ALWAYS best to learn the text/terminal/shell commands for the very same thing.

        I like a lot of webmin, but would rather just script quite a bit of stuff where I can. Much simpler than clickety clicks -- YMMV

        The REAL question is: Are there *ANY* *nix system admins out there that WANT MS to manage their systems? My head about exploded when I read the title. On second reading, well, it makes sense to be able to deal wi
        • by InlawBiker ( 1124825 ) on Tuesday April 29, 2008 @07:55PM (#23246210)
          Because then, theoretically, you don't have to have both Linux and Windows people on staff. I.T. managers want to hire less people, not more, and the Windows guys are usually cheaper.
          • Not when you need twice as many of them for the same number of servers. it might be down to 1.5 times now with win 2k3 but you still need more windows admins.

            So quantity over quality? In the end Windows costs the industry over $60 billions dollars a year. A figure from MSFT's sponsors.
          • by Nullav ( 1053766 )
            Why would I pick MS' hatchling and a few paper-certs over someone who knows what to do and brings his own tools? IT isn't something you forcefully dumb down with flashy toys and clip-on ties; it should be treated as a perpetual learning experience. (If the previously-mentioned 'flashy toy' is well-documented and has proper support for all of those nasty 'ifs', and those paper-certs are willing to google at times, I might actually like the idea.)
          • by symbolic ( 11752 )
            So THAT'S the plan...they're going to embrace the linux server space with clueless windows admins, who, through their own incompetence, will slowly extinguish any interest in Linux. Once you can get someone to play the role of a "connect the dots" admin, you can make all kinds of interesting things happen.
        • I always scratch my head when I see/hear comments like this. OK, we get it. "True" *nix admins do EVERYTHING from the command line. For years I was among the "command line is better" camp but I had an epiphany. The unwashed masses WANT a simplified GUI. And that includes many system admins who are overloaded and don't have time to write a script to streamline their process. Just because someone finds a GUI easier to use than a command line does not make them inept. A properly coded GUI SHOULD be easier to u
      • I was thinking along the lines of cPanel, actually.

        Oddly enough, it's a proprietary app managing thousands of Linux based websites, and doing quite well for itself, and no one's complaining.

        Now, imagine MS doing something along those lines, but with a more comprehensive feature set aimed at managing the whole system. If they come up with something that's as good as, if not better than cPanel, you *will* see admins lining up to license it. And you'll likely see productivity enhancements. And the occasional a
        • Want to really get your knickers in a bunch? Imagine MS releasing a competitor to KDE and Gnome. In fact, don't imagine it, *expect it*.

          I would be all for this, if it was actually a replacement for Windows -- that is, if they were to also deliver sufficient backwards compatibility to run all my Windows games.

          In fact, I'd settle for deprecating Direct3D in favor of OpenGL.

          Neither seems particularly likely, though. Your cPanel scenario seems a lot more likely -- pretty much anything that lets them force you to have a Win2K3 server somewhere.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by PPH ( 736903 )

      Command line or GUI, what Microsoft needs to do is to restrict the number of options available when administering Unix/Linux systems to the subset available for Windows. Then, the next question is: What can you do with *nix that you can't do with Windows (ignoring the crippled interface)? If the answer to that is: Nothing, then the next question is: Why not just use Windows?

      • What can you do with Linux that you can't do with Windows, and how can they interface it? Well... I'm still waiting for someone to actually _FIGURE OUT_ and then program a comprehensive interface to 'tc' and 'ip'. I'd hate to be the microsoftie assigned to those two! You could probably quite literally spend months just becoming familiar with all the various flags and options for both of them. Seriously, check out man tc and man ip. After the part about the six or seven balancing _OPTIONS_, they lead yo
      • Command line or GUI, what Microsoft needs to do is to restrict the number of options available when administering Unix/Linux systems

        No, no, no! Remember, we're talking Microsoft here. You administrate the system, not administer it!

      • by jimicus ( 737525 )

        If the answer to that is: Nothing, then the next question is: Why not just use Windows?

        I suspect you're playing Devil's (or maybe Microsoft's) advocate, but I'll give you a reason anyway.

        Because my employer already has an extensive Linux infrastructure, complete with a mail spool alone which would preclude any version of Exchange short of the full enterprise edition with support for very large mailstores. Last time I added the prices up I came to something like £80,000 setup and a further £40,000 per annum in licensing alone. My entire budget for 1 year including ha

    • by Venik ( 915777 )
      For the past year I've been struggling with Scali Manage - a cluster management tool that came with our two new HPC SLES clusters from HP. Essentially, Scali is an attempt to create a parasite OS on top of Linux. Scali does offer a couple of useful features, but nothing that can't be done by hand almost as easily and nothing that's worth all the additional problems it creates. The moral of the story is: if there are idiots willing to pay big bucks for useless software, there always will be those ready to ta
    • by Z34107 ( 925136 )

      How the fuck is MS going to make a gui to manage such systems?

      Windows (c)(tm)(R) for Linux! (Professional Business x64 Ultimate Edition!) (With powershell!)

      With Microsoft's experience in GUI development, Linux will finally be a real alternative to Windows for desktop machines!


    • by TheRealSlimShady ( 253441 ) on Tuesday April 29, 2008 @09:48PM (#23247180)
      It's an automated monitoring & alerting tool, rather than a GUI tool to perform actions that would traditionally be performed at the command line. So you just let your *nix system run, then when an error occurs (maybe an message gets logged in syslog, maybe a process that should be running isn't), the alerting system can alert you (email, SMS, IM), optionally take corrective action and resolve the issue automatically. You can also collect performance stats etc so you can do capacity planning and analysis. Screen shots here []
      • Actually, it's taking feeds from HPOV (SNMP) and TEC adapters (DM/ITM/Logfile Adapters) to feed their consoles. I don't think that the capability exists (though it may) for the MS console to execute Tivoli tasks on a given system. Otherwise they would have to write the APIs to talk through the Framework to get to the Endpoints. Otherwise you are loading yet another daemon on your Linux/UNIX system that needs to be monitored via ITM/DM or HPOV.

        If you already have TEC implementation in place, you should have
      • by jimicus ( 737525 )
        Ah, so they've reinvented the SNMP management console.

        Nice to see such extensive innovation.
    • Haha, that's...quaint. If you're managing 10,000 machines using ssh and bash scripts, you're an idiot. There's nothing anti-gui about UNIX, it's just about functional interfaces and not window-washing.
    • Why don't you look up Tivoli Systems and see what their product does? It will do software inventory and distribution, resource management, and alerting across a couple dozen operating systems at least (42 different flavors of Unix plus Windows NT when I worked there.) I think there's a security module, too. By the same token, you can use fwbuilder to manage firewall rules on like ten kinds of firewalls, one of which is Linux; it works by considering all machines the same internally (you just write rules) an
  • Or does that Connect Center login look like a dating site?

    • I am a: [ ] Red Hat Enterprise Linux [x] Suse Linux Enterprise [ ] CentOS [ ] Ubuntu looking for a: [x] Windows Server 2008 [ ] Windows Server 2003 [ ] Windows Small Business Server to: [ ] Communicate through RPCs [x] Manage me [ ] Replace me [ ] Invade my ports [ ] Infect me
  • I hope they find a way to tie tools like these together with their existing tools for windows; something like a built-in mremote [], even if not freeware/OSS like mremote (although the mremote author today posted that he's going to be moving to a for-pay model and away from GPL).
  • Keep away (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Wowsers ( 1151731 )
    I dual boot Linux and Windows, the less Windows knows about Linux on the system all the better, especially when you consider Windows wants to do stuff like on re-installing Windows, install it's boot loader over the better Linux one. Who knows what Windows would do to file permissions.
    • This has absolutely nothing to do with installing Windows and Linux on the same computer. It is a centralized management system for sysadmins. I would imagine that for mixed Linux/Windows networks (and I've seen plenty - usually it's AD & Exchange on Windows, file servers and often HTTP server for corporate intranet on Linux), it is quite handy to have a single tool to manage it all.
  • Hmmmmm. (Score:2, Funny)

    by jd ( 1658 )
    I see you are trying to manage Linux. Do you want help installing Vista instead?

    • Yes
    • No, I'll install Vista myself now
    • killall clippy
    • killall clippy

      please, don't do a half-assed job, mmmkay?

      # killall clippy
      # find / -name "*clippy*" -exec rm -f {} \;

      see ? that's how's done
      • Here, let me fix this for you:

        # cat >> /etc/rc.local
        killall -9 clippy
        find / -iname '*clippy*' -type f -exec shred -ufn 50 {} \;
        find / -iname '*clippy*' -exec rm -rf {} \;
        # `tail -3 /etc/rc.local`

        Translation, for the Unix-challenged: /etc/rc.local, at least on Ubuntu, is run at the end of a normal boot. This adds three lines to it and executes them. The first kills with -9, which sends signal 9, the "real" kill signal, which is near-immediate and cannot be ignored by the process. The second is lik

        • It just occurred to me that tail is a bit of a roundabout way of doing this. Cleaned up a bit more:

          # `tee -a /etc/rc.local`
          killall -9 clippy
          find / -iname '*clippy*' -type f -exec shred -ufn 50 {} \;
          find / -iname '*clippy*' -exec rm -rf {} \;

          That is technically a one-liner. In fact, let's literally make it a one-liner, because I'm bored.

          # `echo killall -9 clippy; find / -iname '*clippy*' -type f -exec shred -ufn 50 {} \;; find / -iname '*clippy*' -exec rm -rf {} \;; | tee -a /etc/rc.local`

          Technically not equivalent, as it makes the lines added to rc.local just as ugly, but it's probably the safest way of doing this. Of course, beware of bugs in the above code; I have neither proven it correct nor tested it, and I don't endorse actually doing this, for obvious reasons.

  • Uh, no thanks. We work too hard to avoid defective products, extortion, and sources of malware for anymore chances. Please extend, embrace and extinguish yourselves.
  • Microsoft Linux (Score:3, Interesting)

    by calebt3 ( 1098475 ) on Tuesday April 29, 2008 @07:32PM (#23245974)
    So they are building a GUI to manage Linux servers. Could this eventually lead to a MS Linux distribution? (of course one that masks the cli and possibly has it's own proprietary clones of all the 'standard' programs)
    • I believe you are referring to SUSE. Not that there is anything wrong with that, I think microsoft is actually trying hard to make sure you can easily run a linux server farm in a windows datacenter.

      I think that this is why microsoft has been hiring up so many xen/suse people. From their hires and acquisitions, you can tell that microsoft is investing a TON into the virtualization market.
    • Why make your own Linux distro when you can make money offering programs/services for managing/supporting others' distros? If Microsoft put their minds to it, they could easily hire a bunch of Linux gurus and offer better and/or cheaper support for Red Hat's own distros, and put Red Hat out of business. (Of course, that's part of the risk of the support-based revenue business model; if others can provide better support than you can for your own products, you're screwed.)
  • by rwa2 ( 4391 ) * on Tuesday April 29, 2008 @07:35PM (#23246018) Homepage Journal
    A lot of my work these days deals with getting Windows boxes to act more like *NIX boxes so I can operate them remotely from a central Linux box.

    It's working out pretty well, actually... I set up cygwin with sshd installed in interactive mode, so I can run a script on the central server and have a cluster of WinXP machines all open an application simultaneously, such as play a video simultaneously or connect to a set of VNC servers all at once. I can also use rsync to efficiently distribute and keep a set of files up to date.

    Still running into a bunch of limitations of what I can do remotely, such as set the display mode to a certain resolution, etc. so it ultimately won't keep me from replacing the remote machines with a bunch of custom Knoppix LiveCDs eventually. But at least this way I can still leverage the other Windows sysadmins we have an abundance of.
    • I don't know if this will help you (I haven't yet gotten the chance to install Cygwin on my Windows network) but there is a command line app that will change resolution. I'm not sure if you can call it from a ssh shell or not. I use it in a login (batch) script for a lab to always ensure that the screen is a certain resolution when the user starts their machine.

      It's called QRes, and it's BSD licensed. Maybe it can help you out: []

      There's a setup file which produces some GUI app I've nev
    • use reg.exe to alter "HKEY_CURRENT_CONFIG\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\VIDEO{FOO_HHHHHHHHH}\0000\Default Settings.XResolution" and "HKEY_CURRENT_CONFIG\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\VIDEO{FOO_HHHHHHHHH}\0000\Default Settings.YResolution" Note that FOO_HHHHHHHHH is a "random" string based on your video hardware, so you'll have to use reg.exe to list the keys in "HKEY_CURRENT_CONFIG\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\" first, then have your script do the editing. I had to do this once with psexec on a
    • @&$@@^&$@& Why does /. still insist on HTML as the default? Hey, /., how does one post a correction without having to deal with "Slow down Cowboy!"? It's been minutes since I posted that unreadable HTML garbage I'm correcting.

      use reg.exe to alter
      "HKEY_CURRENT_CONFIG\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\VIDEO{FOO_HHHHHHHHH}\0000\Default Settings.XResolution" and
      "HKEY_CURRENT_CONFIG\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\VIDEO{FOO_HHHHHHHHH}\0000\Default Settings.YResolution"

      Note that FOO_HHHHHHHHH is a
      • by afidel ( 530433 )
        Just so you know next time you can mount the registry over the network. From regedit go to File->Connect network Registry. Useful for turning on remote desktop on a machine you forgot to click the check box on.
      • FYI, the new comment system doesn't seem to ever tell me to slow down. I suspect they assume that AJAX comments are at least being typed by a human.

        Or maybe it's that it forces me to preview first -- which, by the way, seems to make the "slow down" message go away in non-AJAX mode.
  • It almost seems as if they have just noticed that there is nothing they can do about Linux's domination of the server world, or the decline of the desktop, and have decided that Windows can be the the frontend/thin client.
  • Ignorance is bliss (Score:3, Informative)

    by thethibs ( 882667 ) on Tuesday April 29, 2008 @07:37PM (#23246040) Homepage

    Does anyone here have even a faint idea of what Operations Manager is? Judging from the posts so far, the answer is obviously "Not a clue".

    It's not a remote shell.

    "Infringing the GPL?!" LOL!

  • by mlts ( 1038732 ) * on Tuesday April 29, 2008 @07:38PM (#23246044)
    Devil's advocate here:

    Long term, this might be a help for Linux and other UNIX variants. A lot of companies are required, either due to regulations, contract or their own corporate policies to perform audits on computer systems. Having a "one stop shop" by MS where someone can punch a button and generate a report on vital machine statistics for every single thing hooked up to the corporate network, down to the USB powered urinals, regardless of OS being run, will allow IT shops more freedom in choosing operating systems.

    Having OS independence for this tool would allow a shop to use Linux for a number of servers, but when audit time comes around, it will be as easy to print out a report about the machine's and how it adheres to corporate policy as the Windows machines. Audits of machine and network infrastructure security are a critical part of a lot of businesses and any tool that allows this to be made easier is definitely a help.

    Using a tool like this, a business can not just say to a prospective client that "all our network connected computers have antivirus, antispyware, and firewall software installed that are kept updated", but actually show it, by showing a report that even the Solaris boxes have Mcafee installed [1] with current vdef files.

    [1]: Yes, we all know about UNIX boxes and viruses, but there are lots of times when virus scanning software has to be present on all machines due to contract or legal reasons, even if the installed program just takes up space in /usr/local and the only thing it does is fire up a cron job to update the virus definitions and occasionally run a filesystem scan.
    • Listen to the man—he knows whereof he speaks.

      Microsoft didn't just dream this up. Their customers, including a few of my clients, have been asking for this. A lot of non-trivial data centres run a mix of platforms—LAMP for Web, Windows Server for file services and AD, something else for databases,... They want to manage all this with a single management environment and toolkit.

      Microsoft is doing what it does best. It's responding to a well-defined customer need.

      • Admittedly I have only glimpsed at TFA. But what the hell does "manage" mean in this context?
        Last time I checked our hosts ran a mixed set of services, most of which are best (and most comfortably) "managed" from the command line - by editing config files.

        What is MS gonna do, create a GUI frontend for every piece of OSS unix software out there?
        Preferably a unified one?

        Excuse me while I go laugh my ass off.
      • And when your data center grows up to be big and strong, you can buy it too.

      • It's responding to people who want buttons. People who learned how to sys admin via buttons and don't know how to actually administer a system without a button. People who don't know how to build themselves a cert without a button. People who don't know how to check their logs without a button. People who should never have been hired as system administrators in the first place.
        • Actually it's for people who want to be automatically alerted when there are issues with their systems, or who want to record performance & availability information for reporting and analysis. Or people who want an overall view of the state of their systems, so that they can see at a glance what services are working correctly, or what aren't. It's nothing to do with providing point and click management, it's about providing a centralised monitoring and reporting interface.
    • by grcumb ( 781340 )

      ...USB powered urinals....

      Man you give a whole new meaning to the phrase 'hot plug'.

    • IMHO it's not at all a good thing in the long run if it leads to an ms lock-in.

      Sure, microsoft frantically desires to be relevant, and it's no doubt their wet dream to have a world where you can't manage unix without ms windows.

      But, I'll pass - thanks but no thanks. Give me one or two skilled unix admins, and I'm good.
    • [...]A lot of companies are required, either due to regulations, contract or their own corporate policies to perform audits on computer systems. Having a "one stop shop" by MS where someone can punch a button and generate a report on vital machine statistics for every single thing hooked up to the corporate network, down to the USB powered urinals, regardless of OS being run, will allow IT shops more freedom in choosing operating systems.[...]

      Seeing you say that at least seems to verify my suspicions about these kinds of programs; people do not use them because they actually want to, but because they are required to.

  • My guess is that they will only support one command, e.g., dummy@dodo:~# rm -rf

  • "Please use our BETA software to manage your stable servers. kthnxbai"
    • Well of course. Besides, Microsoft has a proven track record for building secure systems. What could possibly go wrong?
  • You do not need windows anymore to get locked into Microsoft!
  • OH BOY !!! (Score:3, Funny)

    by unity100 ( 970058 ) on Tuesday April 29, 2008 @08:00PM (#23246250) Homepage Journal
    their software cant manage their own systems thoroughly. now its gonna manage linux ? oh boy oh boy oh boy !! hot jupiters !
  • Bite the Bullet (Score:2, Interesting)

    Why doesn't Microsoft just bite the bullet and base the next version of Windows on Linux or BSD?

    We could finally see a secure and maintainable version of Windows. And Linux might finally see its adoption on the desktop like it has always sought.

    It is obvious that Windows has become stagnant. Adoption seems to be nil, or possibly even negative. When ordinary (read: non-geek) acquaintances go out of their way to trash Vista, you know it's in trouble. And I don't believe their code-base is the issue, e

    • Everything is in place to create any kind of application, securely, from a Compiz-enabled desktop to a POS register. That's more than I can say for Windows, despite it being deployed on these platforms.
      I think you are being too harsh. Windows ME is widely regarded as the gold standard of POS operating systems. Vista comes close, at least on slashdot.
  • by Tumbleweed ( 3706 ) * on Tuesday April 29, 2008 @08:11PM (#23246374)
    Yahoo News []
    Microsoft leverages two community projects promoting open protocols for network management-- Web Services for Management and OpenPegasus-- to enable cross-platform support. Microsoft also has joined the steering committee for the OpenPegasus project and will contribute royalty-free code to the project

    some articles via Google News []

    Nexus SC: The System Center Team Blog []

    Information Week []

    Microsoft won't just rip the code from OpenPegasus, but will join IBM, HP and others on the OpenPegasus Steering Committee and contribute code back to the project under the OSI-approved Microsoft Public License, which the Free Software Foundation has said is compatible with the GNU GPL version 3. The terms of the Microsoft Public License mean that any code Microsoft contributes will be freely modifiable and usable by anyone, so long as copyrights in the code are left intact.

    "It's very important to me that we use OSI-approved licenses when using open source," Sam Ramji, Microsoft's director of platform strategy and one of its top open source advocates, said in an interview.

    Microsoft's adoption of OpenPegasus for the Operations Manager add-in could be seen as a small data point that shows Microsoft is getting a little bit more comfortable with the open source world by working with IBM and others on an open source project. It's not like Microsoft is open sourcing all of System Center, but it is a step nonetheless.

  • They're pulling support [] for the Tivoli Enterprise Console (TEC). You're supposed to be developing for Omnibus [] now.
  • So when my windows box gets pwned, the botmaster can just wait for root access next time I uses MOM and then he gets my linux cluster too? No thanks.
  • For a second there I thought I misparsed the title as "Fox guards hen house".
  • With 2008 server Microsoft is really starting to embrace the command line. Powershell seems nice, and 2008 can be installed without any GUI in "core" mode, and managed via external graphical tools or SSH.

    Now MS wants you to manage your Unix/Linux machines with a GUI? MS strategy seems more disjointed than ever.

  • Managing linux with windows is like making watches in safety gloves. Sure, it will be harder to make some injuries, but it will screw everything.

I am more bored than you could ever possibly be. Go back to work.