June, 2009

  • Interoperability @ Microsoft

    Microsoft working with Xandros responding to feedback from IEC council member NATO


    I’m Claudio Caldato, Senior Program Manager in the Interoperability Technical Strategy team here at Microsoft. I’m going to talk about the work Microsoft did with Xandros in response to feedback from Interoperability Executive Customer Council (IEC) member NATO gave us, asking for heterogeneous system management scenarios.

    One of my key activities is to follow up on feedback provided by the Interoperability Executive Customer Council. Recently a few members of the council, and in particular NATO, raised the issue of the complexity in managing multiple heterogeneous systems across a large distributed network environment from a single point of access and the need to aggregate status information and alerts to other management applications. This is quite a broad topic, in retrospect!

    To narrow down the scope we worked with NATO to define a specific scenario and this scenario formed the basis of the “Multi-Platform System Management” lab. The lab comprised the following Applications and Services

    · Microsoft System Center Operations Manager 2007

    Because of the heterogeneous nature of the components, we choose to work under the Interop Vendor Alliance (IVA) with Xandros (a fellow IVA member) to create the following architecture:


    The goal for the lab was to demonstrate the following functionality:

    • Use Microsoft System Center Operations Manager to monitor performance and availability of Microsoft and non-Microsoft platforms and applications such as: Windows Server 2003, Sun Solaris 10, Oracle Database, Oracle Application Express, Apache Web Server
    • Use Microsoft System Center Operations Manager to report performance and availability data to the IBM Tivoli and HP OpenView management consoles
    • Improve the monitoring of SLA’s by providing a single point of access for Hardware, OS, and application level monitoring, System troubleshooting, Failure analysis, Disc, Network, Memory, and CPU Metrics, and Application status and availability

    We were able to build the lab and, in so doing, are able to demonstrate to others how to solve the interoperability challenges that this sort of environment creates. One of these challenges was how to enable the System Center Operations Manager to manage applications running on Sun Solaris machines. The solution to this challenge came from Xandros in the form of the Xandros Bridgways Management Packs. This management pack is engineered to extend the capabilities of the System Center Operations Manager to applications of both Windows and non-Microsoft platforms, providing us with an ideal solution to the problem at hand.

    From a technical perspective, the lab included several other very interesting aspects that I encourage you to discover for yourself. These have been documented in the white paper that’s available on the IVA website under the Multi-Platform System Management Lab. The good news is that we were able to successfully address the specific needs expressed by the IEC Council’s feedback. I find it personally rewarding that we’re able to meet the expectations of our customers… particularly, IEC Council member NATO who commented on the outcome of this lab (quote extracted from the white paper):

    “NATO employs a diverse set of hardware and software and has to work with vendors that are committed to work on interoperability, said Detlef Janezic, NATO CIS Services Agency (NCSA) when participating in the Interoperability Executive Council sessions in 2008. NCSA mentioned on behalf of NATO some of the interoperability challenges experienced between Microsoft System Center and HP OpenView product lines. Based on these concerns, Microsoft engaged in an initiative geared to resolve the stated interoperability challenges. This solution was presented to NATO on 24 Mar 2009. The initial assessment of NCSA and the NATO C3 Agency (NC3A) on the chosen approach and its implementation is that the presented solution shows great potential. The two NATO agencies very much appreciate these Microsoft efforts and intend to implement & test the provided solution in its IT environment as soon as possible.”

    The Interoperability discussion related to system management does not end here. We continue to work with partners like Xandros, whom I’d like to thank for their help and contribution on setting this interoperability lab up.

    Claudio Caldato, Senior Program Manager

  • Interoperability @ Microsoft

    Sun Joins Microsoft on JavaOne Stage in support of Apache Stonehenge Incubator Project


    As the co-owners of the Microsoft portion of the project, Kent Brown and I would like to thank everybody for their support and share our excitement over the future of the Stonehenge project.

    microsoft-sun-javaone There has been a lot of speculation surrounding Microsoft keynoting at JavaOne, and what it could mean to the Java world. Well, now we know that the announcement will be made: Sun has now agreed to participate in the Stonehenge project and will be contributing the Metro-based StockTrader application code. Steven Martin has just posted a note where you’ll find more details on the keynote, and on the new agreement with Sun.

    I’d just like to highlight the goals of Stonehenge : “While industry efforts like WS-* make interop possible, it still isn't always obvious or easy to figure out how to configure different products so that they actually interoperate […] Stonehenge will help us complete the “last mile” of interoperability between today’s standards-based infrastructure and tomorrow’s service-based applications.”

    I’m really thrilled and looking forward to working with Sun on developing new Stonehenge interoperability scenarios.

    Also, as I had hinted in my previous post, the M1 release of Stonehenge incubator project was reached last night. Congratulations to everyone on the Stonehenge team and a warm welcome to our friends from Sun Microssystems.

    Additional Stonehenge materials:

    Kamaljit Bath, Principal Program Manager

    [Update 06/09: JavaOne Radio episode (20 min audio) is available: Chris Mellisinos talks to Steven Martin of Microsoft after the Microsoft General Session keynote address at JavaOne
    javaoneradio ]

  • Interoperability @ Microsoft

    Identity Interoperability scenario combining PHP, “Geneva” Server, Windows CardSpace, and Information Cards


    At the RSA Conference 2009 in April, Microsoft’s Scott Charney included a video from a project for the Lake Washington School District in his keynote. The project features a very interesting identity interoperability scenario between the Lake Washington School District’s internal Active Directory and Intand’s Tandem for Schools SaaS application. The key challenges were to manage effectively identities while preserving the security of the users and the system.

    The project combines Microsoft code name “Geneva” (the “Geneva” Server and Windows CardSpace “Geneva”) and Intand’s PHP-based Tandem for Schools application that uses the Zend Framework’s information card support for interoperability.

    The project is based on upon the use of Microsoft code name Geneva Server, Windows CardSpace Geneva and Intand’s PHP application using the Zend Framework’s information card support for interoperability.

    To get deeper and learn more about this exciting project, watch these videos:

    Finally I wanted to point out other open source interoperability work our team has been contributing to around information cards for heterogeneous web applications. This includes information card support for Java , Ruby on Rails and a generic C module

    Jean-Christophe Cimetiere - Sr. Technical Evangelist

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