Saturday, October 23, 2010

Tech-ed Africa 2010: Things that got my attention

I attended Tech-ed Africa this past week. It was a great couple of days, as always, but I must admit that I mostly ignored the OpsMgr sessions. Instead, I got really, really excited about a couple of new things.

System Center Opalis

imageMy new best friend, and I am hoping we can take the relationship to a whole new level – even possibly make some babies. Yes, really.

I’ve been watching the Opalis story with interest with some time, but haven’t really had the chance to get my hands dirty. With it now being a member of the System Center suite, it has suddenly become much more accessible to us.

Here is a quick product overview video:

I have always believed in automation – I guess it is one of the reasons I started playing in the OpsMgr space in the first place – but Opalis makes it just so easy, not using it is almost anti-evolutionary


We were fortunate enough to also have a intimate session with Mark Gosson from the Opalis team yesterday at work, and our deployment team is already looking at deploying Proof-of-Concepts at a couple of our customers, so I can see Opalis taking off rapidly within our business. I will probably also be preaching the gospel for some time here.

Forefront Identity Manager 2010


I’ve never really been big into identity management or anything related (such as AD management), but for some reason, FIM has me all excited.

I guess it comes back to the automation abilities within this product, and the fact that it is no longer required to write reams of code to get the thing going. This makes it far more accessible to our customers, and easier for our engineers to maintain and support.

FIM 2010 looks like a great product, and I like the fact that one can control access to multiple systems from one location. It also makes it easier to ensure the correct people have the correct access by means of automation rules and workflows.

Up until recently, we had to enforce monitoring tool deployments within our customers, but with OpsMgr 2007, it seems that this has now almost become an accepted part, almost expected part, of any IT deployment.

I suspect we will now go through the same process with Opalis and FIM, and these two products will also become part of the base requirements for any outsource engagement we enter into – maybe not in the next year, but definitely in the next 3-4 years.

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