At an MOM event recently that I was presenting at, my ex colleague Paul Butterworth was also presenting and at the break we got around to reminiscing as you do. In 2001 Microsoft decided that the System Engineer role (when we were still called that before we homogenised with the naming convention in the States as they were not allowed to use the word engineer in their titles) needed to be split into two with some focussed on accounts and others in specialist areas. Paul and I did the management area in the UK with Paul covering SMS while I did Application Center and this newly released product called MOM 2000.
Our colleagues thought that we were mad. SMS was still on v2 and although SP2 had been released which stabilised the product it did not have a stellar reputation even though it had reasonable market share. And server monitoring was a new field for Microsoft so people did not know about MOM. But SMS 2003 came along and it was a good release and it has been enhanced with patch management, OS deployment with Windows Imaging technology, PDA add-on and recently the purchase of AssetMetrix and Softricity which I talked about in a previous post. With the next version due for release in 2007 it has come on tremendously. MOM went from 2000 which was good but needed work to 2005 which is a great product. And with OM2007 in beta looking to take it to new heights the world of Microsoft management technologies looks bright.
So I got to thinking about how things changed and I think that the pivot was the hiring of Kirill Tatarinov as Corporate VP of the Windows and Enterprise Management Division (WEMD). He started of just looking after the management division but his role has expanded to include the management technologies in Windows as well. Kirill was one of the original Patrol developers and Senior VP and CTO for BMC. See bio at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/exec/kirill/default.mspx and http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/Press/2002/Jul02/07-16KirillPR.mspx.
His vision was apparent when he started the role and the Dynamic System Initiative (DSI) and System Center is the result. I have had the chance to meet him a few times. He is a quiet and thoughtful man and when he answers a question you can feel the focus that he gives to the answer. He sees MOF (basically a Microsoft slant on ITIL) as a key area and wants Microsoft to have products that can fulfil that vision which is why there are a slew of System Center products coming.
Kirill is quiet and focused but that quiet focus is driving Microsoft management technologies to greater heights. So from 5 years ago when SMS was not highly thought of and Microsoft had no presence in the server monitoring market Microsoft has two incredible products with improvements to those ones in the pipeline and more on the way. It is a good time to be involved with System Center technologies. Thanks Kirill.