Aside from making hardware, management solutions, and technologies, IBM recognise that customers are going to run a mix of Microsoft, and IBM tech in some of their estates, hence, developing capabilities that helps the two work together more effectively, can only be a good thing: First up, we’ve ‘IBM Hardware Management Pack for Microsoft System Center Operations Manager 2007,’ version 2.2, which integrates IBM hardware alerting and monitoring, from System-X to BladeCenter Chassis, to Blades themselves, into SCOM, and presents alerts side by side with your other alerts from other tech you’re monitoring. Next step up from a regular MP, is a PRO enabled MP. PRO stands for Performance and Resource Optimisation, and is like a regular MP, but brings about specific VM related changes or actions, based on alerts being surfaced via pack. Note, you’ll still need IBM Director Agents on H/W for any of this to work. ‘IBM Hardware PRO Pack for SCVMM 2008,’ version 1.1, isn’t technically for SCVMM, as SCVMM doesn’t have a MP concept as such, so you still import it into SCOM, but it’s to integrate into VMM indirectly. Not only does it monitor hardware hosting virtual environment, but also, more importantly, provides advisory PRO tips in the event of existing or predictive hardware problems that warrant VMM administrative operations. Brocade have also seen the opportunity to provide extra capabilities to their customers, by integrating their solutions with System Center. The solution brief may offer some guidance on this one!There’s also a demo document available if you’re interested.