I have just presented to a group of very senior IT managers in very large UK Enterprises about the Microsoft Dynamic Systems Initiative. DSI is all about system operation and administration and is based on a model driven approach using a metamodel called the System Definition Model SDM used by both development and operations tools.
The Development tools for DSI are embedded in the next release of Visual Studio; Visual Studio 2005 and the Operations tools are in System Center 2005; the amalgamation and enhancement of Systems Management Server (SMS) 2003 and Microsoft Operations Manager (MOM) 2005 into a single management, administration operations and reporting tool.
DSI is Microsoft’s strategic direction for system operation and administration but is often thought to be a tool for developers to build applications which can be simply and easily deployed. Whilst this is an important function of DSI it is only a small part of what DSI is intended to address; DSI’s remit is for the whole of the operational and administration space. Alas at the moment the most concrete realisation of DSI is in the Visual Studio 2005 Team System which uses DSI concepts to build deployable applications and so people tend to think this is what DSI is about.
A more appropriate example of the scope of DSI is in the Indy Capacity Planning tool (from the UK!) demoed by Bill Gates at the IT Forum in Copenhagen which allows model based simulation of systems and associated capacity planning.
Whilst DSI today looks more useful to developers the fact of the matter is that as soon as we start to see the model based operations and administration tools appear it will become apparent how much more valuable it is for IT Pros.