The next version of Microsoft's server management software has just made it to the first release candidate stage, but the software may still need a lot more scrutiny from testers.
Microsoft System Center Operations Manager 2007 RC1, which is the next generation of Microsoft Operations Manager -- known as MOM -- is available for download.
But at least one analyst said he believes it should be called Beta 3 because it has a long way to go before it's really ready. "To call it a release candidate at this point is ludicrous," said Peter Pawlak, senior analyst with consulting firm Directions on Microsoft in Kirkland, Wash.
Pawlak said the Operations Manager Beta 2 code was unstable to the point that testers could not keep it running long enough to do any serious testing.
Microsoft said it had improved stability in RC1. The company also promised an easier install process, user interface usability improvements, updated management packs and the ability to gateway and certificate-manage non-trusted devices.
If Microsoft delivers on the promises it's making for the final release of Operations Manager 2007, Pawlak said he believes it would be a major step up over MOM 2005. He pointed to such features as the ability to discover which components are running on a given machine, as well as other planned features such as being able to find the root cause of a problem more easily. Auto-tuning capabilities are also being touted for the final release of System Center Operations Manager 2007.
Pawlak said he has yet to test RC1, which became available today. He added that he noticed a drop off of users in newsgroups related to Beta 2, probably as a result of Beta 2's instability.
Marc Williams, supervisor of network operations for the New York State Department of Sanitation's Bureau of Motor Equipment, said he is interested in moving to Operations Manager 2007 but has yet to test any betas.
"The fact that it can centralize remote access and just let me manage from a central point would make things easier for me," Williams said.