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Microsoft bundles server management licensing

Bundled licensing for Microsoft's management product suite will debut next month.

Windows managers in small and mid-market IT shops will soon be able to purchase licensing for management products in a bundle.

The inclusive offering from Microsoft, called System Center Standard Server Management License (SML), is an alternative to the current process of buying individual licenses for Microsoft Operations Manager 2005, Systems Manager Server 2003 and Data Protection Manager 2006.

"This simplifies the acquisition process. You only have to purchase one SKU," Nina Sundberg, a senior product manager in Microsoft's management group. "We are taking the cost down 30% as opposed to purchasing the standalone licenses."

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IT Management Guide: PCs, servers and tools

Microsoft bundles tools for mid-market

The SML will cost $245 for each managed device and will be available on April 1. The license for the product suite will include SMS 2003 Configuration Management License and a System Center Data Protection Management 2006 License.

The new SKU also contains an entry-level, lower-cost license for MOM called MOM 2005 Standard Operations License (OML). Or, you can purchase the OML for $100 as a standalone license. Microsoft said enterprise customers can continue to purchase the existing license for MOM 2005, which has been renamed Enterprise OML.

According to Sundberg, customers managing full application-level tasks on their systems, such as Exchange Server, would probably prefer the enterprise license. However, she said the software maker had heard from customers that a lower-cost, lower-level license was necessary.

"By splitting out the functionality of MOM into standard and enterprise schemes, customers don't need to purchase more than they need," Sundberg said.

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