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By GCN Staff

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Are you planning for what Microsoft will be selling?

We don't spend much time on contract announcements here at the Tech Blog, but a recent one crossed our desk that had us thinking about bigger technology issues.

Quest Software today announced that the Army had agreed to spend $4 million on its programs. What does Quest make? Windows management software. Why did it cause a lightbulb to go off? Because with Windows Vista in the offing, Exchange 2007 on the horizon and Windows Longhorn (the server OS) looming soon thereafter, agencies face a potentially busy 18-24 months of Windows/Exchange/Active Directory overhaul.

The Army has previous experience with Quest's software. My colleague Joab Jackson wrote an excellent piece about agencies, including the Army, staring down the challenge of migrating from Exchange 5.5 to Exchange 2003, with its Active Directory requirement. The State Department, Agriculture Department and Navy Medical Command also use Quest.

According to Quest, the new three-year agreement "will simplify infrastructure management to help reduce software, hardware and management costs; automate deployment and administration to reduce disruption to end users and mitigate risk; and secure the Army's Windows infrastructure."

To be certain, there are many solutions out there for managing Windows infrastructures, such as Hewlett-Packard's OpenView and CA's (previously Computer Associates') suite of Windows tools. We're not necessarily partial to one or the other, but if your agency is planning a series of upgrades and isn't already using a management platform or isn't pleased with the one it's using, it may be time to to start thinking. Tools that help phase in new Microsoft programs (assuming you're a Microsoft house) without disrupting service could be just what you need to avoid potential pitfalls.

Posted by Brad Grimes

Posted by Brad Grimes, Joab Jackson on Sep 01, 2006 at 9:39 AM


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