Quest Software Inc. recently announced a timetable for making its database management tools accessible through a single console, a move designed to make it easier for administrators to manage databases from multiple vendors.

The Irvine, Calif.-basedcompany currently offers separate Quest Central toolsets for Oracle Corp. and IBM Corp. databases and some tools for managing Microsoft Corp.’s SQL Server database. By mid-year the company will integrate Quest Central for Oracle with its Microsoft SQL Server tools, making the toolsets accessible through a single console, said Darin Pendergraft, director of product management for Quest Central. Toolsets for managing both the mainframe and distributed versions of IBM’s DB2 database will be added to the console “near the end of the year,” he added. The move heats up the rivalry between Quest and BMC Software Inc., in Houston, which is also combining many of its database management tools under an initiative dubbed Project Golden Gate.

Redmond eyes virtual data centre

Microsoft Corp. hopes to play alongside Sun Microsystems Inc., Hewlett-Packard Co. and others in developing “virtual data centre” software that will make it easier to manage applications running across groups of servers, a company executive said recently. Without providing a timeframe or much detail about the data centre software under development, he said the company will provide a “system definition model” that will reduce the time it takes to develop applications for the data centre. It will also provide resource virtualization and partitioning software that will help businesses make more efficient use of their hardware

“It’s a problem that we’re pretty excited about solving, and there are lots of things we’re doing to tackle it across the company,” said Bill Veghte, corporate vice-president of Microsoft’s Windows server group, in a presentation at the company’s Silicon Valley campus. “Think of it not only in the context of what Windows Server can do on the deployment and operation and policy side, but think about how applications are written and how server applications such as Exchange and SQL Server can take advantage of (virtualization),” he said.