Application Center 2000 Close to Release

Veritest, the company that handles Windows 2000 application certification testing for Microsoft, this week posted Application Center 2000 on its Web site as having earned certification for Windows 2000 Server and Windows 2000 Advanced Server.

The step may signal an imminent release for Application Center, a new tool for managing and scaling Web applications that is important in Microsoft’s efforts to capitalize on the growing Web server farm market.

Microsoft put Application Center into a public Beta 2 release in August. Initially, the code was expected to go gold in the fourth quarter of 2000, although the availability date later slipped to this quarter.

It is unlikely that Microsoft would have put Veritest labs through the testing process on beta code.

“We’re still saying first quarter of 2001, but we are very close,” Bob Pulliam, technical product manager at Microsoft for Application Center, said today.

Application Center is designed to help IT administrators manage a cluster of Web servers as if it were one server, allowing a configuration change to be propogated to all servers in the cluster with one command and simplifying the synchronization of data. The software is also designed to speed the task of adding servers to a cluster.

Another important feature of Application Center is a new clustering technology called Component Load Balancing (CLB) that allows components of an application to be spread across a number of application servers to improve application performance. The feature was originally intended for Windows 2000, but was pulled before the operating system was released.

The new software received two waivers from the Veritest Windows 2000 certification labs, according to the test document dated Jan. 31. Application Center 2000 was able to skip some of the Active Directory requirements of the certification process because it is only run by a user logged in locally and does not need to be found by other components or publish binding information.

Application Center also got a pass on the Microsoft Cluster Service failover clustering requirements for the Windows 2000 Advanced Server test because the software uses its own implementation of clustering.

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About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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