That's the title of one of the cover stories that ran on Oct. 27/08 in NetWorkWorld by John Fontana. One of the primary reasons that companies have their hands full here is because of:
The sprawl of management consoles, the proliferation of data they provide and the rising use of virtualization are adding challenges to corporations looking to more effectively manage mixed Linux, Windows and cloud environments.
It's nice to see that Quest Software's own "Management Xtensions for System Center" get mentioned as the solution that Johns Hopkins University is using to support their non-Microsoft infrastructure. He's also using our compliance solutions so he can report on both Windows and non-Windows platforms.
As the article mentions, the industry has been working on platform independence since 1998. More than 10 years later and third-party tools are still required to glue together these different systems. I'm sure there will still be a requirement for these types of tools for a long time to come...