Home » Cloud Computing strategy » 4.5 Microsoft talking about Cloud OS and private clouds: starting with Ray Ozzie in November, 2009

4.5 Microsoft talking about Cloud OS and private clouds: starting with Ray Ozzie in November, 2009

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4. 1 Windows Server 2012 R2 & System Center 2012 R2
4.2 Unlock Insights from any Data – SQL Server 2014
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4.4 Empower people-centric IT – Microsoft Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI)
4.5 Microsoft talking about Cloud OS and private clouds: starting with Ray Ozzie in November, 2009

4.5.1 Tiny excerpts from official executive and/or corporate communications
4.5.2 More official communications in details from executives and/or corporate

4.5 Microsoft talking about Cloud OS and private clouds: starting with Ray Ozzie in November, 2009

4.5.1 Tiny excerpts from official executive and/or corporate communications

From: Ray Ozzie & Bob Muglia: PDC 2009 [speech transcripts, Nov 17, 2009]

RAY OZZIE:

image_thumb10Windows Azure, which we introduced right here on this stage last year, is our cloud computing operating environment, designed from the outset to holistically manage extremely large pools of computation, storage and networking, all as a single, dynamic, seamless whole, as a service. It’s a cloud OS designed for the future, but made familiar for today.

Microsoft’s New Leader of Server and Tools: ‘Our Mission Is to Cloud-Optimize Every Business’ [feature article for the press, June 22, 2011]

Satya Nadella shares his thoughts on trends in the technology industry and Microsoft’s unique position providing infrastructure to move the industry forward.

image_thumb8… “As the industry moves more and more towards the public cloud – which will take time – we’ll move from the private cloud ‘datacenter OS’ that represents thousands of processing cores to a ‘public cloud OS’ that will need to understand a million cores. Our customers will want a vendor who is both battle-tested in the operating system and in the cloud scale services. Microsoft will be that vendor.”

“You can’t head-fake your way into running a public cloud service,” he notes. “You have to live it.” …

alias “MS private cloud PR”: Microsoft Brings the Cloud Down to Earth for Enterprises [press release, Jan 17, 2012]

System Center 2012 is a true “private cloud builder.”

  • All Together Now: Private Cloud Simplicity and Best Economics
  • The Microsoft Private Cloud: Built for the Future. Ready Now

From: Meet the Team That Puts ‘Amazing Power’ at People’s Fingertips [Microsoft feature article for the press, Feb 14, 2012]

Members of the Windows Server team speak with Microsoft News Center [MNC] about their groundbreaking work in moving customers to the cloud—and what else they find fascinating.

  • MNC: How is your work going to change the world?
  • MNC: What’s next for you at Microsoft?

Windows Server “8” beta available now! [Windows Server Blog, March 1, 2012]

Bill Laing
Corporate Vice President, Server and Cloud

Microsoft Ushers in the ‘Era of the Cloud OS’ [press release, June 11, 2012]

Company shares updates to cloud platform and developer tools.

  • Connecting With the Cloud
  • Enabling Developers With Cloud Tools

Welcome to the Era of the Cloud OS for Infrastructure! [The Official Microsoft Blog, June 11, 2012]

Posted by Satya Nadella
President, Server & Tools Business, Microsoft

From: Satya Nadella, Scott Guthrie and Jason Zander: TechEd 2012 Day 1 Keynote [speech transcripts, June 11, 2012]

SATYA NADELLA:

What we are going to discuss over the next 90 minutes, the modern datacenter, the modern application framework that make up the cloud operating system, the basic underpinnings for this new era of connected devices and continuous services.

Microsoft Announces New Cloud Opportunities for Partners [press release, July 10, 2012]

New guidance, training and programs for Windows Server 2012 and Windows Azure unveiled at Worldwide Partner Conference.

In addition, the new program announced on stage, Switch to Hyper-V, will allow partners to grow their virtualization, private and hybrid cloud computing practices while also helping customers improve IT agility at a lower cost with Microsoft’s cloud infrastructure.

In addition, in a keynote that further reinforced how Microsoft is working with its partners to transform businesses throughout the world, Microsoft Business Solutions President Kirill Tatarinov highlighted the incredible opportunity in the year ahead for partners focused on selling business solutions based on Microsoft Dynamics.

A New Era Together: Partners and the Microsoft Cloud OS [The Official Microsoft Blog, July 10, 2012]

Posted by Takeshi Numoto
Corporate Vice President, Server & Tools Business, Microsoft

  • Partner Opportunity with the Cloud OS

From: Satya Nadella: Worldwide Partner Conference 2012 Day 2 Keynote [speech transcript, July 10, 2012]

The thing that I want to talk today about is the back end and how the back end is changing in the next era. And we refer to this as the cloud operating system or the cloud OS.

Windows Server 2012 Powers the Cloud OS [press release, Sept 4, 2012]

New server is built from the cloud up for the modern datacenter.

  • Enabling the Modern Datacenter
  • Customers Find Success With Windows Server 2012

Satya Nadella: Windows Server 2012 Launch Keynote [speech transcript, Sept 4, 2012]

For more than 50 years information technology has powered global innovation. And today, IT is in the midst of radical change as cloud computing transforms the landscape.

How can your organization take advantage of the new opportunities? Imagine data centers without boundaries, capacity on-demand. Imagine information crossing the globe seamlessly and securely, a modern platform for the world’s applications.

At Microsoft we unlock the full range of possibilities. We call it the Cloud OS and it’s here now.

Microsoft Reaches Agreement to Acquire StorSimple [press release, Oct 16, 2012]

Microsoft to acquire leader in Cloud-integrated Storage.

From: Satya Nadella, Scott Guthrie and Jason Zander: Build Day 2 [speech transcripts, Oct 31, 2012]

On the client side, we’ve talked about how we’ve reimagined Windows from the developer platform to the user experience. Again, in support of the kind of applications that you’re building for the devices today. These fluid, touch-first applications that also take advantage of capabilities in Windows RT to be able to truly bring to life all the new application capabilities.

Very similarly on the back end, we’re reimagining Windows for cloud services. It’s a pretty concrete thing for us. We refer to this as the Cloud OS. At the hardware level, for example, the core of any operating system is to think about the hardware abstraction. And the hardware abstraction is going through a pretty radical change. At the atomic level, we’re bringing compute, storage and network together, and then scaling it to a datacenter on a multidatacenter scale. So this is no longer about a single server operating system, but it’s about building distributed, virtualized infrastructure that includes storage, compute, and network and spans, if you will, across the datacenters.

alias “OS Moment PR”: Microsoft Advances the Cloud OS With New Management Solutions [press release, Jan 15, 2013]

New offerings deliver on the commitment to help customers and partners deliver cloud services and manage connected devices.

  • Transforming the Datacenter
  • Hosting Service Providers and the Cloud OS
  • Unified PC and Device Management

What is the Cloud OS? [The Official Microsoft Blog, Jan 15, 2013]

post from Michael Park, Corporate Vice President of Marketing in the Server & Tools Business at Microsoft

The Cloud OS: New solutions available today advance Microsoft’s vision [C&E News Bytes Blog, Jan 15, 2013]

Solutions announced today include:

  • General Availability of System Center 2012 Service Pack 1: …
  • Windows Intune: …
  • Windows Azure services for Windows Server: …
  • Global Service Monitor: …
  • System Center Advisor: …

Transform Your Datacenter with System Center 2012 SP1 [Server & Cloud Blog, Jan 15, 2013]

Mike Schutz
General Manager, Windows Server and Management Product Marketing

  • Windows Server 2012 and SQL Server 2012 Support
  • Software Defined Networking (SDN)
  • DevOps with Global Service Monitor and Visual Studio
  • Hybrid Cloud Management

Delivering Unified Device Management with Windows Intune and System Center 2012 Configuration Manager SP1 [Windows Intune blog, Jan 15, 2013]

Mike Schutz

General Manager, Windows Server and Management Product Marketing

This blog post highlights new device management capabilities in Windows Intune and System Center 2012 Configuration Manager SP1.

  • Windows Intune addresses new challenges IT departments face when managing devices, including: …
  • Configuration Manager 2012 SP1 enhancements, including: …
  • Endpoint Protection 2012 SP1 enhancements, including: …

Modern Lifecycle on the Cloud OS [Brian Harry’s blog, Jan 15, 2013]

Brian Harry
Microsoft Technical Fellow,
Product Unit Manager for Team Foundation Server.

Our approach to Enterprise DevOps is anchored in Visual Studio 2012 and System Center 2012. The wave of Cloud OS announcements today integrates these with bunch of new application lifecycle management capabilities. These include:

  • Global Service Monitor (GSM)
  • Lab Management & Windows 2012
  • Incident integration

Michael Park and Mike Schutz: Cloud OS Announcement [speech transcripts, Jan. 15, 2013]

Corporate vice president of Server & Tools Marketing Michael Park is going to lead off with a brief overview of the Cloud OS, and then our general manager Mike Schutz here in Server & Tools will talk through the new offerings and how they fit into the Cloud OS story for customers and partners.

alias “Hybrid Cloud PR”: Microsoft unleashes fall wave of enterprise cloud solutions [press release, Oct 7, 2013]

New Windows Server, System Center, Visual Studio, Windows Azure, Windows Intune, SQL Server, and Dynamics solutions will accelerate cloud benefits for customers.

  • Hybrid infrastructure and modern applications
  • Enabling enterprise cloud adoption
  • Data platform and insights
  • People and devices in the cloud
  • Software as a service business solutions

New Windows Server 2012 R2 Innovations – Download Now [Windows Server Blog, Aug 6, 2013]

Windows Server 2012 R2 is in preview right now and ready for your evaluation. We have been rolling out detailed information on our Cloud OS vision through Brad Anderson’s What’s New in 2012 R2 blog series. That will continue but we thought you would like a short consolidated list for consideration. Here are some key innovations in Windows Server 2012 R2.

  • Storage transformation – Delivers breakthrough performance at a fraction of the cost
  • Software defined networking – Provides new levels of agility and flexibility
  • Virtualization and live migration – Provides an integrated and high-performance virtualization platform
  • Access & Information Protection – Empowering your users to be productive while maintaining control and security of corporate information with Windows Server 2012 R2
  • Java application monitoring – Enables deep application insight into Java applications.

This is by no means a comprehensive lists of new features and benefits, but we just wanted to give you some information on the key focus areas.

Announcing the General Availability of Windows Server 2012 R2: The Heart of Cloud OS [Windows Server Blog, Oct 18, 2013]

For years now, Microsoft has been building and operating some of the largest cloud applications in the world. The expertise culled from these experiences along with our established history of delivering market-leading enterprise operating systems, platforms, and applications has led us to develop a new approach for the modern era: the Microsoft Cloud OS.

Delivered as an enterprise-class, the simple and cost-effective server and cloud platform Windows Server 2012 R2 delivers significant value around seven key capabilities:

  • Server virtualization.
  • Storage.
  • Networking.
  • Server management and automation.
  • Web and application platform.
  • Access and information protection.
  • Virtual Desktop Infrastructure.

To compete in the global economy and keep up with the pace of innovation, IT organizations must improve their agility, their efficiency, and their ability to better manage costs while enabling their business and end users to stay continuously productive.

alias “Cloud OS Network PR”: Leading cloud service providers around the globe bet on Microsoft [press release, Dec 12, 2013]

Cloud OS Network partners provide customers with consistent cloud platform.

  • Hybrid benefits for customers
  • Cloud service provider opportunity
  • Worldwide reach


4.5.2 More official communications in details from executives and/or corporate

From: Ray Ozzie & Bob Muglia: PDC 2009 [speech transcripts, Nov 17, 2009]

RAY OZZIE:
Earlier, when I talked about the three screens and a cloud environment, I talked fairly abstractly about this cloud computing back-end. Sometimes I might have referred to this back-end as a server or sometimes as a service. And for customers it really doesn’t matter, and that’s entirely the point, because our software plus services strategy is centered on the notion of technology convergence and skills leverage across both.
Windows Azure, which we introduced right here on this stage last year, is our cloud computing operating environment, designed from the outset to holistically manage extremely large pools of computation, storage and networking, all as a single, dynamic, seamless whole, as a service. It’s a cloud OS designed for the future, but made familiar for today.
Windows Azure at its core is Windows. It’s Windows Server. You should think of it as a vast, homogeneous array of Windows Server hardware and virtualized Windows Server instances, and all these servers are under the control of a sophisticated, highly parallel management system called the Azure Fabric Controller, which you can kind of think of as an extension of System Center’s management capabilities in the enterprise.
With Windows Azure, Windows Server, and System Center, there’s one coherent model of managing this infrastructure as a service across Microsoft’s public cloud to private cloud to clouds of our partners who host.
To most developers, to developers like you, Windows Azure appears as a model based extension to Visual Studio, enabling you to build apps that leverage your skills in SQL, IIS, ASP.NET, and .NET Framework.
Alternatively, and of course it’s your choice, you might leverage your skills by using MySQL and PHP within Azure, or you might instead take advantage of our new Azure tools for Java and Eclipse.
Reaching all developers is incredibly important to us, and working closely with the community developing for Windows Azure this year has come a long, long way.
It was only one year ago at PDC ’08 that we launched Azure by inviting you as PDC participants to our Community Technology Preview. We committed to spending the year engaged with you, listening and learning, and reshaping Azure before we took it live.

Microsoft’s New Leader of Server and Tools: ‘Our Mission Is to Cloud-Optimize Every Business’ [feature article for the press, June 22, 2011]

Satya Nadella, the new president of Microsoft’s Server and Tools Business (STB), recently told Microsoft employees that “Microsoft has always stood for democratizing access to computing platforms. We did it with PC-based server computing, the biggest democratizing force ever. We have a similar opportunity now with cloud computing that will make it possible for companies of all sizes, and countries of all GDPs, to really take advantage of latest technology to improve productivity and people’s lives.”

Nadella added that his top priority as STB president is to cultivate a vibrant engineering community armed with best tools around. That community in turn will lead the company through a computing shift every bit as transformational as the rise of the PC.

As the industry moves toward what he calls the “post-virtualization era,” Nadella reflects on the industry trends that are driving the shift. First, the notion of a modern operating system is shifting from software running on a single, physical server, to software running across an entire datacenter of servers. Services traditionally managed by a machine – storage, networking, compute – are no longer bound to a particular machine. This notion of an “elastic” infrastructure can have significant business benefits for customers. Moreover, he says, the data itself is becoming a platform developers can build on that leads to a whole new set of innovative application scenarios.

Delivering companies new value through the cloud will be at the center of everything STB does moving forward: “Our strategy in a nutshell is to cloud-optimize every business,” he said. That means offering businesses on-demand, scalable infrastructure and the ability to tap massive amounts of data for new business insight.

Nadella, a Microsoft veteran since 1992, was appointed to his new role in February. As president of STB, he is tasked with leading Microsoft’s enterprise transformation into the cloud and providing the technology roadmap and vision for the future of business computing.

Nadella said his vision for STB has been shaped by the previous stops on his Microsoft journey. Up until a few months ago, he was senior vice president of R&D for Microsoft’s Online Services Division (OSD). There he oversaw the technical vision and engineering of some of the biggest Web services in the world, such as Bing, MSN, and adCenter. Those online operations illuminated the sheer scale of infrastructure needed to run them; Bing alone is powered by 250,000 servers, which manage upwards of 150 petabytes (1 petabyte=1 quadrillion bytes.)

You can’t head-fake your way into running a public cloud service. You have to live it.

– Satya Nadella, President, Server & Tools Business,

The last time Nadella had thought about computing at that scale was in the abstract at graduate school. His boss at the time, OSD President Qi Lu, told him to embrace the new perspective.

“Qi would stress to me, ‘Look, as long as you don’t get Internet scale in its full-glory detail, you just don’t get the systems you need to build going forward,’” he said.

During four and half years at OSD, Nadella absorbed the lesson. He said his time at OSD prompted him to relearn infrastructure – something he wants to help Microsoft’s server business to do as it presses on into cloud computing. Massive systems infrastructure is required to handle workloads like Bing or Microsoft adCenter, which runs 20,000 simultaneous auctions each time a search query happens. That scale has shaped his thinking about the back-end infrastructure Microsoft must build going forward.

“As the industry moves more and more towards the public cloud – which will take time – we’ll move from the private cloud ‘datacenter OS’ that represents thousands of processing cores to a ‘public cloud OS’ that will need to understand a million cores. Our customers will want a vendor who is both battle-tested in the operating system and in the cloud scale services. Microsoft will be that vendor.”

“You can’t head-fake your way into running a public cloud service,” he notes. “You have to live it.”

Nadella doesn’t have to think twice when asked about his plans for STB’s future. “We have the leading server operating system share and the most widely used database, professional developer tools, and mission critical developer framework in the industry. But we can’t be complacent – we will continue to grow our existing business, but the cloud will shape the future of the industry, and we aim to be the industry leader.”

alias “MS private cloud PR”: Microsoft Brings the Cloud Down to Earth for Enterprises [press release, Jan 17, 2012]

System Center 2012 is a true “private cloud builder.”

In an online broadcast today from Microsoft Corp. headquarters, Satya Nadella, president of Microsoft Server and Tools Business, laid out how Microsoft’s private cloud solution will help businesses move faster, save money and better compete in 2012. He highlighted how companies, such as webcast participants Lufthansa Systems, T. Rowe Price and Unilever, can use Microsoft System Center 2012 to build and operate private clouds for the delivery of business applications across both private and public cloud platforms. System Center 2012 is available today in a Release Candidate as a single, integrated private cloud management solution for the first time.

“IT leaders tell me that private cloud computing promises to help them focus on innovation over maintenance, to streamline costs and to respond to the need for IT speed,” Nadella said. “We are delivering on that promise today. With System Center 2012, customers can move beyond the industry hype and speculation, and progress into the here and now of private cloud.”

All Together Now: Private Cloud Simplicity and Best Economics

New advances in System Center 2012 demonstrate Microsoft’s commitment to easing the acquisition, deployment and economics of private cloud computing.

“A private cloud is our answer to corralling our server infrastructure into a single entity we can use to more rapidly deliver services that really matter to our business,” said Peter Daniels, vice president of IT at T. Rowe Price. “System Center 2012 is truly a game changer.”

image281System Center 2012 integrates eight separate component products into one unified solution, streamlining installation and reducing the time it takes to deploy from days down to hours. The number of product versions has also been simplified, so customers will be able to choose between the Standard and Datacenter editions of the product, based on their virtualization requirements. And because System Center 2012 Datacenter edition licensing covers unlimited virtual machines, customers can continually grow their private clouds without additional licensing costs for virtualizing their infrastructure and applications.

The Microsoft Private Cloud: Built for the Future. Ready Now

Lufthansa Systems and Unilever are also relying on System Center 2012 and the Microsoft private cloud.

“We are making the move to cloud computing across our company, and after looking at our options, Microsoft offers the right solutions for us,” said Holger Berndt, head of Microsoft Servers at Lufthansa Systems. “With the integrated approach and technology, we can use the people and skills we have in place now to build the private cloud services we need to meet the complex IT requirements of our customers. Microsoft brings it all together, including the clear path to public cloud on Windows Azure.”

“Our private cloud will help us meet our goal of doubling Unilever’s business without increasing our environmental footprint,” said Mike Royle, enterprise services IT director at Unilever. “Working with Avanade, we are betting on System Center 2012 as the management platform to extend our investments in virtualization toward private cloud, to automate processes, and to ensure the reliability of our infrastructure and application services.”

More information is available at the Microsoft Server and Cloud Platform website, including the on-demand broadcast, links to the Microsoft private cloud evaluation software and more. The conversation on Twitter can be followed at #MSFTprivatecloud.

From: Meet the Team That Puts ‘Amazing Power’ at People’s Fingertips [Microsoft feature article for the press, Feb 14, 2012]

Members of the Windows Server team speak with Microsoft News Center about their groundbreaking work in moving customers to the cloud—and what else they find fascinating.

  • Betsy Speare, a principle program manager lead in the Windows Server Manageability team
  • Erin Chapple, a partner group program manager in the Server and Cloud Division
  • Jeffrey Snover, a Distinguished Engineer who is also the lead architect for Windows Server

What Chapple, Speare, Jeffrey Snover …, and the rest of their team are working on right now is the next version of Windows Server, code-named “Windows Server 8” [Windows Server 2012], which will provide better management capabilities, increased security and significant cost savings. Windows Server 8 will also help many Microsoft customers move more of their business to the cloud.

“Windows Server 8 really sets us up to enable the little guy to get ahead,” says Speare, whose responsibilities include overseeing Group Policy, the most widely used management tool in the world. “That’s what the cloud does; it puts this amazing power at everyone’s fingertips. With this release, we’re building the platform for that. When people who aren’t deeply technical have the capability to create solutions because the power is right there, it will be amazing to see what happens.”

Microsoft News Center (MNC) recently sat down with Chapple, Speare and Snover, to talk about Windows Server and life in general.

MNC: How is your work going to change the world?

Snover: Servers really are changing the world. Literally. Look at all these mobile phones. The reason why they exist is because of servers at the back end. In the past, when you had to run entire applications on your client device, the client had to be a big monster machine or you couldn’t do stuff. Now that most of the processing is done in a data center, you can get a great experience on a very small device.

Windows Server 8 is the biggest, most transformational server release we’ve ever had. It’s not just the great advances we’ve made in storage, networking and virtualization. What’s most transformational is the change of identity. In past, we always viewed Windows Server as an operating system for a single server. With Windows Server 8, we now see it as a cloud operating system, which is to say an OS for lots of servers and all the devices that connect them. That means we’re able to give customers a far more coherent experience at lower cost and lower effort on their part.

Chapple: One of the key things we work on is a technology called PowerShell. As you think about what’s happening in the world today, with the proliferation of servers, devices and services, our customers need a way to manage all those components that is efficient, one-to-many, repeatable and consistent. PowerShell is our answer to that.

Customers tell us they feel overwhelmed by the number of things they have to do to manage their environment. PowerShell can help them gain control over their environment and get them out of that world of chaos.

Snover: By enabling the move to the cloud, servers are even transforming the way we do science. In the past, science was driven by hypotheses. Someone would think about the world, generate a hypothesis, and then run a set of experiments to validate or invalidate it. But with the large data centers we have today, we can take an entirely new approach. We’re now able to configure these servers to throw massive computing power at a problem, and to reverse engineer a hypothesis based on what the data is telling us. This allows us to solve bigger problems than we’ve ever been able to solve before.

MNC: What’s next for you at Microsoft?

Snover: What’s next for me is figuring out how we take this vision of a cloud OS and break it down into discrete steps. That’s really a 10-year-plus vision. It’s a dramatic increase in the scope of what we want to do. So how do we break that down and ensure that Windows has a smooth transition between where we are and where we need to be?

Bill Gates once said, “Vision is cheap.” At the time, I thought he was a bit of a jerk for saying that. But I then realized that he was right. Vision is cheap. The hard part is figuring out how to get from here to there. There have been many projects with grand visions that have run themselves onto the rocks because no one could break them down into a step-by-step approach. That’s what my job is.

Chapple: I was fortunate enough to take my sabbatical last fall and travel the world for three months, which gave me a chance to clear my head, recharge, and figure out what I want to do. It gave me this great perspective.

I feel like I’m at the end of one journey and the beginning of another. I’ve been working in manageability for the last five years or so, and when I started in manageability it was a four-letter word. People were like, “I don’t want to think about how I make my product manageable; I want to just build great features.” With the move to the cloud and the move to services, the manageability of our system has become more of a focal point and an asset. With Windows Server 8, we really have pulled all the pieces together and we’re delivering a great solution.

I am just so proud of the work we’re doing. We’re at this inflection point from a cloud perspective. There’s a great opportunity to think about what we want to do with Windows Server, and how we hope to help people migrate to the cloud. So I’m all in, in terms of figuring out what the next turn of the crank means for Windows Server. I think we have more opportunities than we ever had in the past, and it’s exciting to be part of that.

Windows Server “8” beta available now! [Windows Server Blog, March 1, 2012]

Bill Laing
Corporate Vice President, Server and Cloud

The beta of Windows Server “8” is now available for IT professionals and software developers around the world to download, to evaluate, and to give us feedback on.

In September we introduced Windows Server “8” with a preview to help developers and hardware partners prepare new and existing applications, systems and devices. The response from that community, along with hundreds of customers in our early adopters program, has been incredibly positive. A common theme of feedback has been how broad and deep the new capabilities are.

Now is the time for you, IT professionals in organizations of all sizes, to get your hands on this new release, discover the new capabilities and contribute to the development of what we call the cloud-optimized OS.

I’ll highlight in this post just a few examples of new capabilities that you’ll want to explore.

With the new Hyper-V we are taking virtualization above and beyond to provide a multi-tenant platform for cloud computing. For example, with Hyper-V Network Virtualization you can create virtual networks so different business units, or even multiple customers, can seamlessly share network infrastructure. You will be able to move virtual machines and servers around without losing their network assignments.

In Windows Server “8” we are delivering high availability and disaster recovery through software technology on much more cost effective hardware. For example, with File Server Transparent Failover you can now more easily perform hardware or software maintenance of nodes in a File Server cluster by moving file shares between nodes with little interruption to server applications that are storing data on those file shares.

We’re also delivering a tremendous amount of new capabilities for multi-machine management and automation. You will want to explore the dramatic new improvements to Server Manager, as well as the new Windows PowerShell. With 2,300 commandlets provided out of the box, Windows PowerShell allows you to automate everything you can do manually with the user interface. And, with technologies like Intellisense, we’ve made it very easy for you to master all of that power.

Additionally, Windows Server “8” provides a powerful server application platform that enables you to develop and host the most demanding of application workloads. For example, with .NET Framework 4.5 you can take advantage of new asynch language and library support to build server and web applications that scale far beyond what other platforms provide. Our new IIS 8 web server provides better security isolation and resource sand-boxing between applications, native support for web sockets, and the ability to host significantly more sites on a server.

This is just a brief taste of the hundreds of features and capabilities you will find in the beta. (My team has written a number of other posts you can read here.) If you have been using and providing feedback on the developer preview of Windows Server “8,” thank you! I can’t wait for more people to start trying out Windows Server “8” and letting us know what they think.

Microsoft Ushers in the ‘Era of the Cloud OS’ [press release, June 11, 2012]

Today at the 20th annual TechEd North America conference, Microsoft Server and Tools Business President Satya Nadella welcomed a sold-out crowd of more than 10,000 to the era of the cloud operating system (OS) for infrastructure. Nadella described how the cloud OS drives both the modern datacenter and enables the development and management of modern applications, demonstrating how customers can benefit from this transformation with agility, focus and lower costs. He also announced updates to the company’s developer tools and availability of the next release of Windows Intune, the company’s cloud-based solution for PC and mobile device management and security.

Built on decades of experience gleaned from running massive datacenters at scale, Windows Server 2012 is the cloud-optimized server OS for customers of all sizes, and Windows Azure, updated with new services and features, delivers both infrastructure-as-a-service and platform-as-a-service capabilities. Built to complement each other with consistent development, management and identity, they make it easier to create, migrate, deploy and manage applications across public, private and hybrid clouds.

“The operating system does two things: it looks after the hardware, and it provides a platform for applications. The modern datacenter and modern apps put more pressure than ever on infrastructure to become truly cloud-optimized, and that’s where Microsoft builds on our legacy with the OS to help our customers,” Nadella said. “Microsoft is your partner in the transformation of IT because only Microsoft offers the modern, yet familiar, platform that enables you to connect with the cloud on your terms.”

Connecting With the Cloud

Every customer’s path to the cloud will be unique, which is why Microsoft Corp. is optimizing its technologies and tools so customers can easily connect to public, private or hybrid clouds when they are ready. Customers, such as Aflac Inc., ING Direct and Tribune Co., are already working with Microsoft to expand their datacenters into the cloud to scale on demand and help reduce infrastructure costs.

“Delivering content to thousands of users across multiple devices and platforms requires a level of infrastructure that’s easier to manage and more affordable with the cloud,” said Denise Schuster, senior vice president of Digital Innovations for Tribune Company. “We are currently using various methods to deliver content via cloud services, and we’re moving our digital content to Windows Azure to help us find new ways to better deliver a targeted, more personalized experience for our customer base.”

To ease customers’ transitions to the cloud, Microsoft underscored the release candidate of Windows Server 2012, recent updates to Windows Azure and the release of Windows Intune. Together, these new releases make it even easier for customers to leverage one modern operating system across public, private and hybrid clouds and manage a multitude of devices connected to those clouds.

  • Windows Server 2012 Release Candidate (RC). Released May 31, 2012, the Windows Server 2012 RC is available for customers to download and evaluate today. Advancements in storage, networking and scalability have been drawn from Microsoft’s experience running public cloud services.
  • Windows Azure. Windows Azure is newly updated with preview support for Virtual Machine and Virtual Network, support for Windows and Linux images, and additional support for Java and Python.
  • Windows Intune. The next release of Windows Intune, now available athttp://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/windowsintune/pc-management.aspx, includes expanded management and security benefits through mobile device management and adds people-centric management capabilities and upgrade rights to the latest version of Windows.

Enabling Developers With Cloud Tools

To streamline and accelerate application development and deployment, Microsoft Team Foundation Service, an application lifecycle management tool hosted on Windows Azure, is now even easier for teams to integrate into their development process. Team Foundation Service features collaboration tools, a code repository, and powerful reporting and traceability tools to help teams more effectively manage software development. Beginning today, a public preview of Team Foundation Service is available at http://tfspreview.com.

To help developers and IT professionals build immersive experiences that scale across devices and the cloud, the company announced that Microsoft LightSwitch, an easy-to-use development tool for quickly building applications, will now render HTML5. Integrating HTML5 into LightSwitch will enable developers using the tool to target any device or platform supporting HTML5.

Those who want to learn more about today’s news or watch the keynotes should visit the TechEd North America 2012 virtual press kit. Those who want additional context on the news should visit Satya Nadella’s post on the Official Microsoft Blog.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

Welcome to the Era of the Cloud OS for Infrastructure! [The Official Microsoft Blog, June 11, 2012]

Posted by Satya Nadella
President, Server & Tools Business, Microsoft

Twenty years ago at Microsoft’s first annual TechEd conference, we gathered to talk about the industry transformation from mainframe to minis to client/server computing. The vehicle for that transformation was the Windows operating system. Today at TechEd, we’re again talking about the industry transformation: the transformation to the cloud. Once again, the Windows operating system is the vehicle for this transformation.

Let me step back. At the most basic level, any operating system has two “jobs”: it needs to manage the underlying hardware, and it needs to provide a platform for applications. The fundamental role of an operating system has not changed, but the scale at which servers are deployed and the type of applications now available or in development are changing massively. On the hardware front, the “unit” of hardware abstraction that a server OS manages has now reached the “datacenter” level. And by that I mean a datacenter ranging from the smallest cluster of a few servers to the very massive footprint of one of Microsoft’s global installations with thousands of servers across multiple geographically distributed datacenters.

In response to the needs of large-scale service providers pushing the limits of technology every day, networking, storage and compute vendors have responded by delivering significant innovations to help increase scale, performance and to help remove bottlenecks. These industries have all driven this transformation in parallel. Now, we must think beyond a server at a time and instead look at the OS as the driver of the datacenter. Today’s datacenter is a scalable, intelligent, automated environment spanning all of the shared resources, and it is the magic of software that brings this all together to orchestrate the three resources of the datacenter: network, storage and compute. In other words, a cloud OS.

Just as the job of managing hardware has been transformed, the job of running applications has also shifted. We live in an era of many devices, where applications need to span across PCs to phones to tablets with an adaptive backend that can keep it all together. The ways in which we interact with those applications – and by that I mean both through touch and swipe and click AND through “likes”, “follows” and “shares” – pushes us forward. And the huge amounts of data that feed and enable these modern applications through the cloud needs to be managed. Again, the need for a cloud OS.

Microsoft has been at the center of this transformation. As a large-scale service provider, we’ve been experiencing all of these changes real time, in our datacenters and through our services, learning and applying those learnings to what we build even as we work with the industry to push the limits of the technology. Our conversation since that first TechEd, and the focus on the operating system, isn’t new: the OS is still the intelligence that makes it all work. What has changed is the scale, the scope, and the range of the infrastructure OS to deliver against the opportunities the cloud presents. With Windows Server 2012 and Windows Azure, we’ve taken everything we’ve learned from running datacenters and services at global scale and are delivering the next generation of operating systems – the “cloud OS” – to help our customers seize the opportunities of the cloud.

I’m looking forward to talking a lot more about this new era of the cloud OS at TechEd this week and how we are helping customers make the very most of this transition. If you aren’t able to join us live in Orlando this week, I hope you’ll have a chance to view the keynotes online. It’s an exciting time to be in IT!

From: Satya Nadella, Scott Guthrie and Jason Zander: TechEd 2012 Day 1 Keynote [speech transcripts, June 11, 2012]

SATYA NADELLA:
… what we are going to discuss over the next 90 minutes, the modern datacenter, the modern application framework that make up the cloud operating system, the basic underpinnings for this new era of connected devices and continuous services.
When you talk about the modern datacenter, it’s perhaps best to start with what’s happening at the system level, what’s happening at the silicon, what’s happening to a single blade, a single system, and then a cluster.
The fundamental thing that all of us at this point are tracking pretty closely is the notion that storage, compute, and network are co-evolving. I mean, if you think about the compute power, for sure Moore’s Law is still continuing to work in its full glory. It probably is resulting in more core density versus perhaps single-thread performance, but still we’re able to pack amazing amounts of compute power.
Once you have a lot of compute power, there is not much use to it if you can’t really have the IOPS that have to go with it. And so the revolution in storage, especially around tiering, is what’s really in full play, because the disk speed itself is not something that’s going to faster, but at the same time the fact that SSD costs and Flash costs are coming down give us a huge opportunity to rethink, especially if you think about what’s happening in the database world with in-memory, you can sort of see that you can start thinking about applications and application performance and IOPS per dollar in a very different way in terms of the nexus between CPU utilization and storage access.
But one of the things which is really an artifact of the CPU to storage connection is the network. It’s the fast interconnect, it’s sort of the era of the fast interconnect between storage and compute that’s driving a lot of innovation.
And the key to this co-evolution of storage, compute and network is really software control. You really cannot afford to have the control fragmentation, because if you do that then you’re not going to be able to achieve the economic benefits, the agility benefits and the innovation benefits that these new systems at high density can provide.
Now, perhaps you can sort of say, well, that’s something that’s been true. After all, Moore’s Law has really played this out even in the past, over the last 10 years in particular as we have gone to these clusters and blades and software-based solutions, but one of the fundamental things that I believe has changed is services at scale, and this is a very big difference for me personally since 1993. When we were building Windows NT, we didn’t have in-house at scale workloads on NT. Subsequently we got onto a fantastic virtuous cycle, which is the fact that we had hit workloads in Exchange, in Lync, in SharePoint, in SQL Server ensured that with each release of our server operating system we were able to get the feedback from you and learn continuously from you and make that product better and better and better and more robust, and that’s sort of testament to sort of all the deployments that we have.
But for the first time now the same kind of cycle of learning is playing out when we talk about Internet scale services. Just think about the depth and breadth of the first-party workloads that Microsoft is running today on a daily basis. We have Xbox LIVE that’s doing some fascinating GPU simulation in the cloud for some of their games. You have Office 365 which is Exchange and SharePoint at scale. You have Dynamics CRM which is a stateful transactional application in the cloud. You have Bing, which is really a big data-applied machine learning application in the cloud. You have things like HealthVault, which is secure transactional consumer applications. So, you have a very broad spectrum. So, we run approximately 200 very diverse workloads across Microsoft.
That diversity is what’s really making us build the right operating systems, the right management stack, the right tools. In fact, perhaps the best way to illustrate it is what happens to us on a daily basis. For example, just in terms of the physical plant we have around 16 major datacenters across the globe, we have around a thousand access points, we have a couple of hundred megawatts of power powering hundreds of thousands of machines. We have terabits of network out of our datacenters. We have petabytes of data. In fact, Bing itself has got approximately 300 petabytes of data. We write something like 1 terabyte of records each day.
Now, all of that you could say is fascinating statistics; what does that really have to do anything with infrastructure that we build? It’s just that we are battle-testing every piece of software. Just, in fact, last week, we upgraded all of the Bing front ends to Windows Server 2012 RC. And so today, Bing is running the release candidate of the next server operating system in full production workload.
That type of feedback where we are constantly able to take the learning internally is what’s shaping the host OS, the guest OS, the frameworks, the tools, the performance, and that we believe is not something you can easily — you can’t just head fake it, you can’t just go in and say we’ve built it for scale without having run if yourself, and I think that that’s perhaps in the long run going to make one of the biggest distinctions.
Of course, none of this matters if you can’t scale minimize it, because it’s not as if every deployment of a private cloud or a virtualization instance is going to be at the scale we run. So, the key is for us to be able to take all of that power, all of that learning, package it up into the smallest of clusters, half a rack, a full rack or what have you, and that’s really what our intent is.
And when you think about that as the backdrop, the criteria to look at a modern datacenter, there are four key attributes that I would say that one should look at. The first one is the scalability and the elasticity, and you need the elasticity to go with it, especially in the context of a heterogeneous set of workloads when you’re running in particular highly virtualized distributed environments, because you want to get utilization up and without elasticity you’re not going to be able to achieve it with all the amount of scale.
The second one is always up, always on. There’s no point having all of the scale and elasticity without the continuous availability.
Shared resources, building out for multitenancy from the ground up; it could be when your private cloud, the fact that you’re running two departments, two applications, and you want to be able to isolate them.
And then, of course, automating, because you can’t linearly scale your operations with your infrastructure, and that means automation, automation, automation, and that is something that is a very super important thing to make sure that the system provides the hooks for you to be able to achieve that and then lower your costs.
So, that’s what really inspired us to build Windows Server 2012. It’s an amazing, amazing release. In fact, you know, as we were preparing for this event perhaps the biggest struggle we had is we have a 90 minute keynote, we have a lot to show, what features of Server 2012 do we even get to demo and talk about is perhaps the thing that really troubled us the most, but Windows Server 2012 has hundreds of features, and I just wanted to highlight a few of them in the context of this notion of a modern datacenter.
When it comes to scalability and elasticity, the performance gains, the sheer capability gains of the host operating system, Hyper-V 3.0, are just stunning. Just one of them, the notion that we now have in one VM the ability to support 64 virtual procs and 1 terabyte of memory is something stunning, because we can now run pretty much 99 percent of the tier one SQL workloads can be virtualized on Hyper-V 3.0, and it’s a pretty stunning figure and you’ll see a lot more of that.
Always up, always on is something that again has been built deeply into the system. Something which is sort of a feature that I love the most is this ability to update the cluster without having to bring down the cluster nodes, and have continuous availability.
Continuous availability of storage, huge gains in that dimension.
Shared resources. Again, multitenancy both with System Center and Windows Server has been built into the foundation. The ability to have network virtualization, storage virtualization to go with server virtualization is what makes it possible for you to have a fully virtualized environment that is sharable.
And if you have these multiple workloads from multiple departments you can isolate them using policy, you can monitor the resource usage using policies and make sure that there isn’t one workload that takes away all of the resources. So, a lot of gains again when it comes to sharing of resources across the virtualized infrastructure.
And lastly, when it comes to automation and self-service we have done a lot in terms of exposing the surface area of PowerShell. It’s actually a pretty amazing release for those of you who are big PowerShell users in terms of the commandlet explosion that we have had so that you can automate pretty much anything that’s there in Windows Server. We have 2,400 commandlets in PowerShell. We have built-in standards based management, and of course with System Center you have a full capable datacenter management suite.
So, to show you some of this in action I wanted to invite up onstage Jeff Woolsey from our Windows Server 2012 team. Jeff? (Applause.)
JEFF WOOLSEY: Thanks, Satya. It’s a pleasure to be here.
How’s everybody doing? (Cheers, applause.) Oh, come on! How’s everybody doing? (Cheers, applause.) Awesome. Welcome to Orlando. It’s a big, big, exciting show.
Well, Windows Server 2012 is about making your business more agile. It’s about making your datacenter more flexible, and providing you the ability to extend your datacenter to the cloud securely on your terms. Quite simply, Windows Server 2012 is about providing the best cloud OS.
Let’s start with scale. With Server 2012 we want to virtualize those workloads considered non-virtualizable, workloads that require dozens of cores, hundreds of gigabytes of memory, are likely SAN attached and with exceptionally high IO requirements.
Well, today, we want to redefine performance, we want to redefine scale. So, today, with Server 2012 and Hyper-V we’ll support up to 320 logical processors per server, up to 4 terabytes of memory per server, and up to 64 virtual processors per VM.
In addition, you can see we support I’ve got 100 gigabytes of memory allocated to this virtual machine, but we’ll support up to a full terabyte of memory for a VM. And whether this VM has been allocated 10 gigabytes, 100 gigabytes or a full terabyte, it still costs the same.
In terms of virtual storage our virtual disks now support up to 64 terabytes per virtual disk. That’s 32 times anyone else in the industry.
We also support the largest clusters with 64 nodes and up to 4,000 virtual machines in a single cluster.
Now, if I give you a virtual machine with 64 virtual processors and a terabyte of memory, quite honestly that’s irrelevant if I can’t provide the ability to give you the IO to actually keep those workloads and those resources busy.
So, let’s take a look at Hyper-V IO performance. Now, before I do, let me tell you a little bit about the hardware I’m about to show you. This is an industry-standard four socket server. It’s got 80 logical processors, 256 gigabytes of memory. It has five LSI HBAs attached to 40 SSDs.
Now, you may be thinking, hold on here, why is he using SSDs, why is he not using traditional spinning media? Well, for this next demo we certainly could have used 15k SAS disks. However, we would have needed 4,000 disks in 10 full sized 42U containers, racks, full of disks. So, we decided to opt for SSDs instead.
Let me show you. I’m going to switch on over here the Iometer. Iometer is an industry standard tool and, in fact, the configuration and test that I’m going to run is industry standard. This is 4k random IOPS. This is the hard stuff, not the easy sequential stuff. This is 4k random IOPS, cued up to 32, 40 concurrent threads.
By the way, the guys over at VMware claim that they can deliver up to 300,000 IOPS from a single VM.
Well, let me show you with Windows Server 2012 we’re delivering 985,000 IOPS from a single virtual machine. Let me say that one more time: over three times more IOPS from a single virtual machine. (Cheers, applause.)
And let me be very clear: This is not a Hyper-V limitation. We can go much, much higher. This is as fast as the hardware will go. We couldn’t put any more host bus adaptors in this machine.
So, with support for up to 64 virtual processors, a terabyte of memory, and nearly a million IOPS in a single server, we can run over 99 percent of the world’s SQL Servers.
Now, while we’re talking about storage, by the way, let me talk about some of our other investments in storage. For example, in Windows Server 2012 we’ve made some huge investments in file-based storage. For example, we have a new scale-out file server. With the scale-out file server it intrinsically, because of the architecture, it’s an active-active architecture, which intrinsically inherently means as I add more nodes I get more scale, but I also get more continuous availability because I can remove or add nodes without any down time. It’s an extremely powerful new capability in Server 2012.
And then there’s what we’ve done with SANs. Quite honestly, this is earthshattering with offloaded data transfer or ODX. With offloaded data transfer Windows Server 2012 can leverage the native SAN array capabilities in your array.
Let me show you. In this first example I’m going to copy a 10 terabyte file using non-ODX storage. Now, you can see in this example from a CPU standpoint I’m getting about somewhere between 35 to 40 percent CPU utilization. In terms of networking you can see we are fully saturating Ethernet. We’re getting about 78 megabytes per second; not too bad, but in this case the server is performing all of the copying. It’s reading from the source and writing to the destination, reading from the source and writing to the destination.
Well, now on the split screen let me actually copy the same file, 10 gigabyte file, using ODX enabled storage.
Now, make sure you don’t look away. I’d hate it if you missed the demo here.
Again this is a 10 gigabyte file, and what are you seeing? You’re seeing that I’m copying and getting over a gigabyte per second. I’m copying a 10 gigabyte file in 10 seconds. (Applause.) Awesome ODX-enabled storage from our partners over at EMC. And by the way, there was no network utilization at all, because this was leveraging the capabilities in the array. When you couple ODX with a bunch of our other enhancements in storage, virtual fiber channel, cluster enhancements for replication and synchronous replication, as well as a swath of other capabilities, quite simply if you own a SAN, Windows Server 2012 is a no-brainer, it’s really that easy.
Now let’s talk about networking. In Server 2012 we made a huge investment in networking, for example network virtualization. With network virtualization I can have multiple companies, disparate organizations, all sharing the same physical fabric with secure multitenancy. In addition, we have features like Windows NIC teaming that brings LBFO into the box, and literally dozens and hundreds of new capabilities when it comes to Windows Server networking.
In terms of the Hyper-V switch we’ve done a tremendous amount of work in the Hyper-V switch for performance, security, manageability, automation, and one of the things we did was we knew that we couldn’t be all things to all people. So, what we decided to do was also make it open and extensible.
So, for example, I’m going to go here to the virtual switch manager and you can see I’ve got the Cisco Nexus 1000V for Hyper-V running right here.
Now, in this case you can see in the split screen I’ve got a couple VMs over here that are using quite a bit of bandwidth, and my network admins, they like to keep an eye on their network utilization and they want to apply a QoS port policy to this. No problem. I can manage it because I’m using the Cisco Nexus 100V in the same way I manage my other infrastructure. And in this case I’m going to use simply the Nexus 100V admin tool, and I’m going to modify the port profile, and I’m going to use a QoS port profile. And like that, I’m applying QoS port profiles on my virtual switches just like I can on my physical switches.
Now, this is just one example of the ecosystem we’re creating with the Hyper-V extensible switch. While you’re here, make sure you check out the tech expo. We’ve got a lot of partners that are plugging into the extensible switch, and, in fact, there’s a lot of excitement in the industry around where networking is going right now, and including a lot of people embracing software-defined networking.
Now let’s talk about automation. One of the best ways to reduce costs and improve efficiency at scale is pervasive automation. With Windows Server 2012 we’re dropping in a V12 world class automation engine in PowerShell. With over 2,400 PowerShell commandlets everything you want to do in server now can be automated. (Cheers.) Got a winner out there.
One of the things we wanted to do is in this next demonstration I wanted to show how we’re coupling PowerShell with site migration capabilities utilizing one of our hotly anticipated features, Hyper-V Replica.
So, in this case I’m going to bring up System Center, and I’m going to start my runbook. Now, what I’ve been doing is I’ve been using Hyper-V Replica to replicate virtual machines from one site to another. Now what I want to do is I actually want in a systematic and methodical way to actually bring them up on my new site.
So, first, I’m going to type in my destination host, going to type in my source host, and I’m going to provide the server that’s actually going to do the runbook automation, and I’m going to click start.
Now, while that’s happening let’s move on over to instances and view the details. And you can get a high level overview of what’s actually happening here. What’s happening here is through runbook automation System Center is using PowerShell as the automation engine to actually make sure that everything is in place to begin the migration from my workloads from one site to the next. It will then bring up my virtual machines in the correct order with dependencies configured in the runbook automation. All of this very cool, brought to you by Hyper-V replication, and of course at its core PowerShell.
Now, what if you don’t want to just migrate your workload, but what you’d really like to do is extend your datacenter to the cloud using capabilities and capacity from a provider. Well, let me show you how we do that with Windows Server 2012 and System Center 2012 SP1.
You can see here I’ve got a view of my clouds on-premise: dev cloud, infrastructure, preproduction and production environments. But what I’d like to do is I’d like to connect to my service provider. So, I’m going to go to connections, which is where I broker connections. Here I’m going to click on connect and you can see I have the option to connect to another VM in the server or use SPF, the System Center Provider Foundation. This is a powerful new capability that allows me to take on capacity provided to me by my service provider.
Now, in this case I’ve bought capacity from Orlando Hosting, and they have provided me a URL. Of course, I need a certificate for pretty obvious reasons, encryption. Type in my password and click OK.
And what you’re seeing is in a few easy steps what I’m doing right now is System Center is brokering the connection with Orlando Hosting so that I can provide that capacity and manage that capacity under my control. In fact, if I go back on over here to cloud what do you see, you’ll see that Orlando Hosting now appears in my console in the context of my other clouds running on-premise. Very cool stuff here.
So, in just a few moments we’ve flown through literally a whole bunch of technologies and capabilities, but one thing I want to be very clear about, quite honestly I haven’t even scratched the surface of what’s new in Server 2012: with massive scale, massive performance, complete VM mobility, the only virtualization platform that allows you to live migrate servers with nothing but an Ethernet cable, PowerShell automation, offloaded data transfer, and the ability to extend your datacenter to the cloud with System Center. Quite simply, these are just a few of the dozens of reasons why Windows Server 2012 and System Center 2012 is the best way to cloud optimize your business.
Thank you very much. (Applause.)
SATYA NADELLA: So, hopefully you got a quick glimpse of the power in Server 2012. It’s a fantastic release, and I think over the course of this conference you will get a chance for many drilldown sessions on the hundreds of features in Server 2012.
Ever since the beta there has been tremendous traction with our customers. Over 300,000 customers used the product since beta, and, in fact, the first three months after the beta. Since we went and had the RC launch, in the first week we had 80,000 customers download the RC, as I said. Internally we have RC deployed in production.
We had 150 customers who are part of our TAP program that we work with very closely, many of them already taking the RC and put in production workloads that we support, so a tremendous amount of progress.
So, let’s roll a video with some of the comments from the customers who have been using Windows Server 2012.
(Video segment.)
SATYA NADELLA: And as Jeff was mentioning, we are building Windows Server 2012 of course to power your datacenters and your private clouds, but we’re also building it with in mind an overall broader ecosystem. We want to make sure that there is a consistent world of Windows Server across the service provider, Windows Azure, as well as your datacenter, and that’s one of the most important technical and strategic goals for us at Microsoft.
When we say consistency, the key thing is for us to ensure that identity, virtualization, management, and development is something that is consistent across the service provider, Windows cloud, your datacenter, and Windows Azure.
And in that context last week, we announced a major set of revamp and features for Windows Azure, and one of them was our infrastructure as a service. With the launch of infrastructure as a service capabilities in Windows Azure you now have virtual machine portability with no changes to format, the ability to take an app and a workload and move it transparently from your own private cloud to Azure, to a service provider, and back with no lock-in is something that you can do.
So, I wanted to give you a feel for some of the new capabilities in Windows Azure and the infrastructure as a service, and to do that I wanted to introduce up onstage Mark Russinovich from our Windows Azure team. Mark? (Cheers, applause.)
MARK RUSSINOVICH: Good morning, everybody.
So, I know most of you like automation, especially with PowerShell, but we wanted to make it so easy to create virtual machines in Windows Azure that even your boss can do it. And so for that I’m going to switch over to the newly designed and Metro-optimized Windows Azure portal.
Now, there’s been an explosion of a certain class of devices and a specific device that I suspect many of you are using. So, we wanted to make sure that this new portal works on all operating systems and all browsers. So, to answer your question that I know you’ve got in your head, yes, it will look great on your Nokia Lumia 900 Windows Phone 7 device.
Now, here you can see all the resources that we can manage in the portal, including virtual machines. We’ve got a consistent experience for creating new resources here you can get with this new button down here. I’m going to show you how to create a new virtual machine and how easy it is. When I select this menu item I’ve got two options. One is quick create, which lets me with a single dialog box pick the most common options for creating a virtual machine in one click. But I’m going to show you some of the more advanced features that we’ve got with this release by picking the gallery option.
And so you can see the list of platform images I can select from, and no, we haven’t been hacked, we’ve actually got Linux up here in Windows Azure. We’ve worked closely with these companies making these distributions to support them on Windows Azure. But for this demonstration, of course, I’m going to pick the best operating system in the list, the one that is so good that it doesn’t even need an icon, and that is Windows Server 2012. (Laughter.)
Press next here, I’ll give it a sample name, a password that will make it happy. I hope I’ve got those matched. And press next.
Now, in this dialog I get asked whether I want to create a standalone virtual machine or to add this virtual machine to an existing virtual machine to create a cloud service that consists of multiple virtual machines. I’m going to go ahead and select standalone virtual machines, give this virtual machine the DNS name that I can access it over the Internet with, and now I pick the storage account into which I want the operating system VHD to be placed, and that’s because we’re using Windows Azure storage underneath to store VM VHDs.
I click to use automatically generated storage account and it will create one for me, or I could pick one that I’ve already got, and then I get this dropdown here that asks me where I want to place this virtual machine. I can pick from any of the number of datacenters that we’ve got Windows Azure running in across the world or I can even pick to deploy it into a virtual network, which is a VPN gateway subnet up in Windows Azure that connects back to corpnet. So, I’m going to pick the VPN network that I’ve already got up there, the corp network, and press next.
And this final dialog lets me pick some of the scale-out and high availability features that we’ve got that I’ll demonstrate actually in a few minutes. So, I’m going to go ahead and skip that slide and just press next to go create that virtual machine.
Now, as Satya said, one of our goals was to make it easy to migrate virtual machines back and forth. So, let’s say that you’ve got an application running on-premise in your Hyper-V private cloud like this one right here. It’s a simple events manager app that’s built on IIS and SQL Server, and I want to take that application and migrate it up into Windows Azure. Because Windows Azure virtual machines are based on Windows Azure storage, I can simply upload them to Windows Azure storage blobs and then create virtual machines from them.
But what makes that simpler to migrate virtual machines is System Center 2012 App Controller that Jeff introduced you to. I’m going to go over to the App Controller dialog here, and you can manage private clouds, you can also manage Windows Azure. I’ve got that application running here on my private cloud. If I go to the virtual machine menu entry you can see there it is, events manager local.
I previously made a backup of that virtual machine VM or VHDs and store it in a library here, and when I right-click on this and select migrate I’ll be guided through a simple wizard that will let me push that entire VM with its VHDs up into Windows Azure.
I pick the cloud that I want to deploy to. In this case it will be Windows Azure. Pick the cloud service I want to deploy into. Here I can create a new cloud service or I can add this VM to an existing one. I’ll add it to this one right here, press OK.
Final step, pick some of the options you saw me pick in the portal there with the create virtual machine wizard like the instance size. I’ll pick an extra large. The storage account I want to upload into, so just navigating through my Windows Azure storage accounts. I’ll put it in the migrated VMs container.
And the nice thing about App Controller is this virtual machine actually consists of two VHDs, an operating system VHD and a data disk with a SQL Server on it. App Controller knows that and will automatically migrate both of those VHDs up when I press the deploy button.
But how about the reverse? Let’s say that I’ve got an application running up in Windows Azure and I want to bring it back on-premise, maybe for disaster recovery, maybe for backup, maybe I want to just take a look at it. I’ve got that events manager application. I’ve already migrated it up with app controller. You can see it here in this virtual machine list. When I click on it, here you can see a virtual machine dashboard we’ve got. We’re actually having the infrastructure collect performance information and surface it up in the portal, including CPU usage, network usage, in and out, as well as disk I/Os.
Here in the URL you can see the DNS name assigned to that virtual machine. And just to prove it’s actually the same app let’s log in, and we’ll see the same exact interface we saw, because it is the same virtual machine with the same VHDs.
You can see down here there are the two disks that we migrated up sitting in Windows Azure storage. Because it’s Windows Azure storage, not a separate storage service, it uses the same storage APIs, and that means that off the shelf storage utilities for Windows Azure just happen to work against it.
I’ve got an example utility here, Cloud Explorer, and if I go take a look at the VHDs that I’ve got running or the migrated VHDs that I’ve copied up into the cloud here, the data disk and the OS disk, I can simply say copy, paste them into a backup folder up in the cloud. Because this is the copy on write copy it’s almost instantaneous, and now I can take those, copy and then paste them to download them to my local system, and then at that point I can just use Hyper-V to create a virtual machine with those VHDs and get the application back up and running on-premise.
So, that’s a fairly simple application. How about serious enterprise applications like ones that are built on SharePoint and Active Directory? We also have features that support those and we’ve got people that are already building those kinds of applications.
SATYA NADELLA: Thank you, Mark and Mike.
Windows Azure, hopefully you got a good flavor for the capabilities in Windows Azure. It’s the most enterprise-grade public cloud service. Last week we announced a set of features that we have updated as part of our spring wave. We have the fall/spring rhythm with Windows Azure, and we are continuously improving the service. We think that we’re really ready for the mainstream of the enterprise, especially with the coming together of IAAS and PATH.
In terms of the feature capabilities, all the things that we talked about for Windows Server in terms of the release criteria, so to speak, apply to Windows Azure. The first thing in terms of scalability and elasticity, that’s what it’s really been built for at the core. You can scale the virtual machines, you can scale the Azure website, you can scale the cloud services that you build.
In terms of always up/always on, that is of course the underpinning of Windows Azure design, the availability set feature that Mark demoed is something that you inherit even for the IAAS infrastructure from within the core underlying storage and network and compute, and the way it’s constructed so that it’s resilient to hardware failure or network failure. Shared resources, you can make Windows Azure a seamless part of your datacenter, the network virtualization capabilities is something that makes that possible. And, of course, you can automate everything. Everything that’s available, Mark showed a lot of the capabilities in the management portal, but everything is exposed through PowerShell and APIs, so that you can automate it and make it part of your own management suite.
So, we think Windows Azure is really ready to take some of those very mission critical workloads and use them on the public cloud. And hopefully you’ll give that a try as we’re in the early access program for infrastructure as a service.

Microsoft Announces New Cloud Opportunities for Partners [press release, July 10, 2012]

New guidance, training and programs for Windows Server 2012 and Windows Azure unveiled at Worldwide Partner Conference.

During the second day of Microsoft Corp.’s annual Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC), top executives from the company announced new training, tools and other programs that enable partners to deliver compelling new cloud services to their customers. Satya Nadella, president of the Server and Tools Business, announced a community technology preview (CTP) of new technologies that enable hosting service providers to use their Windows Server data centers to deliver capabilities consistent with services running in Windows Azure. In addition, he announced a new program that gives partners guidance, training and software tools to help customers transition from VMware’s virtual infrastructure to Microsoft’s cloud.

“We’ve taken everything that we’ve learned from running data centers and services at a global scale to usher in the new era of the cloud OS,” Nadella said. “Microsoft offers partners modern yet familiar technology to meet customer demand on their path to the cloud.”

With the new CTP, hosting service providers can offer customers turnkey cloud services, including high-scale websites and virtual machine hosting with an extensible self-service portal experience. These capabilities, which run on Windows Server 2012 and Microsoft System Center 2012, will offer hosting providers some of the same experiences and services recently announced by Windows Azure. Go Daddy, the largest global Web hoster, is piloting these new capabilities to deliver new cloud services for customers.

“Customers view Go Daddy as an IT partner with which they can grow,” said Scott Brown, vice president of Product Development – Hosting at Go Daddy. “These new capabilities give customers a seamless path to expanding their online presence. In addition, the improved site performance, scalability and availability all lead to a more enjoyable experience for our customers and their visitors.”

In addition, the new program announced on stage, Switch to Hyper-V, will allow partners to grow their virtualization, private and hybrid cloud computing practices while also helping customers improve IT agility at a lower cost with Microsoft’s cloud infrastructure.

Already, partners are making significant progress in helping their customers with this transition. Microsoft Gold Certified Partner FyrSoft recently helped Iowa-based Pella Corp. migrate nearly 100 percent of its VMware infrastructure — nearly 700 VMware virtual machines — to Hyper-V, moving the company beyond virtualization to a private cloud solution. With the Microsoft private cloud, Pella has evolved its business while reducing IT costs and improving efficiencies. Server and Tools Business Corporate Vice President Takeshi Numoto further details partner opportunities in the era of the cloud OS on a blog published today, and more information can be found here.

In addition, in a keynote that further reinforced how Microsoft is working with its partners to transform businesses throughout the world, Microsoft Business Solutions President Kirill Tatarinov highlighted the incredible opportunity in the year ahead for partners focused on selling business solutions based on Microsoft Dynamics.

“Microsoft brings together technologies in a way that no other company can match,” Tatarinov said. “Microsoft Dynamics takes full advantage of the amazing innovations Microsoft is delivering, and we’re actively supporting our partners in developing and delivering a complete, modern, flexible and cloud-based business solution to grow their businesses. There’s never been a better moment to be a Microsoft Dynamics partner.”

With a renewed focus on building enterprise partnerships, Microsoft announced new global independent software vendors that are choosing or extending their solutions across Microsoft Dynamics. Companies such as Campus Management Corp., Cenium Inc., Cincom Systems Inc., PROS Pricing and Technosoft that are industry leaders in their markets are embracing the Microsoft Dynamics solutions to expand their offerings and in some cases as the core foundation on which to build their unique industry-focused solutions. For instance, global hospitality and hotel solution organization Cenium is extending its Microsoft Dynamics-based business offerings in areas such as property management, procurement, human resources and point of sale; and Campus Management, a leading provider of enterprise software solutions for higher education, is planning to expand global reach by leveraging Microsoft Dynamics AX and providing institutions of any size or complexity more choices when it comes to student information systems and enterprise resource planning solutions.

Other keynotes included the following news and momentum updates from Microsoft senior executives:

  • Thom Gruhler, corporate vice president of Windows Phone Marketing, took the stage to demo Windows Phone 8 and highlight that Windows Phone is now a true extension of the Windows that 1 billion users worldwide know and use today.
  • Laura Ipsen, corporate vice president of Worldwide Public Sector, provided an overview of Microsoft’s National Plan and citizenship efforts, including empowering youth and driving societal change through the proliferation of Microsoft technology.

A New Era Together: Partners and the Microsoft Cloud OS [The Official Microsoft Blog, July 10, 2012]

Posted by Takeshi Numoto
Corporate Vice President, Server & Tools Business, Microsoft

Here at the Worldwide Partner Conference, it’s exciting to hear the buzz about the opportunities that are in store for our partners and their customers in the cloud. Over the past year alone, we have delivered a number of new solutions to empower the transition to the cloud – from the release of System Center 2012 and SQL Server 2012 to new Windows Azure services and the release candidate of Windows Server 2012 – and we will have more new solutions in the future.

As Satya Nadella recently described, we are bringing this all together to usher in the era of the “Cloud OS.” With Windows Azure and Windows Server at its core, the Cloud OS takes our strong legacy of running the highest scale application services and petabyte-sized datacenters to the next generation of computing and delivers a modern platform for the world’s applications. And for our customers, this will ultimately result in lower IT costs, faster innovation and greater agility.

Partner Opportunity with the Cloud OS

Our partners are essential to helping customers realize these benefits. The new opportunities that weannounced today are the latest examples of how we are helping our partners seize business opportunities in the cloud. For example, hosting service providers can now use their Windows Server datacenters to deliver some of the same services running in the Windows Azure public cloud. It’s a great example of our strategy to deliver consistent capabilities that span customer’s private cloud on-premises, service provider clouds and Windows Azure.

That consistency is one of our keys to helping partners succeed and profit by betting on Microsoft and the Cloud OS. Partners are able to use the same familiar application development and management tools, as well as common data, identity and virtualization platforms across the Cloud OS. This means that they can carry their current skills, experience and investments forward as well as help their customers do the same.

The Cloud OS strategy reflects our longstanding practice of democratizing technology to fuel partner and customer innovation. I believe it truly sets Microsoft apart. It is exciting to see more and more partners and customers – including the likes of T. Rowe Price, Lufthansa Systems, Munder Capital and ING Direct – choose our solutions over other vendors as they progress to the cloud. As we highlighted today, we now have even more resources in place to help partners more easily migrate customers from another platform to ours.

One great example is how Microsoft Gold Partner FyrSoft leveraged our cloud technology along with new resources to move windows-and-doors manufacturer Pella Corp. from VMware to our private cloud. In doing so, Pella Corp.’s IT organization has gone beyond virtualization, enabling more agile, manageable services to ensure their customers’ windows and doors are built and delivered correctly – all while saving costs and improving the company’s bottom line during challenging economic times.

But as I am learning here at WPC, stories like FyrSoft and Pella’s aren’t unusual. Many of our partners have stories to tell about bringing their innovative solutions and services to life on the Microsoft platform, and they are truly inspiring. I look forward to seeing what Microsoft and its partners together can accomplish in the era of the Cloud OS.

From: Satya Nadella: Worldwide Partner Conference 2012 Day 2 Keynote [speech transcript, July 10, 2012]

Today I want to talk about the future. I want to talk about the future, though, first by reflecting on the past. I joined the company in ’92, that was just at the very, very beginning of the client-server era. We had Windows 3.1 and Windows NT being birthed, if you will. And over the last 20 years, we collectively have achieved a tremendous amount of success with the client-server paradigm.
And we’ve done a lot of innovation over the years, but two things that have sort of really remained constant and specifically were unique to the approach we took, one was to build a broad software-based platform and specifically the operating system that enabled the partners to innovate with their applications and services and capabilities and take it to market, and a partner-led business model.
We think of those two things which were unique to our approach in the past are going to remain constant as we move to this new era of connected devices and continued services. Broad platform-based approach when it comes to technology, a partner-led business model when it comes to go-to-market.
And in this new world, for sure, things are going to change. Yesterday, you heard Tami and Steve talk a lot about our connected devices, how we’ve reimagined Windows in its core from the silicon to the developer platform to the user experience and even the device form factors.
And, today, I want to talk more about what’s going to happen on the back end, especially around continuous services. But as these things change, as the markers between categories, as business models change, I still want to come back to the fact that we will always be partner-led; we always will have a broad OS that enables partners to express their services, their value, and their capabilities to drive more customer value.
So, the thing that I want to talk today about is the back end and how the back end is changing in the next era. And we refer to this as the cloud operating system or the cloud OS. The cloud OS, like any OS, has two elements to it: The first is its job to really abstract away the hardware so that the application developers can focus on the application. And then we talk about the hardware abstraction. It’s now going through a fundamental shift.
There are two pivots to it. The first one is that you think about the unit of compute now as compute storage and network, and at an atomic level, you really are thinking about the compute-server-storage capacity as well as the network capacity all together.
And then you’re thinking about this at massive scale. When we say “massive scale” it’s at a data center or multiple data centers. So, when we think about an operating system, we’re talking about a true distributed operating system that spans multiple data centers.
Now, having thought about the resource pool or the hardware abstraction at that scale, you obviously don’t want to make all of that sort of show through to the application developer. You want the application developer to be most productive with abstractions that help them focus on their application logic, on their experience. And that’s what we do with a very rich application platform.
One of the things that is motivating the cloud OS development for us within Microsoft is the first-party applications that we run inside of Microsoft at Internet scale. This was very true even in the last era. When you think about the continuous improvements that we’ve done over the years for Windows Server, they were driven because of some of the workloads. Remember the early days of SQL were sort of a real boon for the folks working on Windows Server because that pushed to really get our IO right, a lot of the capabilities that we needed to get right in the core operating system were driven by the database that was pushing us.
The same thing with Exchange, later on SharePoint, Lync — that was a fantastic virtuous cycle that we had internally that made our operating system better.
The same thing now exists when it comes to Internet-scale properties. We have one of the most diverse sets of workloads operating on Internet scale. You take something like Bing, it’s a big-data, applied-machine-learning-at-scale application. Office 365, that’s teaching us all about collaboration and communication in the cloud. Dynamics and AdCenter, are stateful, transactional systems in the cloud.
So, that diversity, not just the fact that any one of them has scale, but it’s that diversity of workloads is what helps us build a general purpose cloud operating system, and it’s a very, very important virtuous cycle for us.
The opportunity of the cloud operating system is right there. And I think there’s a lot of excitement in the audience when Jon talked about people doing cloud development and cloud development next year, and these numbers talk to it. In fact, it’s probably the most unbounded of opportunities because you would think about it for a second, the opportunity around infrastructure and cloud infrastructure is unbounded because it scales with the number of devices, which by the way we’re going to have more number of devices than the total number of people on the world by three times in five years.
It scales with data. It scales with applications. All of these streams are going through an explosive phase. So, therefore, the need for infrastructure, private or public, is going to be significant. And so therefore anyone who is either in the app-dev business, or in the infrastructure business, is going to see this growth rate over the next multiple years.
So, let’s take a look at the modern data center. We’ve built Windows Azure and Windows Server as one consistent set, as that one distributed operating system that has the following attributes: The first core capability is the ability to scale your resource. We talked about compute, storage, and network; you need to have the capability to take compute, storage, and network and scale it to data center and multi-data-center scale on behalf of a given application or shrink it down. So, that’s why elasticity is very, very core.
Always-up, always-on. You want to build software resilience into the operating system. You really want to build it. At scale, everything breaks. So, that means you need to be resilient to hardware breaking on the network side, on the storage side, on the compute side, and you want to build that right into the software fabric.
When it comes to sharing resources, you have to build multi-tenancy from the ground up. You want to be able to pool your storage, pool your compute, virtualize your network. You need to be able to isolate. Not only do you need to pool the resources, you need to be able to isolate the resources, so two workloads from two departments within an enterprise do not mix up with each other when it comes to resource contention.
And automating and self-service is super important. Everything’s got to have a surface area for management both from a UI-based management as well as API, and so that you can automate everything so that you can have the total cost of ownership for such scale at reasonable levels.
So, to show you some of this innovation across both Windows Server and Windows Azure, I wanted to invite up on stage Jeff Woolsey. Jeff? (Applause.)
JEFF WOOLSEY: Thank you, Satya, it’s a pleasure to be here. Windows Server 2012 was designed to unleash new business opportunities for you. You told us you wanted to help your customers virtualize everything, even those workloads considered non-virtualizable, workloads that require dozens of cores, hundreds of gigabytes of memory, or SAN-attached, and with exceptionally high IO requirements. Think Exchange, SharePoint, massive-scale-up SQL Server.
Well, today we’re here to redefine performance and scale with support for up to 320 logical processors per server, up to four terabytes of memory per server, and up to 64 virtual processors per VM. (Applause.)
In addition, you can see this virtual machine has been allocated 100 gigabytes of memory, and will support up to a full terabyte of memory per VM. In addition, whether this VM has been allocated 10 gigabytes, 100 gigabytes, or a full terabyte, it still costs the same for your customer, which means more margin opportunity for you.
In terms of performance, let’s talk about industry-leading, world-class performance. I’m going to bring up a standard industry benchmark iometer. I’m going to run an industry-standard test, 4K random IOPS. I should also mention at this point that the guys at VMware claim that they can deliver a maximum of 300,000 IOPS from a single virtual machine. We’re delivering over 1 million IOPS from a single virtual machine. That’s over three times VMware, and folks, I’m just getting warmed up. (Applause.)
We’ve made some huge investments in storage with transformational new technologies like offloaded data transfer, or ODX. I’m going to copy a 10-gigabyte file without using ODX. You can see that my network utilization has just completely spiked, and I’m saturating my network.
Well, now let’s do that same copy, this time with ODX storage. Folks, I’m copying a 10-gigabyte file in about 10 seconds. This type of performance is unheard of and with the other slew of capabilities we’re including in Server 2012, it makes Server 2012 a no-brainer for cloud storage. (Applause.)
Now, one of the things our joint customers have told us is, quite simply, they want to live beyond their means. They want a data center without boundaries. Well, with you as their cloud broker, let’s transform the industry together. Here is the brand new Windows Azure portal. You can see I’ve got virtual machines, cloud services, SQL databases.
Let’s go ahead and extend my data center to the cloud and create a new virtual machine. I’m going to do so from the gallery, and you can see I’ve got a number of options from Windows Server and from our partners, including Linux distributions.
I’m going to choose my favorite, Windows Server 2012. I’m going to paste in a name. I’m going to provide a password. You can see I can now choose the size of my virtual machine anywhere from extra small to extra large. I’m going to keep the default. It’s now going to ask me for a DNS name, and then it asks me where do I want to deploy this. Lots of different options from around the world. I’m going to go for western United States. And finally, like that, I am deploying new workloads into the cloud.
Now, one of the things you’ve told us and our customers have told us is they want choice and flexibility when it comes to the cloud. They want to be able to run on-premises as well as service provider offerings as well. Well, take a look at System Center. Here we’ve got on-premises cloud, we’ve got service-provider clouds here with Toronto Hoster, and we’ve got Windows Azure. This is exactly what your customers are looking for — a single consistent management interface for all of their cloud resources.
In fact, let’s go ahead and deploy a new cloud service. A click on services, and click on deploy. And notice the first thing I’m going to configure, the first thing it asks me is: Which cloud would you like to deploy on? Would you like to deploy on-premises in Windows Azure or using my service provider? Which is exactly what I’m going to do.
Finally, I select a template, and just like you saw me do in Azure, I can now deploy my virtual machines using a templatized experience. So, we’re taking what we’ve learned in Azure and bringing that to the Microsoft private cloud.
So, what have we seen? Massive scale, industry-leading performance, the ability to manage all of my clouds from a single, consistent management interface. With Windows Azure, System Center, and Windows Server 2012, we are delivering the ultimate cloud OS. Let’s go transform the data center together. Thank you very much. (Applause.)
SATYA NADELLA: Thanks, Jeff. And what you saw there was a boundaryless data center powered by Windows. And that’s pretty unique, the notion that you can build your own data center, use Windows Azure as well as the service provider cloud with consistency is something that we can do very uniquely. There’s no translations of virtualization format, you have a single pane of glass for management, those are capabilities that we can deliver in the marketplace with your capabilities combined in a very, very unique way.
So, I want to talk about three specific announcements today relating to our cloud OS. The first is, Windows Server 2012 is getting ready for prime time. The general availability of Windows Server 2012 is going to be September. It’s going to RTM in August. It’s a huge milestone for us. (Applause.)
We’ve had over half a million downloads of the release candidate. We’ve had around 250 customers who have been part of our TAP program who have worked very closely with us, many of them have already gone to production. In fact, Bing today is powered by Windows Server 2012 already. So, we feel very, very good about the robustness of the operating system and we’re looking forward to September.
The second announcement is a new set of services for Windows Server. We’re announcing today the customer technical preview of three capabilities: High-density website hosting, VM or virtual machine hosting, as well as the management and provisioning capabilities on top of those two for Windows Server, specifically focused on service providers.
We have these features in Windows Azure that were announced very recently. As for our promise, we’re now making it available on Windows Server so that anyone else who wants to provide these capabilities to customers as part of their service can do so.
Lastly, I want to talk about the Hyper-V Switch Program. This is another very exciting program for us. We’ve had some tremendous momentum building up with the number of customers who’ve chosen to move to Hyper-V from VMware, especially in anticipation of what’s coming with Windows Server 2012. We’ve already seen some successes like FyrSoft was able to move Pella, one of their customers, from VMware to Hyper-V. We’ve also had Avanade who moved Unilever from VMware to Hyper-V. So, we’ve got great momentum building.
As part of this program, you’ll get tools, resources, and guidance to take the risk out of these migrations. So, we think this next year is going to be a year for us collectively to push this significantly, and we’re going to put all of our might behind this program.
Now, I want to switch to talk about the application platform because that’s the second part of the modern cloud operating system. And when you talk about the application platform, the consideration set is similar to what we talked about in the data center, but abstracted to the application. So, the first thing is you want to have a very rich, capable application platform or rich application services. Things like media services, things like storage, identity, caching, service bus, all of these things need to be available as part of your application platform.
Data needs to be at the core. Now, SQL, obviously, and SQL Server is very, very key, but also things that are non-SQL format, so what we’re doing with Hadoop is going to be part of it, what we’re doing in the higher layers with BI is going to be part of it because there’s not a single application that’s not driven by data going forward.
You need to have a very dynamic life cycle for both development and management; this dev-ops cycle is going to be revolutionary in terms of the cycle times that people will come to expect in terms of what you can do on the cloud, both private and public.
And lastly, not only is it about building and monitoring and managing applications, it’s about being able to take your applications and make them accessible anywhere on any device for any user based on their identity, because you want to have security and not be compromised at all.
So, things that we have done in VDI, things that we have done now with System Center in Intune to be able to manage these modern devices, and Active Directory and AD is something that’s super important for us to be able to deliver a more people-centric device management capability.
The uniqueness in our approach, again, is very similar to what we talked about in the data center, which is you have this application platform pervasive through the world of Windows across your data center, across the service provider cloud as well as Windows Azure. So, you have a complete application platform, so that means you can move an application between any one of these locations. In fact, you can split tiers. You can have a front end in Azure, you can have the back end inside of your private data center; we see many deployments like that today.
You want flexibility and development; of course we’re going to do a fantastic job with .NET and Visual Studio as the framework and tool set, but we will also have support for other frameworks and tools in Java, in PHP, and Node, and that’s going to all be first class on top of our platform, both Windows Server and Windows Azure.
The common identity, though, is going to be very, very key, especially any time you have distributed computing where things are running in different places, and applications themselves are running in different places, it becomes very important for you to have that identity and access control be governed in a way that nothing in the enterprise gets compromised in terms of data security or application access.
So, to give you a feel for what this people-centric access and device management is, I wanted to invite up on stage Deb McFadden from our team to give you a feel for some of the capabilities we’re building in for new devices.

Windows Server 2012 Powers the Cloud OS [press release, Sept 4, 2012]

New server is built from the cloud up for the modern datacenter.

Today in a global online launch event Satya Nadella, president of Microsoft Server and Tools Business, announced the general availability of Windows Server 2012. In his keynote speech, Nadella described how Windows Server 2012 is a cornerstone of the Cloud OS, which provides one consistent platform across private, hosted and public clouds.

“The operating system has always been the heartbeat of IT and is now undergoing a renaissance in the new world of continuous cloud services, connected devices and big data,” Nadella said. “Microsoft’s unique legacy in the most widely used operating systems, applications and cloud services positions us to deliver the Cloud OS, based on Windows Server and Windows Azure, helping customers achieve a datacenter without boundaries.”

Enabling the Modern Datacenter

Microsoft built Windows Server 2012 from the cloud up, applying its experience operating global datacenters that rely on hundreds of thousands of servers to deliver more than 200 cloud services. Windows Server 2012 expands the definition of a server operating system, with significant new advancements in virtualization, storage, networking and automation. Hundreds of new features can help customers achieve a transformational leap in the speed, scale and power of their datacenters and applications. In combination with Windows Azure and System Center, Windows Server 2012 empowers customers to manage and deliver applications and services across private, hosted and public clouds.

Customers Find Success With Windows Server 2012

Customers can use their existing skills and investments in systems management, application development, database, identity and virtualization to take advantage of Windows Server 2012 and realize the promise of cloud computing. Many enterprise customers are already seeing tremendous value in early deployments. A survey of 70 early adopter customers from across the globe revealed that they expect, on average, 52 percent reduction in downtime, 41 percent reduction in workload deployment time, and 15 hours of productivity time saved per year, per employee. 91 percent of the companies surveyed expect a reduction in server administration labor, and 88 percent expect reduction in network administration labor.*

Menzies Aviation, an airline passenger and cargo handling company that employs more than 17,000 people, is using Windows Server 2012 to provide identity access management and information access policies to its employees as it rapidly incorporates newly acquired businesses.

“We are very impressed by Windows Server 2012 and Microsoft’s overall solution to help us manage our systems and applications across our private cloud environments as they scale with our business,” said Martin Gallington, senior vice president of IT at Menzies Aviation. “This is a dramatic leap forward, matched by a simple, cost-effective pricing model.”

Equifax is a global information solutions provider that organizes and assimilates data on more than 500 million consumers and 81 million businesses worldwide. It now counts on Windows Server 2012 for improved reliability and uptime of its information services to clients.

“Windows Server 2012 revolutionizes how we can operate our datacenter, allowing us to better meet our commitments,” said Bryan Garcia, chief technology officer at Equifax. “The new high availably technologies help us deliver ‘always-on’ applications, and we’re betting on Hyper-V as a critical component of our private cloud strategy. We are gaining tremendous efficiencies, which translate into more time to innovate for company growth.”

More information about Windows Server 2012 and the Cloud OS is available here. Read Satya Nadella’s post on The Official Microsoft Blog here. The conversation on Twitter can be followed at #WinServer.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

* “Windows Server 2012 Rapid Deployment Program: TCO Study Whitepaper,” Microsoft Corp., June 2012

From: Satya Nadella: Windows Server 2012 Launch Keynote [speech transcript, Sept 4, 2012]

VOICE: For more than 50 years information technology has powered global innovation. And today, IT is in the midst of radical change as cloud computing transforms the landscape.
How can your organization take advantage of the new opportunities? Imagine data centers without boundaries, capacity on-demand. Imagine information crossing the globe seamlessly and securely, a modern platform for the world’s applications.
At Microsoft we unlock the full range of possibilities. We call it the Cloud OS and it’s here now.
SATYA NADELLA: Hello and welcome to the Windows Server 2012 launch. I’m really excited to have a chance to talk about Windows Server, it’s an epic moment for us, it’s been four years in the making, and talk about our broader vision with the Cloud Operating System.
We’re going through a great transformation across the industry, from client-server to the world of connected devices and continuous services.
If you look at the transformation, it’s across the entire ecosystem. You have more and more users connected to the Web and the Internet. The number of devices these users are using is absolutely going through an explosion. If you look at the total number of devices that users are expected to be using by calendar year ’15, we expect to have twice the number of devices as the people on the planet, and this is not adding all of the industrial equipment and sensors that also will be connected.
But the real transformation begins when applications are being delivered to these devices that are all powered by continuous services. And these applications themselves are using data. They’re generating lots and lots of data, as well as reasoning on top of all of this data and powering new features of intelligence and social capabilities in these applications.
The real news, of course, is that all of this transformation is being powered by servers that are delivering these applications, making all of this transformation possible.
So, with that industry transformation in mind, we have really set out to build the Cloud Operating System.
When we talk about the Cloud Operating System we have four key things in mind as we develop our innovations.
The first one is the transformation of the data center. You need to be able to take all of the resources in the data center — storage, network, compute — bring it together, share, make sure that the great utilization is available.
You want to be able to scale this up, and scale this up with elasticity so that for any given application you can have infinite scale but you can also make that elastic.
You want to have always up and always on. In other words, you want to have software power the resilience of your applications.
You want to be able to automate everything in the data center through APIs and self-service.
And we want to enable modern applications on top of all of this infrastructure. You want to have a rich set of new runtime services that enable your social, mobile, as well as big data applications.
You want to have the flexibility in the tooling and the development environments so that you can build these applications quickly.
You want to have a great rapid development lifecycle, a lifecycle that brings together both developers and management professionals to have dev ops lifecycles that are much more in tune with the dynamism that’s part of your business.
You want to have people really empowered to bring their own devices into the enterprise. For example, you want to be able to personalize every experience, every application on any device they may be using anywhere. At the same time, you want to have IT be able to have the control and the governance needed to make sure that there is security in access and all of the devices are well-managed.
And lastly, data is very much first class in this new world of the Cloud Operating System. You want to be able to support any data in any size, so from SQL to NoSQL. You want to be able to connect to the world’s information. You want to be able to blend the data that you have in your enterprise with the world’s information to create new value.
With the work we are doing in SQL as well as Hadoop we want to make sure we have support for any data, any size, anywhere.
And lastly, you want to not only have lots of data, but you want to get real insight. So, creating immersive experiences for users around data is the most important thing that the Cloud Operating System needs to provide.
That is the vision that’s really driving us to build a comprehensive Cloud Operating System platform, and deliver it with all of the flexibility choices that you as customers require.
So, that means you can deploy this Cloud Operating System in your data center, you can consume it from the partner data centers, or use it from Windows Azure.
But the consistency that we bring by ensuring the commonality of virtualization, no transformations required of hypervisor formats, management infrastructure, development infrastructure, data itself as well as identity, these commonalities are unique attributes to our Cloud Operating System vision that Microsoft brings to you.
And that is the context with which we bring Windows Server 2012 to the market today. Today, is a momentous day for us because we are announcing the availability of Windows Server 2012. It’s perhaps the biggest release of our server product in our history.
I was here in Microsoft when we launched Windows NT, and it ushered in the era of client-server, and we believe the Windows Server 2012 ushers in the era of the Cloud Operating System and we continue to take the power of software to really make sure that you can build the applications and the infrastructure needed for it in this new era.
This particular release has been four years in the making. It’s got many, many features across all of the dimensions we talked about, and we’re really excited to have an opportunity to get this to market. And many customers are already using this operating system in production.
But one of the things that’s really driving a lot of the innovation in Windows Server is the feedback loop that we have internally between our first party Internet scale properties and the feature innovation in Windows Server.
For example, Bing already has deployed Windows Server 2012 in production. So, that means our hypervisor, our .NET runtimes are all battle tested with Internet scale production services, and those capabilities are things now that you can deploy in your data centers.
And this, of course, extends to Office 365 and their use of Active Directory, Xbox Live and their use of capabilities like the virtual GPU capabilities that are there inside of Windows Server, what we have done with Outlook and Dynamics; all of these services are really consuming capabilities of Windows Server and in turn making Windows Server more robust, more capable.
We’ve had a very comprehensive early access program for Windows Server 2012 as we were building it and developing it. And so many customers had a chance to deploy Windows Server 2012 in their development environments, as well as in production, and many of these customers are already reaping the benefits of Windows Server 2012, and I wanted to have a chance to share some of those experiences with you.
(Begin video segment.)
Equifax: What we’re seeing today with Windows Server 2012 is revolutionary. It’s not just a couple little fixes, it’s a huge release and it’s a huge different experience than what we’ve had before.
Marquette University: With Server 2012 I think Microsoft has pretty much leveled the field when it comes to the hypervisor with virtualization.
EmpireCLS: Hypervisor Replica now allows us to move virtual machines through both our private and public cloud locations seamlessly while they’re live. We’re seeing very significant performance improvement across the globe.
Outsourcery: Our customers can run applications and services and actually achieve more in their business using the power of Windows Server and System Center together.
BMO Capital Markets: I don’t see any workloads known to mankind that cannot be ported to a Microsoft platform at this point.
EmpireCLS: Windows Server 2012 makes my life easier when I don’t have to worry about things after hours, things I know are running, they’re solid.
Equifax: With Windows Server 2012 we don’t need to be concerned in the private development team about our maintenance windows.
Menzies Aviation: Active Directory and Windows Server 2012 together with Hyper-V, virtualizing it, it brought so much more security.
Rackspace: With Windows Server 2012 it’s building a great foundation for the future.
(End video segment.)
SATYA NADELLA: The industry is also ready for Windows Server 2012. We’ve had a comprehensive program to work with all the constituents of the broad ecosystem around Windows Server, from hardware manufacturers who have optimized their hardware for Windows Server 2012 to take advantage of some of the new capabilities around storage, around networking, around compute and management.
We’ve got service providers all over the world already deploying Windows Server 2012. So, that means the service provider cloud is available with Windows Server 2012.
We’ve had ISVs who have certified their applications for Windows Server 2012, and they’re also taking advantage of new capabilities in Windows Server 2012 to exploit the advances there, as well as we have a broad set of partners who are now capable of deploying, helping you upgrade, helping you migrate and take advantage of Windows Server.
So, in conclusion, I wanted to talk about our commitment to the Cloud Operating System.
We are really excited about this new era of the Cloud Operating System, because we believe that it delivers the most comprehensive and consistent platform that is required of modern data centers and modern applications.
We’re unique in the feedback cycle that we have with the Internet scale properties that are really driving some of the innovations in the Cloud Operating Systems, and we’re also unique in the fact that we can provide the Cloud Operating System in your data center, in partner data centers, as well as with Windows Azure. And by doing so we believe that you will get the best economics and the best flexibility needed in order to move your data center and your applications forward.
And now you’ll have a chance to hear from Bill Laing, Scott Guthrie, and Brad Anderson on more of the details of the Cloud Operating Systems and the innovations that are built into Windows Server 2012.
And so I hope you have a chance to look at all of those presentations, as well as take a fresh look at Windows Server 2012 and what it can do for your modern data centers, as well as your modern applications.
Thank you very much.
END

Microsoft Reaches Agreement to Acquire StorSimple [press release, Oct 16, 2012]

Microsoft to acquire leader in Cloud-integrated Storage.

Microsoft Corp. and StorSimple Inc. today announced that Microsoft has reached a definitive agreement to acquire StorSimple, a leader in Cloud-integrated Storage (CiS) solutions. The addition of CiS will advance Microsoft’s Cloud OS vision and help customers more efficiently embrace hybrid cloud computing.

“Customers faced with explosive growth in data are looking to the cloud to help them store, manage and archive that data. But, to be effective, cloud storage needs to integrate with IT’s current investments,” said Michael Park, corporate vice president, Server and Tools Division for Microsoft. “StorSimple’s approach helps customers seamlessly integrate on-premises storage with cloud storage through intelligent automation and management.”

StorSimple solutions combine the data management functions of primary storage, backup, archive and disaster recovery with cloud integration, enabling customers to optimize storage costs, data protection and service agility. With its unique cloud snapshot capability, StorSimple automatically protects and rapidly restores production data using public clouds. Large enterprises across many vertical markets, including retail, oil and gas, manufacturing, consumer goods, healthcare, and financial services, have made their first public cloud deployments using StorSimple.

“Most StorSimple customers are mainstream IT organizations that have chosen Windows Azure as their primary cloud. We are excited to continue to work with Microsoft and bring the combined benefits of StorSimple and Windows Azure to customers around the world,” said Ursheet Parikh, co-founder and CEO, StorSimple.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

About StorSimple

StorSimple (www.StorSimple.com) is the leader in cloud-integrated storage for Windows. StorSimple securely and transparently integrates cloud storage for on-premises applications and offers a single appliance that delivers high-performance tiered local and cloud storage, live archiving, cloud-based data protection and disaster recovery. StorSimple has uniquely achieved the most stringent “Certified for Windows Server 2008” and was named the Microsoft BizSpark Partner of the Year 2011. StorSimple appliances were named 2011 Products of the Year in the Storage Systems category by Storage Magazine/SearchStorage.com.

For more information, visit www.StorSimple.com.

From: Satya Nadella, Scott Guthrie and Jason Zander: Build Day 2 [speech transcripts, Oct 31, 2012]

On the client side, we’ve talked about how we’ve reimagined Windows from the developer platform to the user experience. Again, in support of the kind of applications that you’re building for the devices today. These fluid, touch-first applications that also take advantage of capabilities in Windows RT to be able to truly bring to life all the new application capabilities.
Very similarly on the back end, we’re reimagining Windows for cloud services. It’s a pretty concrete thing for us. We refer to this as the Cloud OS. At the hardware level, for example, the core of any operating system is to think about the hardware abstraction. And the hardware abstraction is going through a pretty radical change. At the atomic level, we’re bringing compute, storage and network together, and then scaling it to a datacenter on a multidatacenter scale. So this is no longer about a single server operating system, but it’s about building distributed, virtualized infrastructure that includes storage, compute, and network and spans, if you will, across the datacenters.
We want to be able to have the richness at the data tier that supports the richness in your application. You have SQL data, you have NoSQL data, you want to have all kinds of different types of processing capabilities, you want to have a rich data platform, and that’s something that we’re building right into the operating system.
Beyond that, of course, the thing that developers interface with is the app platform, and this is perhaps the place where we’re having the most radical changes. We want to create a very new way for you to interact with data. Your applications are going to reason over large amounts of data, you’re going to build these data-parallel applications that are driving new features in your applications. You’re going to have very rich semantics around identity, social, sharing, that you want to be able to get onto the platform.
And then your middle tiers are much more sophisticated. You’re really going to be able to build middle tiers that scale with the proliferation of devices, can manage the complexities of variety of different applications and the requests you get from your clients. Because that’s the sophistication we want to build into our platform.
Lastly, of course, when you build these applications, you also want to make sure that you can deliver these applications to the devices you’re targeting with personalization and security so that, again, you want to really reimagine things like identity so that both the end user is very happy with the application you produced, but as well as the operators and IT professionals are happy and feel secure in terms of how you’re projecting your applications and the data contained inside the applications to these devices.
So that’s what we refer to as the Cloud OS. It manifests both in Windows Server and Windows Azure for us. And, in fact, it’s not either/or. In fact, many of the application developers will take advantage of both because when you’re building a distributed application, it’s not going to be in one datacenter, it’s not going to be on one cluster. You do need to be able to span the globe on the Web.

alias “OS Moment PR” Microsoft Advances the Cloud OS With New Management Solutions [press release, Jan 15, 2013]

New offerings deliver on the commitment to help customers and partners deliver cloud services and manage connected devices.

Microsoft Corp. today announced the availability of new solutions to help enterprise customers manage hybrid cloud services and connected devices with greater agility and cost-efficiency. System Center 2012 Service Pack 1 (SP1), the enhanced Windows Intune, Windows Azure services for Windows Server and other new offerings deliver against the Microsoft Cloud OS vision to provide customers and partners with the platform to address their top IT challenges.

“With Windows Server and Windows Azure at its core, the Cloud OS provides a consistent platform across customer datacenters, service provider datacenters and the Microsoft public cloud,” said Michael Park, corporate vice president of marketing for Server and Tools, Microsoft. “Powerful management and automation capabilities are key elements of the Cloud OS, taking the heavy lifting out of administration and freeing IT organizations to be more innovative as they embrace hybrid cloud computing and the consumerization of IT.”

Park today wrote about the Cloud OS on the The Official Microsoft Blog here.

Transforming the Datacenter

Using System Center 2012 SP1 with Windows Server 2012, customers can shift from managing datacenter components separately to delivering resources as a whole, including networking, storage and compute. Cloud infrastructure capabilities such as multitenancy, software-defined networking and storage virtualization are built in and ready for automated, hybrid cloud environments.

With the updated System Center, customers can centrally manage cloud-based applications and resources running in their datacenters, on a hosted service provider datacenter or on Windows Azure. By integrating service provider cloud capacity and management directly into their operations, enterprises can extend their datacenter capabilities. Administrators can move virtual machines to Windows Azure and manage them from within System Center, based on their needs.

Customers can also use System Center 2012 SP1 to back up their servers to Windows Azure to help protect against data loss and corruption. In addition, SP1 supports Global Service Monitor, a new Windows Azure-based service available for trial evaluation today, which provides Web application performance measurement from a user’s perspective.

Hosting Service Providers and the Cloud OS

Hosting service providers play a key role in the Cloud OS with the opportunity to deliver new solutions, attract more customers and grow revenues. With Windows Server 2012 and System Center 2012 SP1, they can build multitenant, massive-scale cloud services that interoperate with customer datacenter operations. For example, System Center 2012 SP1 delivers a Service Provider Foundation API, which hosting partners can use to give customers self-service management of hosted infrastructure and applications.

Microsoft today released Windows Azure technologies that hosting service providers can run on their own Windows Server 2012 infrastructure for high-scale website and virtual machine hosting services. These capabilities are specifically designed for easy incorporation into hosting service providers’ offerings for deployment to their customer bases.

Unified PC and Device Management

With the new release of the Windows Intune service and System Center 2012 Configuration Manager SP1, enterprise customers can centrally manage a full array of PCs, laptops and mobile devices. With one management console, IT organizations can crack the bring-your-own-device challenge, helping ensure secure and productive employee experiences with applications and data on virtually any device, anywhere.

Working as a unified solution, Windows Intune and System Center Configuration Manager provide a comprehensive approach to better securing and managing the new generation of powerful Windows 8 PCs, Windows RT tablets and Windows Phone 8 smartphones, as well as the diversity of other platforms in today’s modern enterprise.

More information about System Center 2012 SP1 is available athttp://www.microsoft.com/systemcenter, and more information about Windows Intune is available at http://www.microsoft.com/intune. Those interested can follow the conversation on Twitter at #CloudOS, @WindowsServer, @WindowsIntune and @MSServerCloud.

What is the Cloud OS? [The Official Microsoft Blog, Jan 15, 2013]

post from Michael Park, Corporate Vice President of Marketing in the Server & Tools Business at Microsoft

We all know change is constant, especially in technology. Managing through change is always a challenge, but over the past 20 years I’ve found it to be one of the most rewarding aspects of my career in the tech industry.

During the past six months I’ve been talking to IT executives and partners about the big changes and trends in enterprise IT, such as the various cloud computing models, the consumerization of IT, the new generation of connected applications and big data. I’ve shared with them our vision of what we call theCloud OS and the feedback has been very positive. They see it as a differentiated approach from Microsoft that will help them embrace the transformational changes happening now. Today, Microsoftannounced several new products and services that deliver against the Cloud OS, so I thought I’d take this opportunity to further explain it to readers of this blog.

At the highest level, the Cloud OS does what a traditional operating system does – manage applications and hardware – but at the scope and scale of cloud computing. The foundations of the Cloud OS are Windows Server and Windows Azure, complemented by the full breadth of our technology solutions, such as SQL Server, System Center and Visual Studio. Together, these technologies provide one consistent platform for infrastructure, apps and data that can span your datacenter, service provider datacenters, and the Microsoft public cloud.

Key to this consistent platform is a set of common technologies and capabilities that extend across those three datacenters.

  • Flexible development allows your organization’s developers to use their choice of tools, languages – Microsoft or open source – and open standards to quickly build apps, connect them with other apps and data, and then deploy on premises, in the cloud or in a hybrid model. Visual Studio and Team Foundation Server enable application lifecycle management, from the idea to deployment of an app.
  • Unified management with System Center and Windows Intune gives your administrators a single pane of glass to manage applications, systems and devices across private, hosted and public clouds.
  • Active Directory and Windows Azure AD provide a powerful base for single identity across clouds to securely extend applications to people and their devices.
  • Integrated and portable virtualization, built into Windows Server, allows your team to virtualize not just servers, but also the network, storage and applications across clouds.
  • Last but not least, a complete data platform powered by SQL allows you to manage petabytes of data, power mission critical applications and give businesspeople BI solutions with a range of tools – Excel all the way up to Hadoop.

So, what does the Cloud OS mean to IT organizations?

It means your organization can shift to more efficiently managing datacenter resources as a whole, including networking, storage and compute. You will be able to deliver powerful apps that boost employee productivity and delight your customers much, much faster across private, hybrid and public clouds. Further, it means you can manage data, both big and small, to extract the story it has to tell for your business. And you will be able to give employees personalized experiences with apps and data on virtually any device, while maintaining security and compliance.

One of the reasons I believe Microsoft is uniquely positioned to deliver on the promise of the Cloud OS is that our products and services are deeply informed by our first-hand experience in running some of the largest Internet-scale services in the world. Running more than 200 cloud services for over 1 billion customers and 20+ million businesses around the world has taught us – and teaches us in real time – what it takes to architect, build and run applications and services at cloud scale.

We take all the learning from those services into the engines of the Cloud OS – our enterprise products and services – which customers and partners can then use to deliver cloud infrastructure and services of their own. It’s a virtuous cycle of development. Combine that with the established enterprise credibility of our products, such as Windows Server, which runs tens of millions of servers around the world, and you can see why customers can truly bet on Microsoft in the cloud era. Our breadth of experience across private, public and hybrid cloud is unmatched, whereas other vendors tend to specialize in one or another area.

I hope this introduction provides a good sense of what we mean by Cloud OS and the opportunity it presents to enterprise customers and individual IT managers. By embracing Microsoft’s approach, IT professionals can evolve from IT administrator to cloud innovator, and better assure themselves a career path into the future.

The Cloud OS: New solutions available today advance Microsoft’s vision [C&E News Bytes Blog, Jan 15, 2013]

Today Microsoft announced the release of new products and services available that further deliver against the company’s Cloud OS vision. Both customers and partners can capitalize on cloud opportunities with System Center 2012 Service Pack 1 (SP1), the new Windows Intune, and Windows Azure services for Windows Server.

In a blog post, Michael Park, corporate vice president of Server and Tools Marketing, outlines the Microsoft Cloud OS vision to provide customers with one consistent platform for infrastructure, apps and data – spanning customer datacenters, hosting service provider datacenters, and the Microsoft public cloud.

Solutions announced today include:

  • General Availability of System Center 2012 Service Pack 1: This update brings the full range of System Center management to Windows Server 2012 for private and hybrid cloud-based computing. It provides a single tool to manage cloud based applications and resources running in a private, hosted or public cloud. Learn more on theServer-Cloud blog.
  • Windows Intune: The new Windows Intune cloud-based service and System Center Configuration Manager are a unified PC and mobile device management solution. Together they provide a comprehensive approach to securing and managing the new generation of powerful Windows 8 PCs, Windows RT tablets and Windows Phone 8 smartphones, as well as the diversity of other platforms in today’s modern enterprise, including Android and iOS. More details can be found on the Windows Intune blog.
  • Windows Azure services for Windows Server: These new technologies allow hosting service providers to use their Windows Server datacenters to provide the same high-scale web site and virtual machine hosting capabilities announced this past summer in Windows Azure. These capabilities are specifically designed for easy incorporation into hosting service providers’ offerings for deployment to their customer base. More details are available on theHosting Insights blog.
  • Global Service Monitor: System Center 2012 SP1 includes support for a new Windows Azure-based service called System Center Global Service Monitor (GSM) to evaluate and boost the performance of Web apps. GSM extends the application monitoring capabilities in System Center 2012 SP1 using Windows Azure locations around the globe, giving a true reflection of end-user application experiences. GSM is now available for trial and will be broadly available in March. Read Brian Harry’s blog to learn more about Microsoft application lifecycle management for “DevOps” solutions.
  • System Center Advisor: This Windows Azure-based management solution enables IT departments to assess server configurations and proactively avoid problems, help to resolve issues faster and reduce downtime. System Center Advisor is now available to all Microsoft customers, not just those with Software Assurance.

More information on today’s news, including the press release, can be found on the Microsoft Virtual Cloud Press Room. You can also follow the conversation on Twitter at @WindowsServer and through #CloudOS.

Transform Your Datacenter with System Center 2012 SP1 [Server & Cloud Blog, Jan 15, 2013]

Mike Schutz
General Manager, Windows Server and Management Product Marketing

Today we announced the final release of System Center 2012 Service Pack 1, which helps deliver on Microsoft’s Cloud OS vision to provide customers with one consistent platform for infrastructure, apps, and data – spanning customer datacenters, hosting service provider datacenters, and the Microsoft public cloud. Together with Windows Server 2012, System Center 2012 SP1 helps customers take advantage of the latest technical advances in storage, networking, virtualization, and management to help transform their datacenter into a resilient platform for long-term growth while enabling future growth into the cloud.

System Center 2012 SP1 is now available for download here.

System Center 2012 uniquely delivers unified infrastructure, application and cloud management capabilities in a single product offering and this blog post highlights new cloud and datacenter capabilities introduced in SP1. For information about Configuration Manager enhancements in SP1 and related Windows Intune capabilities, please read the client management blog post.

Windows Server 2012 and SQL Server 2012 Support
Windows Server 2012 and SQL Server 2012 were both groundbreaking releases and provide the infrastructure and application platform as the foundation for SP1. With the release of SP1, all System Center 2012 components are now enabled to run in a Windows Server 2012 environment and provide management capabilities for Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V, Windows Server 2012 Servers, guest operating systems and applications. With SP1, a single instance of Virtual Machine Manager now supports up to 8000 VMs on clusters of up to 64 hosts and customers can easily extend beyond these limits with multiple instances of VMM, enabling datacenter management at large scale. SP1 also now supports the use of SQL Server 2012 as a repository for use by System Center 2012 components.

Software Defined Networking (SDN)
Traditionally, networks have been defined by their physical topology – how the servers, switches, and routers were cabled together and configured. That meant that once you built out your network, changes were costly and complex. SDN addresses these limitations by using software to configure end hosts and physical network elements, dynamically adjusting policies for how traffic flows through the network, and creating virtual network abstractions that support real-time VM placement and migration throughout the datacenter.

Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V Network Virtualization already delivers network flexibility by enabling multi-tenant virtual networks on a shared physical network, entirely defined in software. Each tenant gets a complete virtual network, including multiple virtual subnets and virtual routing, defined in a ‘policy.’ In SP1 we’ve built on this, adding management capabilities to simplify the definition and dynamic re-configuration of entire networks. By applying VM placement decisions and the policy updates together, SP1 provides a high degree of agility, automation and centralized control, essential to the smooth operation of a modern datacenter.

Windows Server 2012 also introduces the Hyper-V Extensible Switch which provides a platform through which our partners can extend SDN policies within the switch. One of the most common use cases for this extensibility is to integrate the virtual switch with the rest of the physical network infrastructure. SP1 manages Hyper-V switch extensions to ensure that as VMs migrate, their destination host is configured with the required switch extensions.

SP1 adds management support for isolated tenant networks, IP Virtualization, switch extensions, and logical switch. Our approach allows partners to enlighten their network software and network equipment to participate in, support, and augment the multi-tenant datacenter brought about by Hyper-V Network Virtualization. We think that this open approach, our focus on standards, and our close partnerships across the industry make our solution particularly unique and compelling for customers. Learn more.

DevOps with Global Service Monitor and Visual Studio
Application development and IT operations are being drawn together in organizations that want to improve SLAs and speed time to take new capabilities live. SP1 includes support for the new Windows Azure-based service called “Global Service Monitor” (GSM). GSM extends the application monitoring capabilities in System Center 2012 SP1 using Windows Azure points of presence around the globe, giving a true reflection of end-user experience of your application. Synthetic transactions are scheduled using your on-premises System Center 2012 SP1 Operations Manager console; the GSM service executes the transactions against your web-facing application and GSM reports back the results (availability, performance, functionality) to your on-premises System Center dashboard. You can integrate this perspective with other monitoring data from the same application, taking action as soon as any issues are detected in order to maintain your SLA.
GSM enables a 360-degree monitoring perspective for your web applications and, with Microsoft’s developer and ALM tools, forms part of a broader DevOps solution. Learn more.

Hybrid Cloud Management
SP1 extends the support in System Center 2012 to help integrate off-premises resources into the datacenter while retaining the same ‘single pane of glass’ common management interface:

  • Enterprise Consumption of Hosted Cloud Capacity
    System Center 2012 introduced the App Controller component to enable organizations to optimize resource usage across their private cloud and Windows Azure resources from a single pane of glass. In SP1, we’ve extended App Controller’s capabilities to integrate cloud resources offered by hosting service providers, giving you the ability to manage a wide range of custom and commodity IaaS cloud services from the same management console for you to manage centrally. SP1 also introduces additional new capabilities for multi-tenant and hosting scenarios. Learn more.
  • Windows Azure Virtual Machine Management
    The App Controller component in SP1 integrates with the preview of Windows Azure Virtual Machines enabling you to migrate on-premises Virtual Machines to run in Windows Azure and manage them from your on-premises System Center installation. This new functionality enables a range of workload distribution and remote operations scenarios.
  • Enhanced Backup and Recovery Options
    The Data Protection Manager component in SP1 adds the option to host server backups in the Windows Azure cloud (in supporting countries), helping to protect against data loss and corruption while integrating directly into the existing backup administration interface in System Center. Learn more.

Learn more about System Center 2012 SP1 and start your evaluation.

Delivering Unified Device Management with Windows Intune and System Center 2012 Configuration Manager SP1 [Windows Intune blog, Jan 15, 2013]

Mike Schutz

General Manager, Windows Server and Management Product Marketing

Back in September, we announced our strategy around unified device management, and how the next releases of Windows Intune and System Center 2012 Configuration Manager will deliver on that vision. As part of today’s update to our Cloud OS vision, we’re pleased to announce that System Center 2012 Configuration Manager and Endpoint Protection Service Pack 1, as well as the latest Windows Intune service, are available today.

Together, these releases deliver a unified device management solution for the enterprise, built on a “People-centric” model, where the user is the focus, not the device. IT is able to provide users with access to the corporate resources (applications and data) they need on the devices they choose. Administrators are able to address the unique challenges created by Bring Your Own Device policies by being able to identify and manage endpoint devices, including Windows PCs (physical and virtual), tablets, smartphones, Macs, and embedded devices all through a unified administration console.

This blog post highlights new device management capabilities in Windows Intune and System Center 2012 Configuration Manager SP1. For information about new cloud and datacenter capabilities, please read the blog post located here.

Windows Intune addresses new challenges IT departments face when managing devices, including:

  • Providing management and software distribution across a range of mobile devices and platforms, including Windows RT, Windows Phone 8, Android, and iOS
  • Through integration with Configuration Manager 2012 SP1, IT administrators will be able to manage both corporate- and personally-owned devices with a single console, making it easier to identify and enforce compliance
  • A self-service portal for selecting and installing company apps

With the latest release, the Windows Intune service is now expanded to 45 additional countries taking the total to 87 countries worldwide.

Configuration Manager 2012 SP1 contains several enhancements, including:

  • Support for Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012, including delivery of Windows 8 applications, the ability to limit downloads on 3G and 4G network connections to prevent unwanted data charges, and support for Windows To Go
  • Native management of Windows Embedded devices
  • Support for PowerShell for administrative tasks
  • Windows Azure-based Distribution Points
  • Support for Mac OS X devices and Linux and Unix servers

Endpoint Protection 2012 SP1 contains enhancements, including:

  • Ability to automatically deploy definition update three times per day
  • Real-time administrative actions to update definitions, scan, and remediate issues quickly
  • Client-side merge of antimalware policies

For more information and to sign up for a free 30-day trial subscription to Windows Intune, click here. SP1 can be downloaded by MSDN and TechNet subscribers as well as through the Volume Licensing Software Center.

Modern Lifecycle on the Cloud OS [Brian Harry’s blog, Jan 15, 2013]

Brian Harry
Microsoft Technical Fellow,
Product Unit Manager for Team Foundation Server.

Microsoft announced a bunch of new releases today, advancing our Cloud OS vision. You can read more on the overall announcements here but I will focus on some new/improved application lifecycle management scenarios that support our DevOps initiatives.

The cloud continues to drive new demands on application development. It enables new ways of conceiving, building and delivering great app experiences. It does this by enabling rapid cycle times from idea –> delivery –> feedback. In order to really realize this virtuous cycle, you need to rethink the way you do development. Among the changes you need to consider is how your development, test and operations teams work together to deliver an experience and to cooperate to respond quickly to both problems and opportunities.

Our approach to Enterprise DevOps is anchored in Visual Studio 2012 and System Center 2012. The wave of Cloud OS announcements today integrates these with bunch of new application lifecycle management capabilities. These include:

Global Service Monitor (GSM) – A new service offering in the System Center family that allows you to monitor and measure your application from points of presence around the world. GSM uses “Web Tests” you can develop with Visual Studio Ultimate Edition to replay scenarios against your app and measure availability and performance.

Lab Management & Windows 2012 – With the System Center 2012 SP1 release today and Visual Studio 2012 Update 1, you can use Lab Management with Windows 8 hosts to streamline your flow of code from development into the test environment – removing friction from your dev process.

Incident integration – With Operations Manager in System Center 2012 SP1 and TFS/VS 2012, we’ve further streamlined the workflow for managing production incidents. An ops engineer can easily escalate an incident to the dev team for investigation and collaboration from within Ops Manager. The dev can open the System Center diagnostic information inside the VS Intellitrace debugging experience to quickly get at the root cause.

These are just a few of the capabilities we are working on to streamline the modern build, measure, learn development cycle. This is one more installment in our continuing commitment to deliver new value regularly.

Everything you need from the VS/TFS side were included in the Update 1 we shipped at the end of November.

Michael Park and Mike Schutz: Cloud OS Announcement [speech transcripts, Jan. 15, 2013]

JOEL SIDER: Hi, everybody. Thanks for joining us. I’m Joel Sider. I’m a public relations manager here in Server & Tools. We’re going to go ahead and get started.
We’re here today to talk to you about several new Microsoft products and services, all of which demonstrate progress against Microsoft’s Cloud OS vision.
Corporate vice president of Server & Tools Marketing Michael Park is going to lead off with a brief overview of the Cloud OS, and then our general manager Mike Schutz here in Server & Tools will talk through the new offerings and how they fit into the Cloud OS story for customers and partners.
And we’re very fortunate to have with us Alan Bourassa, CIO of EmpireCLS, and Jess Coburn, CEO of hosting service provider Applied Innovations. You’ll hear from them about how they’re using Microsoft technologies in their businesses.
There will be an opportunity for Q&A, for question and answer, with the Lync messaging functionality at the end of the call.
Our press release, Michael’s blog post, and links to additional resources are all available on Microsoft.com/newscenter.
We do ask that you keep your phone muted until the end.
So I think with that, we can get started with Michael Park.
MICHAEL PARK: Thanks, Joel.
Good morning, everyone. I want to thank you again for joining us for this announcement today.
You likely have heard us talk about the Cloud OS over the past few months behind the Windows Server 2012 launch that we did in September, and I think it’s useful that we set the stage today to clarify and define what we’re seeking to accomplish with our strategy for commercial IT as a whole.
At Microsoft we’ve built a very successful franchise on the concept of an OS. At its core, an operating system manages hardware drivers and provides an application platform for PCs, and we’ve been very successful in that domain in the past.
We think that the OS will play a much more important role in the era of the cloud, moving beyond PCs to an OS that can manage the underlying infrastructure and application platform across public clouds, private clouds, and hosting service provider clouds.
Our vision is to create and provide customers with one consistent platform for infrastructure, applications and data, spanning customer datacenters, hosting service provider datacenters and the Microsoft public cloud.
And the Cloud OS is what drives our product strategy and road map to help our customers embrace the transformational trends in IT that we’re all familiar with, such as various cloud computing models, the consumerization of IT, the new generation of connected applications and big data.
So, more specifically, what does Cloud OS mean for IT organizations? IT organizations are going to be able to deliver and manage powerful modern applications that can help IT meet the demands of business in terms of speed, cost-effectiveness and flexibility of these applications.
They’ll be able to give employees personalized experiences with apps and data on virtually any device by tackling the consumerization of IT and bring your own devices with what we call people-centric IT.
Further, it means that IT will manage data, both structured and unstructured, in a way that can help end users unlock insights with greater ease and end-user adoption than ever before.
It also means that IT can shift to more efficiently managing their datacenter resources across not just the servers but across networking, storage and compute, all as a singular resource pool instead of the quagmire of complexity that many of them live in today.
And furthermore, this extends beyond just the private cloud, their own datacenter resources, but out to the partner and the public clouds with a modern hybrid IT infrastructure.
So Microsoft’s approach to this Cloud OS is unique, and it starts with our core platforms, Windows Server and Windows Azure, working together as a consistent platform across the three datacenters we’ve been talking about, with a consistent set of capabilities designed to make it easier for IT and developers to do their jobs.
You know, specifically, we’re talking about differentiation in five key areas. One is to deliver flexible application development tools and languages, not just .NET but also open source in this world of heterogeneous application development.
Second is a single user identity across clouds through Active Directory and Windows Azure Active Directory.
Third is our unified management with System Center for a single control plane to manage IT resources across private, hosted and public clouds.
The fourth area is integrated virtualization built into Windows Server to virtualize not just the servers but also the network, storage and applications with portability across the different clouds.
And last but not least, a data platform powered by SQL to power mission-critical business applications and give end users BI solutions with a wide range of tools ranging from Excel all the way out through Hadoop.
These consistent five capabilities are what make the Microsoft approach to the Cloud OS unique.
Our knowledge is deeply informed by two vantage points. No. 1 is that we’ve got firsthand knowledge running over 200 cloud services for a billion plus customers and over 20 million businesses around the world from our own datacenters around the world. And second, we’ve also learned a lot from our customers by running more than 75 percent of the world’s servers on-premises that support commercial IT infrastructure today.
We take all the learning from these services and servers into how we think about delivering the Cloud OS — Windows Server and Windows Azure and beyond to SQL Server, System Center and Visual Studio, all of which customers and partners can then use to deliver cloud infrastructure and services of their own.
For example, Windows Server 2012 delivers capabilities taken from our public cloud datacenters, things like cluster-aware updates for lower downtime, the use of industry standard storage for resilient failover and support for multitenant, high-density websites. It’s pretty cool stuff, and it’s stuff that we’re learning as we do in sharing that learning in the products we develop.
It’s a virtuous cycle of development and an important reason why customers can really bet on Microsoft in the cloud era. Our breadth of experience across private, public and hybrid cloud is unmatched, whereas other vendors are tending to specialize in one or another area.
JOEL SIDER: Thanks, Michael.
So with that, we’d like to go ahead and bring in Mike Schutz into the conversation. As I said, Mike is a general manager here in Server & Tools for product marketing. He’s going to talk about the new products and services and how they fit into the Cloud OS, including customer datacenters, the role hosting service providers play and also managing the consumerization of IT.
MIKE SCHUTZ: Thanks, Joel.
Welcome, everybody, and thank you for joining us.
Michael talked about one of the core tenets of the Cloud OS, which is helping customers on their own path to transform their datacenters.
By that we mean shifting from managing individual servers with CPUs, disk drives and network adapters to really managing and deploying their datacenter resources as a whole. It’s about managing storage, network and compute holistically as a singular cloud infrastructure, and even extending their datacenters to hosted and public clouds, all with the scale and availability that they need to build and deploy applications to respond to the needs of their unique businesses.
As you know, we delivered Windows Server 2012 and released it last September. Windows Server 2012 represents the foundation of these capabilities, delivering hundreds of new advancements and enhancements in virtualization, in storage, in networking, as well as automation.
Windows Server 2012, as Michael pointed out, is a prime example of how we’re bringing our public cloud lessons and investments to our products that our customers and partners deploy in their own datacenters.
Some examples of that are things that we learned around deploying multitenant services in our public cloud and to deliver network virtualization, which represents the foundation for software defined networking, updating a cluster of servers of up to 64 hosts and 8,000 virtual machines without having any service downtime, and so doing that with cluster level updating, as well as leveraging innovations and storage to deliver high-scale resilient storage to power the cloud infrastructure on industry standard hardware.
The customer response and industry response to Windows Server 2012 has just been incredible. For example, a recent Enterprise Strategy Group survey found that 90 percent, nine out of 10 customers, plan to deploy Windows Server 2012 in the next two years. We’re really excited by the response we’re hearing from our customers and partners around Windows Server 2012.
And now we’re announcing the release of System Center 2012 SP1, service pack one. This is an update to System Center 2012 that brings the full range of System Center management capabilities that our customers have grown to know and love to Windows Server 2012 for private and hybrid clouds.
Things like multitenancy, storage virtualization, network virtualization, which provides the foundation for software-defined networking, and all of the great capabilities that Windows Server delivers are now brought to bear with System Center 2012 SP1, including the support for non-Windows operating systems and multi-hypervisor environments, so customers can leverage their existing infrastructure investments and still take advantage of all of the new capabilities that have been delivered.
System Center is a true hybrid cloud management solution. It provides a single tool to manage cloud-based applications and resources, whether they’re running in our customers’ datacenter, a hosted service provider’s datacenter or in a Microsoft datacenter with Windows Azure.
Customers can use System Center to move virtual machines to Windows Azure and manage them within the System Center console that they use today.
They can also use System Center 2012 SP1 to backup servers to Windows Azure in a hybrid environment to protect against data loss and corruption.
Additionally, System Center 2012 SP1 includes support for a new Windows Azure-based service that we’re announcing today called Global Service Monitor or GSM. GSM is a companion service, if you will, to System Center 2012 SP1 that helps customers monitor and boost the performance of Web applications.
GSM extends the application monitoring capabilities that are already in System Center 2012 SP1 with the Operations Manager component, and it uses Windows Azure locations around the globe to give customers a real true reflection of the end-user experience that users will have with the Web applications.
GSM is now available for trial, and we’ll make that more broadly available in March.
JOEL SIDER: Thanks, Mike. So at this point, we’re going to bring in Alan Bourassa. He’s the CIO of EmpireCLS. He’s going to tell us a little bit about how he’s using Microsoft technologies, particularly Windows Server 2012 and System Center 2012 SP1, to really transform his company’s IT operations and the business overall. Welcome, Alan.
ALAN BOURASSA: Thank you. Thanks and good morning, everyone.
I’m Alan Bourassa, the CIO of EmpireCLS, and we are the second largest ground transport —
JOEL SIDER: Alan, I think we may have lost you for a minute. Are you there?
ALAN BOURASSA: Hello.
JOEL SIDER: Yes. I think we can hear you now, Alan. Go ahead.
ALAN BOURASSA: OK. I don’t know where I left off.
We’re the second largest ground transportation company in the world, and we operate in more than 650 cities worldwide. And we maintain three world-class datacenters worldwide. We actually just finished up doing the Golden Globes this past weekend.
Over the last several years, we have been transforming our business from just a luxury ground transportation company to a world-class hosting provider, targeting and specializing specifically in the ground transportation industry segment.
We now offer software as a service for our proprietary dispatch and reservation systems that we build and infrastructure as a service to those companies specializing in the ground transportation industry.
We took an existing software asset from our company and developed it and used it in a business model with our intellectual property and capital to make a public cloud offering and to build on that model for our cloud services to maximize our original software investment.
Today, more than 90 percent of our workloads are virtualized, and either run on our private, public cloud offering or on the Microsoft Azure platform.
We have also virtualized our entire mobile workforce and internal desktops are all provisioned and operate with cloud services.
With this, we’ve reduced our desktop problem resolution case by more than 75 percent; we’ve reduced our carbon footprint by more than 50 percent; we actually provide a carbon footprint to all of our customers to be as green as possible, which also helps us reduce our electrical costs and operating costs.
Empire has consolidated its datacenter footprint by more than 50 percent through HP server offerings, combined with Microsoft’s strong virtualized performance improvements and coupled with the announcement today of System Center 2012 SP1 management platform in this release today.
So how has Empire been able to do this while maintaining and lowering our costs?
The answer for us was clearly System Center 2012 and Windows Server 2012, and probably to use an overrated term, you know, the story is better together. We have been a Microsoft customer for the last several years, and before that we were a total UNIX shop. And now with the release today of System Center 2012 SP1, coupled with Windows Server 2012 features and functionality, we have now been able to transform our company from just a luxury ground transportation company to a world-class public cloud hosting provider.
We actually expect over the next several years that more than 50 percent of our total revenue is going to come from this new business transformation and venture.
Without Microsoft’s total cloud vision and solution, we’d never have been able to have accomplished this. This has allowed us to expand our business model and to becoming a public hosting provider in the cloud while maintaining and controlling our costs with the use, you know, again of the System Center 2012 SP1 suite of products. And there are many in this suite, and I’ll mention a few that have actually had a major impact on our business in relation to resiliency and our cloud offerings that have allowed us to expand our business and increase and maximize our revenues significantly.
So some of those examples are we’re using in the suite Virtual Machine Manager, which is the Hypervisor 3 environment, to basically manage for us hundreds of hypervisor workloads through one pane of glass. You know, the saying now in our company is we don’t build servers anymore; we build hypervisors and we build private and public clouds. This translates into many hypervisors and many clouds seen as one. It’s all about simplicity of management. All of this is seen as one view into many hypervisors and workloads. This keeps our cost down, but we’ve actually been able to add more than 550 transportation vendors over the last year to this platform, again without increasing costs.
We’re also using Data Protection Manager for all of our backup and recovery protection in this suite in both our private and public cloud and using Windows Azure backup services to augment and protect our data in the public Microsoft cloud offering.
And we’re using System Center Operations Manager to alert us to any issues in our private, public and Microsoft Azure cloud platform services before the users or customers see any changes even in the environment. This has allowed us to maintain an uptime of seven 9s, which until now has been unheard of in the industry.
We’re using System Center Service Manager for our user community and customers to submit tickets for new services, which then get provisioned automatically through System Center Orchestrator to reporting issues about services they need to help.
So clearly it’s a whole suite of products, and I’ve only touched on a few. You know, with Microsoft’s Hypervisor 3 and Windows Server 2012, we’ve moved even our communication platform of traditional PBX systems to Lync 2013 that now handles our voice, video and IM communications all 100 percent virtualized and in the cloud. We really only dreamed of doing this before; now it’s a reality.
And with Microsoft System Center 2012 and Windows Server 2012 we’re also virtualizing workloads like SQL Server 2012 in a cloud virtualized environment. I personally would have never dreamed of virtualizing this type of workload before either. In fact, I was a staunch opponent for a long time of a SQL workload being virtualized. That dream has now come true with the new releases that you’re hearing about today, and the release recently of Windows Server 2012.
Now, as evidence to support this, we now have more than 550 customers and vendors on our combined private, public and Microsoft Azure cloud services offering, and it’s generating additional revenues for our company that were not possible before.
Microsoft has been able to make the cloud environment more robust while making the management of these complex environments simpler for the IT staff members to manage.
So you might ask at this point, you know, why did EmpireCLS pick Microsoft? We, of course, in our evaluation of platforms looked at many vendors. One that you will always compare against typically when you’re talking about hypervisors is VMware. But in the final analysis though, VMware was a hypervisor virtualization play only and didn’t have the depth and breadth of a total solution for cloud services end-to-end that all companies need. Microsoft from my point of view is clearly the innovator and thought leader in the total cloud sol, and clearly the thought leader and visionary for businesses that want and need total cloud services solutions.
Now, examples of this are that we are seamlessly moving virtualized workloads between our private, our public and Microsoft Azure cloud services offerings seamlessly. It’s simple and it’s through one pane of glass. It can’t get simpler than that.
Of course, the discussion would not be complete also without mentioning some of the features that are enabling us or being enablers to be more competitive and help us transform our business model into a hosting provider offering. So I’ll get a little technical. We’re using some of the new features like software-defined networking that’s been unheard of in the industry, and we’re starting to embrace that, extensible network software switches, hypervisor replicas to maintain uptime and availability across datacenters, live storage and live virtual machine migration on shared nothing — unheard of, virtual fiber switches, scale-out file servers, and software network isolation for our tenants, just to mention a few of the hundreds of new features and functionalities introduced today.
So for us, for EmpireCLS, so all in all, Microsoft is and will continue in our view to be the thought leader and visionary in the complete cloud services offering space, and EmpireCLS actually bet on Microsoft cloud technology end-to-end several years ago, and it was the best bet we ever made. We couldn’t be happier being a customer, and more so treated by them as a partner in helping us to grow actually our business through their complete and strong cloud services offering, and the primary thought leader and visionary for the cloud transformation that is going to continue to revolutionize and commoditize the cloud services industry.
I want to thank Microsoft and thank everyone for listening today. Thank you.
JOEL SIDER: Thanks so much, Alan.
So we’re going to take it back to Mike Schutz now. He’s going to talk about hosting service providers in the Cloud OS, building on what Alan talked about, and we have some news in that area as well.
MIKE SCHUTZ: Thanks, Joel.
It really is inspiring to be able to work with customers like Alan and EmpireCLS, and watch how some of the technologies and products that we work on can play some small part in the business transformation.
So speaking of business transformation, we’re seeing a huge shift to cloud computing, as well as how hosting service providers play a really key role in that.
And as I mentioned earlier, Windows Server 2012 and System Center 2012 enable hybrid IT across private, hosted, as well as public cloud.
Hosted service providers are a really key role in our Cloud OS strategy and help customers transform their datacenters. So, in that vein, they’re a really important third cloud that Michael outlined earlier with respect to Cloud OS.
We already have an enormous ecosystem of hosting service providers that can participate in the Cloud OS. Over 14,000 use Windows Server today, over 8,500 use SQL Server, and over 5,500 use Exchange, and the list goes on.
So, for example, System Center 2012 SP1 delivers an API that we call Service Provider Foundation that hosting providers can use that helps integrate with a customer’s on-premises datacenter solution and connects their service portals with customer management console. This is a great capability for enterprise customers because it gives them the datacenter elasticity where they can integrate a service provider’s cloud capacity and management directly into their datacenter operations. This provides them more infrastructure scale.
It’s also great for hosting service providers because of what they can offer to clients and how they can grow their businesses by acting as a seamless extension to a customer’s datacenter.
So, with our solution, the story gets even better for hosting partners today with what we call Windows Azure Services on Windows Server. We initially previewed these capabilities last summer in Toronto, Canada, at the Worldwide Partner Conference, and now they’re generally available.
These are high-scale websites and virtual machine hosting capabilities that we originally built for Windows Azure, and we’re now taking those and making them available to our hosting service providers to run on their own Windows Server 2012 and System Center infrastructure.
These are specifically designed for easy incorporation into a service provider’s existing services so that they can use them to differentiate their offerings and customize them without a lot of heavy lifting.
The Windows Azure services on Windows Server are a great example of the virtuous cycle of development that Michael spoke about earlier where we bring our learnings and investments in the public cloud and apply them to our products for customers and partners to deploy in their own datacenters and fulfill part of that three cloud vision that the Cloud OS is based on.
We’re really excited about the opportunities that we have together with our hosting service providers, and the announcements today provide a big step forward in that model.
JOEL SIDER: Great. Yeah, again that was Mike Schutz, general manager here in Server & Tools at Microsoft.
With that, let’s bring Jess in from Applied Innovations. Jess, tell us about Applied Innovations. Tell us how you’re using Windows Server and System Center and the new technologies that Mike talked about.
Jess, have we got you there?
Bear with us.
JESS COBURN: I guess had myself muted. I apologize for that.
JOEL SIDER: Hey, no worries, appreciate it.
JESS COBURN: I am a technologist, believe it or not.
So Applied Innovations is a 14-year old Web hosting company based down here in Boca Raton, Florida. Traditionally, we’ve catered to developers, designers and agencies, and predominantly within the U.S. Today, we power more than 35,000 domains for 10,000 customers, and we operate over 2,500 server instances with 90 percent of that running on top of Hyper-V.
Back in 2009, we were one of the first hosts globally to launch Hyper-V and System Center, and at that time we really opted for Hyper-V because of the economics.
Back in 2009, there were really only two choices for us. So it was Hyper-V or it was VMware. And when looking at the two we looked at Hyper-V, and we went in that direction because, one, it was the overall cost, but more important than that was the fact that we could take our Windows Server admins, leverage their experience and expertise, and deliver this new offering with little pain to ourselves. And so that’s the direction we went.
Now, fast forward to today, and it’s four years later, and we’re still deployed on top of Hyper-V.
And there’s a wealth of different solutions out there for us from open source solutions like OpenStack all the way up to our friends at VMware, and we’re still focused on Hyper-V. And the reason for that is really that it’s this notion of one consistent platform and a Cloud OS, and that’s what’s kept us there, and we’re really excited to see that come forward.
So with System Center 2012 SP1 and the new technology there it’s really going to help our business. You know, the cloud is redefining our business and our industry. And when in the past we saw that we were deploying these Web workloads, and that’s been a major focus of our business, now that we’ve started deploying cloud we’re starting to see what our customers host transition from Web to more of enterprise-type workloads.
Last year, we acquired another company, and that company focused exclusively on building a channel business of partners that delivered managed services to small and medium businesses. And they’re one of those businesses that deployed these enterprise IT workloads that were traditionally on-prem.
In the last three months, we’ve seen that business grow by 25 percent, and I believe by delivering more services that are exposed in Hyper-V and System Center we’ll be able to grow that further.
So SP1 brings some of these new services to us, right? There’s the ability to leverage Hyper-V Replica and offer disaster recovery services. There’s network virtualization and allowing these customers to move workloads to and from the cloud seamlessly. And then there’s the service provider foundation in SP1 that allows our customers to manage all their services directly within System Center.
Now they’ll be able to leverage the same System Center tools they use today on-prem to manage their on-prem infrastructure and also manage their cloud hosted with us or with Azure from that one pane of glass. So, in one pane of glass, they’ll be able to manage all their infrastructure, and for our managed Web business that’s really key.
But there’s also our shared hosting business, and over the last 14 years shared hosting really hasn’t changed much. But when Microsoft announced Windows Azure services for Windows Server, that’s really a big change in shared hosting. You know, Microsoft’s taken a lot of their learnings from Azure and making it available to their partners. And because of this new service, we’ll be able to stand up an elastically scalable cloud hosting environment that will allow our shared hosting customers to get that same benefit of the cloud that previously was only available to our managed cloud customers, and for us that’s really exciting.
So I think it’s pretty safe to say that the cloud has really changed our industry and changed our business, and by Microsoft taking the approach that this isn’t just an OS but a Cloud OS and this one consistent platform, they’re really changing it in a way that we’re able to leverage it and build successful solutions to our partners and our customers in a way that’s easy to understand and easy to deploy, and at the end of the day everybody wins.
JOEL SIDER: Jess, thanks so much.
So we’re going to go back to Mike now to cover the kind of last part of the news and story today.
MIKE SCHUTZ: Thanks, Joel.
And again, as the last part of the announcement, we really want to focus on some of the trends that Michael Park mentioned earlier around the undeniable number of connected devices, the consumerization of IT and the bring-your-own-device trends that we’re seeing in the market.
We all know this is a huge shift for IT organizations and brings with it a whole host of new challenges as end users bring new types of devices into the workplace and would like to work from those devices.
A core part of our Cloud OS vision is to help IT do what we talk about as a people-centric approach to these trends. What this means is we’d like to put the user first by delivering personalized experiences that give employees the productivity they need and have come to expect on the devices that they choose.
System Center 2012 SP1 plays a key role here of providing consistent management of not just the datacenter resources that I talked about previously but also PCs and devices that are used by employees across the company.
System Center 2012 SP1 and the new Windows Intune cloud-based service that’s now available provide a unified PC and mobile device management solution. It’s a comprehensive approach that lets IT use one management solution to provide users with access to corporate resources on the devices that they choose, and therefore represents a win for both users as well as IT. This solution provides management and software distribution with enterprise scale of up to 100,000 devices.
Windows Intune is now offered in 87 countries around the world, representing the majority of the world’s population.
This combination of Windows Intune and System Center is really ideal for helping IT secure and manage the new generation of powerful Windows 8 PCs, Windows RT tablets, Windows Phone 8 smartphones, as well as all the diverse other platforms in today’s modern enterprise, including Android and iOS. So this is a really exciting announcement for us to help bring together the management of PCs and devices to help IT and end users at the same time.
JOEL SIDER: Great. Thanks again, Mike.
So that really brings an end to the overview of the presentation and news. We’ll open it up for Q&A. If you do have questions, you’re welcome to communicate that through the instant messaging functionality on Lync.
As I mentioned at the top of the call, there is a press release, along with a blog post by Michael Park about the Cloud OS, and links to a whole set of other information. All that is on Microsoft.com/newscenter. You can also email questions to our PR team at cloudosnewsbriefing@waggeneredstrom.com.
So we’re getting a question from Timothy Prigget-Morgan (ph) asking about the release notes for System Center SP1, as well as Windows Azure services for Windows Server.
The best place to start is Microsoft.com/systemcenter, which will take you to the more detailed documentation if you’re interested in that.
There’s also a more detailed blog post on what’s called the server cloud blog. If you go to the News Center site, you’ll find links to all of this.
Well, good. So I think we’ll go ahead and wrap up. Again, please let us know your questions, take a look at the information up on News Center, and with that we’ll go ahead and close today’s call. Really appreciate everyone tuning in.
END

New Windows Server 2012 R2 Innovations – Download Now [Windows Server Blog, Aug 6, 2013]

Windows Server 2012 R2 is in preview right now and ready for your evaluation. We have been rolling out detailed information on our Cloud OS vision though Brad Anderson’s What’s New in 2012 R2 blog series. That will continue but we thought you would like a short consolidated list for consideration. Here are some key innovations in Windows Server 2012 R2.

Storage transformation – Delivers breakthrough performance at a fraction of the cost

  • The storage tiering feature of Storage Spaces in Windows Server 2012 R2 automatically tiers data across hard disks and solid state drives based on usage to dramatically increase storage performance and cost efficiency.

Software defined networking – Provides new levels of agility and flexibility

  • Network virtualization in Windows Server 2012 R2, along with the management capabilities in System Center 2012 R2 provides the flexibility to place any virtual machine on any node regardless of IP address with isolation.
  • New in-box gateway in Windows Server 2012 R2 extends virtual networks to provide full connectivity to physical networks as well as access to virtual networks over the internet.

Virtualization and live migration – Provides an integrated and high-performance virtualization platform

  • Cross-version live migration enables virtual machines running on Windows Server 2012 to be migrated to Windows Server 2012 R2 hosts with no downtime.
  • Live migration compression provides dramatic time savings (approximately 50% or greater) by using spare CPU cycles to compress live migration traffic with no special hardware.
  • Live migration with RDMA enables offloading of the process to the NICs (if they support RDMA) for even faster live migrations.

Access & Information Protection – Empowering your users to be productive while maintaining control and security of corporate information with Windows Server 2012 R2

  • Enable users to work on the device of their choice (through BYOD programs or on personal devices) by providing a simple registration process to make the devices known to IT and be taken into account as part of your conditional access policies
  • Deliver policy-based access control to corporate applications and data with consistent experiences across devices
  • Protect corporate information and mitigate risk by managing a single identity for each user across both on-premises and cloud-based applications and enabling multi-factor authentication for additional user validation

Java application monitoring – Enables deep application insight into Java applications.

  • Provides performance and exception events as well as level alerting within Operations Manager for Java applications.
  • Supports Tomcat, Java JDK, and other Java web services frameworks.
  • Line-of-code level traceability with performance and exception metrics for .NET and Java application monitoring for more actionable, tool-driven dev-ops collaboration

This is by no means a comprehensive lists of new features and benefits, but we just wanted to give you some information on the key focus areas. For those of you interested in downloading some of the products and trying them, here are some resources to help you:

alias “Hybrid Cloud PR” Microsoft unleashes fall wave of enterprise cloud solutions [press release, Oct 7, 2013]

New Windows Server, System Center, Visual Studio, Windows Azure, Windows Intune, SQL Server, and Dynamics solutions will accelerate cloud benefits for customers.

Microsoft Corp. on Monday announced a wave of new enterprise products and services to help companies seize the opportunities of cloud computing and overcome today’s top IT challenges. Complementing Office 365 and other services, these new offerings deliver on Microsoft’s enterprise cloud strategy.

Satya Nadella, Cloud and Enterprise executive vice president, said, “As enterprises move to the cloud they are going to bet on vendors that have best-in-class software as a service applications, operate a global public cloud that supports a broad ecosystem of third party services, and deliver multi-cloud mobility through true hybrid solutions. If you look across the vendor landscape, you can see that only Microsoft is truly delivering in all of those areas.” More comments from Nadella can be found on The Official Microsoft Blog.

Hybrid infrastructure and modern applications

To help customers build IT infrastructure that delivers continuous services and applications across clouds, on Oct. 18 Microsoft will release Windows Server 2012 R2 and System Center 2012 R2. Together, these new products empower companies to create datacenters without boundaries using Hyper-V for high-scale virtualization; high-performance storage at dramatically lower costs; built-in, software-defined networking; and hybrid business continuity. The new Windows Azure Pack runs on top of Windows Server and System Center, enabling enterprises and service providers to deliver self-service infrastructure and platforms from their datacenters.

Building on these hybrid cloud platforms, customers can use Visual Studio 2013 and the new .NET 4.5.1, also available Oct. 18, to create modern applications for devices and services. As software development becomes pervasive within every company, the new Visual Studio 2013 Modern Lifecycle Management solution helps enable development teams, businesspeople and IT managers to build and deliver better applications, faster.

Enabling enterprise cloud adoption

Recognizing that most enterprises will take a hybrid approach to cloud, Microsoft wants to help customers utilize their investments in on-premises software solutions toward the adoption of cloud computing. On Nov. 1, Microsoft will offer Enterprise Agreement (EA) customers access to discounted Windows Azure prices, regardless of upfront commitment, without overuse penalties and with the flexibility of annual payments.

As another part of this effort to reduce cloud adoption barriers, Microsoft on Monday announced a strategic partnership with Equinix Inc. Building on recently announced partnerships with AT&T and others, this alliance will provide customers with even more options for private and fast connections to the cloud. Customers will be able to connect their networks with Windows Azure at Equinix exchange locations for greater throughput, availability and security features.

Governments are among the most demanding enterprise customers. To help U.S. federal, state and local government agencies realize the benefits of public cloud computing, Microsoft is introducing its Windows Azure US Government Cloud. This will offer U.S. government customers a dedicated community cloud for data, applications and infrastructure, hosted in the continental U.S. and managed by U.S. personnel. Windows Azure has been granted FedRAMP Joint Authorization Board Provisional Authority to Operate, making it the first public cloud of its kind to achieve this level of government authorization.

Data platform and insights

As part of its vision to help more people unlock actionable insights from big data, Microsoft next week will release a second preview of SQL Server 2014. The new version offers industry-leading in-memory technologies at no additional cost, giving customers 10 times to 30 times performance improvements without application rewrites or new hardware. SQL Server 2014 also works with Windows Azure to give customers built-in cloud backup and disaster recovery.

For big data analytics, later this month Microsoft will release Windows Azure HDInsight Service, an Apache Hadoop-based service that works with SQL Server and widely used business intelligence tools, such as Microsoft Excel and Power BI for Office 365. With Power BI, people can combine private and public data in the cloud for rich visualizations and fast insights.

People and devices in the cloud

The proliferation of cloud applications, data and consumer devices is moving many enterprises to a bring-your-own-device model. The new release of Windows Intune, also available Oct. 18, combines with System Center Configuration Manager to help IT departments give mobile employees security-enhanced access to the applications and data they need on the Windows, iOS and Android devices of their choice. This unified management environment for PCs and mobile devices complements the new access and information protection capabilities in Windows Server 2012 R2.

Further, with Windows Server 2012 R2 Microsoft is introducing the Microsoft Remote Desktop app, available for download in application stores later this month, to provide easy access to PCs and virtual desktops on a variety of devices and platforms, including Windows, Windows RT, iOS, OS X and Android.

Software as a service business solutions

The next major version of the company’s CRM solution, Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Fall ’13 will be available later this month, helping make customer interactions more personal via contextual information for deeper insights than the previous version, delivered on a variety of devices.* The on-premises version is expected to be available later in the fall for deployment either in-house or hosted by a partner. More information is available here. In addition, Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013 R2 is now available, offering small and midsize businesses interoperability with Office 365, full multitenant support, and a range of tools designed to support large-scale hosting of the application on Windows Azure.

More information on Monday’s announcements can be found at the Microsoft News Center.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

* Devices include Windows 8 tablets and iPad tablets with Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013; Windows Phone 8, iPhone and Android phone shortly following the release of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013.

Announcing the General Availability of Windows Server 2012 R2: The Heart of Cloud OS [Windows Server Blog, Oct 18, 2013]

For years now, Microsoft has been building and operating some of the largest cloud applications in the world. The expertise culled from these experiences along with our established history of delivering market-leading enterprise operating systems, platforms, and applications has led us to develop a new approach for the modern era: the Microsoft Cloud OS.

The Cloud OS vision combines Microsoft knowledge and experiences with today’s trends and technology innovations to deliver a modern platform of products and services that helps organizations transform their current server environment into a highly elastic, scalable, and reliable cloud infrastructure. Utilizing the software that powers the Cloud OS vision, organizations can quickly and flexibly build and manage modern applications across platforms, locations, and devices, unlock insights from volumes of existing and new data, and support end-user productivity wherever and on whatever device they choose.

At the heart of Cloud OS is Windows Server 2012 R2. Delivering on the promise of a modern datacenter, modern applications, and people-centric IT, Windows Server 2012 R2 provides a best-in-class server experience that cost-effectively cloud-optimizes your business. When you optimize your business for the cloud with Windows Server 2012 R2, you take advantage of your existing skillsets and technology investments. You also gain all the Microsoft experience behind building and operating private and public clouds – right in the box. Delivered as an enterprise-class, the simple and cost-effective server and cloud platform Windows Server 2012 R2 delivers significant value around seven key capabilities:

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Server virtualization. Windows Server Hyper-V offers a scalable and feature-rich virtualization platform that helps organizations of all sizes realize considerable cost savings and operational efficiencies. With Windows Server 2012 R2, server virtualization with Hyper-V pulls ahead of the competition by offering industry-leading size and scale that makes it the platform of choice for running your mission critical workloads. Using Windows Server 2012 R2, you can take advantage of new hardware technology, while still utilizing the servers you already have. This functionality enables you to virtualize today and be ready for the future tomorrow.

Whether you are looking to expand virtual machine mobility, increase virtual machine availability, handle multi-tenant environments, gain bigger scale, or gain more flexibility, Windows Server 2012 R2 with Hyper-V gives you the platform and tools you need to increase business agility with confidence. Plus, you can also benefit from workload portability as you extend your on-premises datacenter into a service provider cloud or Windows Azure.

Storage. With the increase in new applications, the explosion of data, and growing end-user expectations for continuous services, there has come a significant increase in storage demands. Windows Server 2012 R2 offers a wide variety of storage features and capabilities to address the storage challenges faced by organizations. Whether you intend to use cost-effective, industry-standard hardware for the bulk of your workloads or Storage Area Networks for the most demanding ones, Windows Server 2012 R2 provides you with a rich set of features that can help you maximize the returns from all of your storage investments.

Microsoft designed Windows Server 2012 R2 with a strong focus on storage capabilities, including improvements in the provisioning, accessing, and managing of storage and the transfer of data across the network that resides on that storage. The end result is a storage solution that delivers the efficiency, performance, resiliency, availability, and versatility you need at every level.

Networking. New technologies, such as private- and public-cloud computing, mobile workforces, and widely dispersed assets have transformed the business landscape and altered how we manage networking and network assets. Still, the main goal remains the same: keep all networking components connected to ensure smooth data transmission and reliable access by users and customers to the services they need when they need them.

Windows Server 2012 R2 makes it as straightforward to manage an entire network as a single server, giving you the reliability and scalability of multiple servers at a lower cost. Automatic rerouting around storage, server, and network failures enables file services to remain online with minimal noticeable downtime. In addition, Windows Server 2012 R2 provides the foundation for software-defined networking, out-of-the box, enabling seamless connectivity across public, private, and hybrid cloud implementations.

Whatever your organization’s needs, from administering network assets to managing an extensive private and public cloud network infrastructure, Windows Server 2012 R2 offers you solutions to today’s changing business landscape. These capabilities help reduce networking complexity while lowering costs, simplifying management tasks, and delivering services reliably and efficiently. With Windows Server 2012 R2 you can automate and consolidate networking processes and resources, more easily connect private clouds with public cloud services, and more easily connect users to IT resources and services across physical boundaries.

Server management and automation. Datacenter infrastructure has become more and more complex. Multiple industry standards are confusing hardware vendors. Customers are looking for guidance on how to best automate their datacenter while adopting a standards-based management approach supporting their multi-vendor investments. Windows Server 2012 R2 enables IT professionals to offer an integrated platform to automate and manage the increasing datacenter ecosystem. Features within Windows Server 2012 R2 enable you to manage many servers and the devices connecting them, whether they are physical or virtual, on-premises or in the cloud.

Web and application platform. Chances are your organization already uses or is planning to use a combination of on-premises and off-premises IT resources and tools for building a hybrid environment. To protect your existing investment in on-premises applications as you begin to migrate to the cloud, you need a scalable application and web platform that enables you to manage your applications and websites in a unified way.

Windows Server 2012 R2 builds on the tradition of the Windows Server family as a proven application platform, with thousands of applications already built and deployed and a community of millions of knowledgeable and skilled developers already in place. The capabilities included in Windows Server 2012 R2 offer your organization even greater application flexibility, helping you build and deploy applications either on-premises, in the cloud, or both at once, with hybrid solutions that can work in both environments.

As your organization plans for and moves to a hybrid or cloud-based environment, Windows Server 2012 R2 provides the tools you need to build, provision, and manage multi-tenant environments while still supporting your large enterprise or the many customers hosted within your service provider infrastructure.

Access and information protection. Information exists almost everywhere in your organization: on servers, laptops, desktops, removable devices, and in emails. Users need to be able to access this information from anywhere, share it where appropriate, and achieve maximum productivity with the assets they have. To further complicate matters, the move to cloud computing necessitates being able to secure enterprise applications that no longer live in your datacenter.

Microsoft assists you in supporting consumerization of IT and in retaining effective management, security, and compliance capabilities. The enterprise tools and technologies that Microsoft provides can help with key enterprise tasks such as identifying non-corporate devices, delivering applications and data to those devices with the best possible user experience, and establishing and enforcing policies on devices based on the end user’s role within the organization. Microsoft enterprise tools and technologies can help IT staff to maintain a high level of security across all device types, whether the devices are corporate or personal assets, and establish security measures that protect their organization’s systems, data, and network.

To address these information needs and challenges, organizations have to make fundamental shifts in how they approach identity and security. Windows Server 2012 R2 helps you accommodate these changes through exciting new remote access options, significant improvements to Active Directory and Active Directory Federation Services, and the introduction of policy-based information access and audits with Dynamic Access Control, and new scenarios to help customers provide access to corporate resources for users from their own devices. With these new capabilities, you can better manage and protect data access, simplify deployment and management of your identity infrastructure, and provide more secure access to data from virtually anywhere across both on-premises well managed devices and new consumer orientated form factors.

Virtual Desktop Infrastructure. Most IT departments currently face the challenge of enabling worker productivity on a growing number of mobile devices in the workplace. Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) helps you accommodate these new devices by enabling them to access a centralized instance of the Windows desktop in the datacenter. By virtualizing these desktop resources, you can alleviate device compatibility and security issues while still delivering a consistent, familiar experience that enhances end-user productivity. With Windows Server 2012 R2, Microsoft makes it easier and more cost-effective to deploy and deliver virtual desktop resources across workers’ devices.

VDI technologies in Windows Server 2012 R2 offer easy access to a rich, full-fidelity Windows environment running in the datacenter, from virtually any device. Through Hyper-V and Remote Desktop Services (RDS), Microsoft offers three flexible VDI deployment options in a single solution: Pooled Desktops, Personal Desktops, and Remote Desktop Sessions (formerly Terminal Services). With Windows Server 2012 R2, you get a complete VDI toolset for delivering flexible access to data and applications from virtually anywhere on popular devices, while also helping to maintain security and compliance.

To compete in the global economy and keep up with the pace of innovation, IT organizations must improve their agility, their efficiency, and their ability to better manage costs while enabling their business and end users to stay continuously productive.

Microsoft has gained expertise from years of building and operating some of the largest cloud applications in the world. We’ve combined this expertise with our experiences in delivering market-leading enterprise operating systems, platforms, and applications to develop a platform for infrastructure, applications, and data: the Cloud OS.

The Microsoft Cloud OS delivers a modern platform of products and services that helps enterprise IT teams transform their current environment to a highly elastic, scalable, and reliable infrastructure. With Cloud OS, organizations can quickly and flexibly build and manage modern applications across platforms, locations, and devices, unlock insights from volumes of existing and new data, and support user productivity wherever and on whatever device they choose. Microsoft uniquely delivers the Cloud OS as a consistent and comprehensive set of capabilities that span on-premises, service provider, and Windows Azure datacenters, enabling enterprises to improve scale, elasticity, and availability of IT services.

At the heart of Cloud OS is Windows Server 2012 R2, which delivers upon the promises of a modern datacenter, modern applications, and people-centric IT. Whether you are an enterprise building out your own private cloud environment or a service provider offering large-scale cloud services, Windows Server 2012 R2 offers an enterprise-class, simple and cost-effective solution that’s application-focused and user centric. With Windows Server 2012 R2, you can utilize the capacity of your datacenter, deliver best-in-class performance for your Microsoft workloads, and receive affordable, multi-node business continuity scenarios with high service uptime and at-scale disaster recovery.

We hope that you are as excited as we are to get started today!

alias “Cloud OS Network PR” Leading cloud service providers around the globe bet on Microsoft [press release, Dec 12, 2013]

Cloud OS Network partners provide customers with consistent cloud platform.

On Thursday, Microsoft Corp. introduced the Cloud OS Network, a worldwide consortium of more than 25 cloud service providers delivering services built on the Microsoft Cloud Platform: Windows Server with Hyper-V, System Center and the Windows Azure Pack. These organizations support Microsoft’s Cloud OS vision of a consistent platform that spans customer datacenters, Windows Azure and service provider clouds. Service providers in the Cloud OS Network offer Microsoft-validated, cloud-based infrastructure and application solutions designed to meet customer needs.

“This network of leading service providers will help our customers create datacenters without boundaries for apps, data and device management,” said Takeshi Numoto, Microsoft corporate vice president of Cloud & Enterprise Marketing. “That translates into greater diversity of solutions, more flexibility and lower operational costs for customers, allowing them to focus on their core business rather than managing datacenters.” More comments from Numoto can be found on the Official Microsoft Blog.

Hybrid benefits for customers

Every organization has different needs and different IT requirements for addressing those needs. With the Cloud OS Network, customers now have even more choice in deploying hybrid solutions on the Microsoft Cloud Platform — either in their datacenter, in Windows Azure or, now, through a network of service providers. Customers also benefit from uniquely tailored, fully managed services within their local market, as well as a high degree of technical consistency across environments, which prevents vendor lock-in and enables flexibility. As a result, customers can focus on increasing efficiencies, improving employee productivity and lowering operational costs. Customers interested in the Cloud OS Network and the services offered by these partners can find additional information here.

Cloud service provider opportunity

As cloud adoption accelerates, service providers are focused on delivering value-added services to meet customer demand for hybrid cloud solutions. By joining Microsoft in the Cloud OS Network, leading cloud service providers can quickly and cost-effectively develop new services, attract new customers and increase revenues. With the Microsoft Cloud Platform, service providers have access to the capabilities of and best practices from Windows Azure.

“CSC continues to expand our strategic partnership with Microsoft to increase value to our clients and bring next-gen solutions to market,” said Marc Silvester, vice president of Offerings Management at CSC. “CSC and Microsoft continue to partner on offerings that leverage the tremendous growth in apps, devices and data that are driven by the rise of cloud computing. As these technologies play an ever-increasing role in business, CSC and Microsoft are working together to drive more efficiency and value through Microsoft’s Cloud OS vision. CSC is proud to be part of Microsoft’s Cloud OS Network.”

Watch what service providers have to say about Microsoft’s new Cloud OS Network here.

Worldwide reach

Organizations within the Cloud OS Network cover more than 90 active markets around the world, serve more than 3 million customers every day and operate over 2.4 million servers in more than 425 datacenters.

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Partners in the Cloud OS Network include, among others, Alog, Aruba S.p.A., Capgemini, Capita IT Services, CGI, CSC, Dimension Data, DorukNet, Fujitsu Finland Oy., Fujitsu Ltd., iWeb, Lenovo, NTTX, Outsourcery, OVH.com, Revera, SingTel, Sogeti, TeleComputing, Tieto, Triple C Cloud Computing, T-Systems, VTC Digilink and Wortmann AG.

T-Systems offers enterprise customers services based on the Microsoft Cloud Platform [press release, Dec 12, 2013]

  • T-Systems joins Microsoft’s Cloud OS Network
  • Expansion of cloud portfolio in secure T-Systems data centers
  • Data privacy and compliance in accordance with German law

T-Systems and Microsoft Corporation are combining their expertise in cloud computing to enable T-Systems to offer hybrid cloud services. Building on their long-standing alliance, the two companies are now joining their efforts to provide hybrid cloud services to large customers in Germany and the European market. Deutsche Telekom (DT) already offers SME customers cloud-based Microsoft products, and this relationship extends the collaboration. Going forward, customers will be able to use Microsoft products via the DT subsidiary’s secure data centers.

A hybrid cloud approach – a combination of the private and public cloud – will allow customers to take advantage of cost-effective Microsoft infrastructure and move data from the public cloud seamlessly into the highly protected T-Systems private cloud, or vice versa. Customers can decide at any time which data they especially want to protect in a private cloud. T-Systems’ data centers in Germany are subject to the strict German regulations for data privacy and compliance. The combination of the different cloud offers guarantees that business customers get the highest levels of security and availability, as well as full flexibility.

Infrastructure, collaboration, big data

The Deutsche Telekom subsidiary brings its years of expertise in the operation of data centers and IT services to the relationship, as well as its competence in the provisioning of dynamic ICT services. T-Systems has also expanded its portfolio as a provider of cloud services and can therefore offer customers services that they need for their business. “By signing this agreement, we are raising the cooperation with Microsoft to a new level,” said Hagen Rickmann Director Sales at T-Systems. “Together we can offer our customers attractive products and the best of different computing worlds.” The parties will focus their joint work under this agreement in three areas: infrastructure, business collaboration, and big data.

“With the Cloud OS Platform, Microsoft offers a comprehensive technology across customer datacenters, service provider clouds and Windows Azure, based on Windows Server 2012 R2 with Hyper-V, System Center 2012 R2 and the Windows Azure Pack. This platform can enable the future of hybrid cloud scenarios. Especially with T-Systems, which is strong in the enterprise space, customers in Germany and Europe can take advantage of cloud services that adhere to German security and compliance laws,” explained Kai Göttmann, Director Server, Tools and Cloud at Microsoft.

About Deutsche Telekom
Deutsche Telekom is one of the world’s leading integrated telecommunications companies with 140 million mobile customers, over 31 million fixed-network lines and more than 17 million broadband lines (as of September 30, 2013). The Group provides products and services for the fixed network, mobile communications, the Internet and IPTV for consumers, and ICT solutions for business customers and corporate customers. Deutsche Telekom is present in around 50 countries and has 230,000 employees worldwide. The Group generated revenues of EUR 58.2 billion in the 2012 financial year – more than half of it outside Germany (as of December 31, 2012).
About T-Systems
Drawing on a global infrastructure of data centers and networks, T-Systems operates information and communication technology (ICT) systems for multinational corporations and public sector institutions. T-Systems provides integrated solutions for the networked future of business and society. The company’s some 52,700 employees combine industry expertise and ICT innovations to add significant value to customers’ core business all over the world. T-Systems generated revenue of around EUR 10 billion in the 2012 financial year.

ALOG adopts Microsoft Cloud OS [ALOG Notícias, Dec 13, 2013]

Alog Data Centers do Brasil, one of the main providers of Information Technology (IT) structure in the country announced a new partnership with Microsoft Corporation to offer full cloud computing solutions. Alog is the first data center services company in Brazil to become part of the Cloud OS network – Microsoft’s new initiative formed exclusively by strategic providers of the cloud sector that provide services based on Microsoft’s cloud services platform (Windows Server 2012 R2 with Hyper-V, System Center 2012 R2 and Windows Azure package). The main objective of the program is to give the clients, in a consistent fashion and at corporate level, the benefits of Microsoft’s cloud platform that has a hybrid format and offers flexibility with full services that meet each company’s specific core business.

Apart from accessing the most modern cloud platform, having direct contact with Microsoft’s team of engineers will allow Alog to develop cloud computing solutions according to each client’s particularities. “Since we are going to work on the development with Microsoft, we will safely deliver an even more mature and robust offer – with the levels of service that our clients seek”, explains Rodrigo Guerrero, Alog’s commercial director. “The possibility of providing hybrid solutions that connect environments in cloud to the current data centers already used, allows the clients to use it in a more intelligent way and make the most of the benefits in a complete and effective manner”, he adds.

“The network operational system in cloud based on Microsoft’s Cloud OS vision, allows Alog’s clients to accelerate and make the implementation of solutions over hybrid platforms more flexible. Therefore it is possible to optimize the combination of the existing infrastructure with the contracted from the services provider, in order to adapt the cloud environments and better meet the needs of each business sector “, explains André Echeverria, Microsoft’s general manager of the corporate cloud division.


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