As Microsoft moves more of its business into the data center, it is making more partner friends and deepening relationships with current partners. It has to; a well-organized and productive data center is nothing but a well-put together partnership.
All those servers, all that complicated networking, the virtualization layer, the storage arrays, and the management software all have to work together, or there's waste and problems. Beyond all those physical connections, the software and firmware all have to dovetail and not conflict in order to get workloads done.
Homogeneous data centers [which use the wares of a single vendor] are about as common as Eskimos in the Mojave Desert.
It wasn't all that long ago that Microsoft was making only personal and business software and selling it better than anyone in the world -- and it still is. Companies like IBM, Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Apple and a zillion others had to go to the world's No. 1 software maker to make deals. Not as much any more, however; Microsoft now must approach other companies for deals just as everybody else has.
With this as background, NetApp -- a longtime Microsoft partner -- on July 12 announced a deeper relationship with the Seattle software giant. NetApp's top-line enterprise data protection software is now included in Microsoft's Dynamic Data Center Toolkit for Hosters. This is good news for service providers and SMBs who subscribe to cloud services and also use Exchange, SQL Server, and NetApp storage.
The Dynamic Data Center Toolkit, which centers on Windows Server 2008 R2, Microsoft Hyper-V hypervisor, and Microsoft System Center Suite management controls, provides sample code and guidance for building cloud services.
NetApp is currently the only storage vendor which integrates directly with the DDC Toolkit. This enables service providers to use NetApp's respected integrated data protection capabilities, such as disaster recovery, clustered failover, and backup and recovery.
And it's said to be a lot less expensive than some other full-service data center vendors.
"SMB customers have many of the same disaster recovery and business continuity requirements as large enterprise organizations, but often times don't have the necessary skill set or budget needed to achieve the desired results," said Laura DuBois, program vice president of Storage Software and Solutions at IT researcher IDC.
"Solutions that address this gap by providing enterprise-level data protection along with the support and guidance needed to deploy will be integral in helping SMBs realize the true benefits of a cloud infrastructure."
Pricing for these new features, except for the professional services, is available from NetApp sales and reseller partners. It's all available starting today.