Microsoft has unveiled new and recent cloud offerings for business at its TechEd Europe, which begins Nov. 8 in Berlin.
Microsoft has unveiled Hyper-V Cloud, a series of tools for
corporations interested in building and deploying a private cloud. This
represents yet another facet of the company's "all in" cloud strategy, in which
it seeks to purvey any number of online products and services to enterprises
looking to shift their IT away from on-premises.
Microsoft's announcements came in conjunction with the
company's TechEd Europe 2010
which began Nov. 8 in Berlin.
The offerings include Hyper-V Cloud Fast Track, a series of
reference architectures developed in conjunction with Dell, Fujitsu, Hitachi,
Hewlett-Packard, NEC and IBM. Those predefined configurations for private
clouds, in theory, allow for faster deployment.
In addition, Microsoft is also touting its Hyper-V Cloud
Service Provider Program, in which 70 service providers will fully host
companies' cloud infrastructure. Alternatively, those companies wanting to
build their own private clouds will have the ability to use Hyper-V Cloud
Deployment Guides, which offer tools and guidance.
Those customers could also utilize Microsoft System Center
Virtual Machine Manager Self-Service Portal 2.0, which allows them to manage
resources dedicated to the private cloud; that application layers atop Windows
Server 2008 R2, Hyper-V and System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2. For
endpoint security, they can use Forefront Endpoint Protection 2010
desktop-security management through existing client management infrastructure.
Monitoring other parts of the system-such as applications
and services-comes courtesy of the Windows Azure Application Monitoring
Management Pack, which Microsoft intends as "a complement to the new Windows
Azure portal announced at PDC," according to a press release issued by the
company. It is available as a Release Candidate at
. When it comes to virtualizing applications, administrators and
IT pros are also being offered Microsoft Application Virtualization (App-V) 4.6
SP1, which allows App-V to convert applications' installation files directly
into an App-V virtual application; general availability is expected in the
first quarter of 2011.
Microsoft has also made what the company terms "significant
investments" in customers' and partners' cloud-related assessments,
proofs-of-concept and production deployment.
As businesses debate whether to make the leap from primarily
on-premises computing to the cloud, various tech companies are aligning their
own offerings to take advantage of that paradigm shift. Some companies are
embracing the public cloud model, where businesses subscribe to online services
and store their information on the host's servers; Salesforce.com
CEO Marc Benioff has often touted this model as ideal
, most recently during
an Oct. 19 keynote talk at the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2010 in Orlando, Fla.
Other companies seem more interested in offering a "private
cloud," which IT vendors argue offers greater flexibility and security. Oracle
recently unveiled its Exalogic Elastic Compute Cloud
, a "cloud in a box"
system that allows customers to implement self-contained cloud environments
using on-premises hardware.
Microsoft's "all in" strategy, however, seems to straddle
the line between public and private clouds. In addition to Windows Azure, its
cloud-based developer platform, Microsoft also plans to cloud-host IT services
such as Office 365, which
allows organizations to stay up-to-date with the latest versions of Microsoft
Office, SharePoint Online, Exchange Online and Lync Online