Microsoft Cloud OS Vision Unfolds With New Products, Services

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2013-01-17 Print this article Print

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.

In addition, Microsoft announced System Center Advisor, a Windows Azure-based management solution that 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, the company said.

Microsoft also 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.

The new Windows Azure services for Windows Server technologies enable 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, Microsoft said in a post on the company’s STB News bytes Blog. These capabilities are specifically designed for easy incorporation into hosting service providers’ offerings for deployment to their customer base.

Alan Bourassa, CIO of EmpireCLS, a limousine service, told reporters his company has bought in to the Microsoft Cloud OS vision and enjoys uptime of seven nines while the cloud is helping to generate new revenue streams for the company.  Bourassa said he believes the software as a service (SaaS) model offered through a public cloud could grow to represent and support 40 percent of the company’s revenues within the next three years.

The EmpireCLS cloud service offering, called, is powered by Microsoft private cloud technologies: Microsoft System Center 2012 and Windows Server 2012 with Hyper-V.

“Microsoft made its cloud services more robust while making them simpler to manage,” Bourassa said.

“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,” Park said in his post. “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.”

Meanwhile, 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.

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 information about System Center 2012 SP1 is available at, and more information about Windows Intune is available at


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