As Microsoft prepares for the April launch of Windows Server 2003, the company is working on what it sees as the next big challenge: the "virtual data center."
Addressing a group of attendees at Microsofts Mountain View, Calif., campus last week, Bill Veghte, Microsofts corporate vice president of the Windows Server group, committed to making the virtual data center an industrywide initiative.
Microsoft will provide a system definition model, resource virtualization and partitioning, operational automation, and management of APIs and solutions, Veghte said.
"What were now doing is thinking about what Windows Server can do on the deployment and operation and policy of how those applications are written and how server applications such as Exchange or SQL take advantage of them," Veghte said.
He said the company has taken a huge step forward with the application server platform, which he said is driving its vision of Web services as well as the deployment and operation of those applications.
Veghte also acknowledged that there is a significant number of Unix servers in the installed base, "and we need to do a damn good job of interacting with them.
"You have to have Unix interoperability for people to leverage the skills sets and innovations they already have, even as they take advantage of the out-of-box benefits of Windows Server," Veghte said.
But there are also things Microsoft can learn from the open-source community, he said. "The transparency of the development model, the tools they have to debug using source—these are things we need to learn," Veghte said. "We need to relearn in our development process how to participate with the broader community."