Microsofts Next Move: A Virtual Datacenter

Microsoft commits to making the virtual datacenter an industry-wide initiative.

As Microsoft prepares for the April launch of Windows Server 2003, it is already hard at work on what it sees as the next big challenge: the virtual datacenter.

Addressing a small group of attendees at Microsofts Mountain View campus on Wednesday afternoon, Bill Veghte, Microsofts corporate vice president of the Windows Server group, committed to making the virtual datacenter an industry-wide initiative.

For its part, Microsoft will provide a system definition model, resource virtualization and partitioning, operational automation, as well as management of APIs and solutions, he 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," Vegte said, declining to elaborate further.

Windows Server 2003 marks Microsofts most important release this year and has further evolved the IT infrastructure platform for customers.

Veghte said Microsoft took a huge step forward with the application server platform, which he said is driving the vision of Web services forward as well as the deployment and operation of those applications.

But Veghte also acknowledged that there are, and will continue to be, a significant number of Unix servers in the installed base, "and we need to do a damn good job of interacting with them.

"I believe 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. That functionality is found in our Services for Unix product," he said.