Microsoft Plays Up Public, Private Cloud at TechEd 2011

At its TechEd 2011 conference in Atlanta, Microsoft highlighted how customers and partners can take advantage of Microsoft's public and private cloud solutions.

Atlanta-At the Microsoft TechEd North America 2011 conference here, Microsoft officials spoke on how to build, deploy, manage and scale applications for the cloud and for devices.

In a keynote, Robert Wahbe, corporate vice president of the Server and Tools Marketing Group at Microsoft, said as the trend toward virtualization increases, the move to the cloud will be easier.

After citing figures on the increased use of virtualization in data centers, Wahbe said, "This move to virtualization is setting us all for a much bigger inflection point, and that is the cloud-the public cloud and the private cloud."

Then Wahbe showcased how customers HSBC and LP are using Microsoft's virtualization and public and private cloud solutions to help reduce costs and speed innovation. In addition, NetApp and Cisco Systems have joined the growing ranks of partners in Microsoft's Hyper-V Cloud Fast Track program, designed to streamline the delivery of a private cloud.

Meanwhile, to help ensure that HSBC, a worldwide financial services firm, can accommodate shifts in demand for a range of internal systems and also further simplify management of its infrastructure, the company announced it will use Microsoft Hyper-V in combination with Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager. HSBC today announced its first project to deploy Microsoft Hyper-V to support Virtual Desktop Infrastructure, which will help reduce the cost of desktop management.

In addition, NetApp and Cisco joined the Microsoft Hyper-V Cloud Fast Track program, which enables Microsoft and its partners to deliver a broad choice of predefined, validated configurations to accelerate well-managed private cloud deployments. NetApp has teamed with Cisco to develop a private cloud solution, the NetApp Hyper-V Cloud Fast Track with Cisco datacenter architecture.

"By creating a solution with Microsoft Hyper-V Cloud Fast Track, NetApp with Cisco is simplifying private cloud deployment and operations," said Phil Brotherton, vice president and general manager of the Microsoft Business Unit at NetApp, in a statement. "Customers will be able to reduce deployment time from days to hours, and they will gain greater utilization."

Travelocity, a global online travel agency, showcased how it chose Microsoft's public cloud solution, Windows Azure, to deploy its Java-based critical analytics system to the cloud in just two months.

"At Travelocity, we work hard to understand our customers and make travel a quick and easy experience for them," said Dave Matthews, chief technology officer at Travelocity, in a statement. "We wanted the same for our transition to cloud computing, and the ability to quickly get new products to market, regardless of the platform, is an important benefit of Windows Azure, allowing us to easily move and deploy a core application to our business."

"Businesses are enthusiastic about the economic advantages that the cloud can provide, and they want to know their existing IT investments will take them into the future," Wahbe said in a statement. "Microsoft's unique approach to cloud computing takes this into account, providing customers with the technology and an enhanced business model to run their business across the public or private cloud, or a combination of both."

In a May 16 blog post, Wahbe said:

""I talked about three benefits of cloud computing: agility, focus, and economics. You benefit from agility when you become free to more quickly deploy an application or respond to changing conditions without having to worry about hardware. (See how T-Mobile took advantage of cloud services to speed time to market for a social networking solution.) You benefit from focus when you are freed to worry less about the infrastructure and more about your critical business problems. (See how the Tribune used the cloud to easily provide consumers with targeted content through online, mobile, and traditional distribution methods.) How you benefit from the economics of cloud computing is worth exploring in some detail. In a whitepaper Microsoft published last fall, 'The Economics of the Cloud,' the authors argue that the best way to develop a vision for where cloud computing is taking the industry is by analyzing the economics driving the trend.""

Moreover, as businesses look to further enable IT efficiency through the deployment of virtualization and cloud solutions, Microsoft also announced the following:

  • There are now additional supported hypervisor scenarios for virtualized Microsoft Exchange Server 2010, including Unified Messaging. This combines Exchange's high-availability solutions, Database Availability Groups, with hypervisor-based clustering and failover solutions. Organizations planning to virtualize their Exchange 2010 deployments can get details from The Exchange Team Blog.
  • New license mobility options will become available July 1, 2011, through Microsoft Volume Licensing agreements with an active Software Assurance benefit. The new options will provide customers with the flexibility to deploy application services on-premises or through hosted service providers in the cloud. More information is available on the Microsoft Partner Network Volume Licensing Website.