Microsoft is rolling out a broad-based strategy for hosting providers, including the introduction of its Dynamic Data Center Tool Kit, which allows for the building and launching of managed services powered by Windows Server 2008 with Hyper-V and Microsoft System Center.
The announcements were made during the Microsoft Hosting Summit, held March 3 to 5 in Bellevue, Wash.
The Microsoft Dynamic Data Center Tool Kit offers guidance, sample code, best practices and collateral "to help hosting partners deploy managed hosting offerings," according to the company. It also features step-by-step instructions for building a virtualized, scalable infrastructure and marketing guidance so hosting partners can sell managed services and solutions.
All hosting providers enrolled in the Microsoft Hosting Community, an extension of the Microsoft Partner Program, will have access to the tool kit.
Microsoft also took the opportunity during the summit to play up Windows Server 2008 with Hyper-V technology and Microsoft System Center, as well as issue "cost-reducing updates" to its SPLA (Services Provider License Agreement).
With Microsoft System Center, a host provider can manage its clients' and servers' physical and virtual assets on the same platform; Hyper-V technology allows several virtual machines to run on a single physical machine.
Microsoft Hyper-V represents a substantial challenge to VMware, which has traditionally held much of the market share in the virtualization space.
"During these difficult economic times, hosted services are more important than ever as customers look for ways to reduce cost and increase efficiencies," John Zanni, general manager of the Worldwide Software Plus Services Industry for the Communications Sector at Microsoft, said in a statement. "There is a tremendous opportunity for hosting providers to partner with Microsoft to transition from mass-market hosting into higher-margin managed services."