I wanted to provide a guest blog post from Brad Anderson, Microsoft Corporate Vice President, in which he share’s the news that Gartner has named Microsoft a leader in their 2011 Magic Quadrant for x86 Server Virtualization Infrastructure*. In his post, Brad covers topics such as private cloud computing and the role that virtualization plays in it, as well as touching on public cloud solutions.

Please check out Brad’s entire post below and you can visit the following links for more information on Microsoft’s private cloud or Windows Azure public cloud offerings. Thanks and let me know if you have any questions or comments.  Larry

Gartner just published the 2011 Magic Quadrant for x86 Server Virtualization Infrastructure* and I’m very happy to report that Microsoft is listed among the leaders. Coming on the heels of InfoWorld’s Virtualization Shootout and a Microsoft-commissioned lab test by Enterprise Strategy Group, the Magic Quadrant rounds out a trifecta of independent recognition for Windows Server Hyper-V’s readiness in the enterprise. Added to this, a growing number of customers like Target and Lionbridge are running their businesses on Microsoft’s virtualization technologies.

What does this mean for you and your business? For one thing, it means the conversation about virtualization has changed for good. Now you can base your decision on value and which partner has the most compelling vision and strategy for the next logical step—private cloud computing. Private clouds provide elasticity, shared hardware, usage-based self-service—plus unique security, control and customization on IT resources dedicated to a single organization.

Throughout our industry, virtualization has become widely accepted as a means to a bigger end. In order to get the full advantage of cloud-computing you need to have world-class management capabilities that deeply understand the virtualized infrastructure—but more importantly have an in-depth understanding of the applications that are running virtualized. Microsoft’s management solutions provide that insight. System Center 2012 will System Center 2012 will offer the simplest solution to build private clouds at lowest price, using the infrastructure you are already familiar with and integrating seamlessly across the common virtualization platforms. “Concero,” a new capability in System Center 2012, empowers the consumers of cloud-based applications to deploy and manage those apps on private and public cloud infrastructures, helping IT managers deliver greater flexibility and agility to their business teams. 

But customers don’t have to wait for System Center 2012 to get started with private cloud. Microsoft and its partners—including Dell, Fujitsu, Hitachi, HP, IBM and NEC—already offer a range of private cloud solutions (custom, pre-configured, or hosted) built on top of Windows Server Hyper-V and System Center 2010. These solutions pool hardware, storage, and compute resources so you can deploy applications themselves, quickly and easily. With Microsoft’s private cloud solutions, IT can empower their business groups to deploy applications and ensure those applications perform reliably.

And our private cloud solution is the only one in the industry that builds a bridge between your existing investments—in both infrastructure and skills—and the public cloud. For many large enterprises, the best solution will be to adopt both public and private clouds, often using them in tandem as a “hybrid cloud.” Microsoft customers will be able to do this seamlessly with a common set of familiar tools—including development, management and identity solutions—that span the entire spectrum, allowing IT to manage their public and private clouds from a single pane of glass and to adapt the mix easily to changing business needs.

If IT’s primary role is to deliver applications that move the business forward, then an application-centric approach will help you stay focused on what drives business value. It’s this unique combination—private and public clouds built and managed with one set of tools—that enables Microsoft’s customers to focus on the applications rather than the underlying technology. As business needs evolve over time, you maintain control and flexibility over how you create, consume, deploy and manage applications in the cloud. With Microsoft’s comprehensive approach your applications drive the resources, not the other way around.

Thanks for your time.  Brad

*The Magic Quadrant is copyrighted 2011 by Gartner, Inc. and is reused with permission. The Magic Quadrant is a graphical representation of a marketplace at and for a specific time period. It depicts Gartner's analysis of how certain vendors measure against criteria for that marketplace, as defined by Gartner. Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in the Magic Quadrant, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors placed in the "Leaders" quadrant. The Magic Quadrant is intended solely as a research tool, and is not meant to be a specific guide to action. Gartner disclaims all warranties, express or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.