image

Hello Everyone and welcome to the PTS Blog. My name is Iftekhar Hussain, and I am a Partner Technical Consultant here in the Microsoft Partner Technical Services team specializing in Virtualization technologies. Today I would like to talk about how Microsoft Virtualization can fuel private cloud within an organization and how Microsoft partners can tap this opportunity to help customers build their own private clouds.

Cloud: Aren’t we hearing this word a lot these days? In almost every technical conversation, in journals and magazines, at conferences—everybody is talking about the cloud. Though there are a large number of companies, groups, and individuals talking about cloud technologies, everybody has their own understanding and interpretation of the cloud.

So What Is Cloud Computing?

A very simple way to explain cloud computing, is that the cloud is a service with a certain set of tools and resources on the Internet or in-house where you can perform all your computing tasks, save your data, generate and analyze reports, connect with people, or even have fun like playing games or watching TV or movies from any device like PC, TV, phone, or from any place.

Cloud Computing Is Based on These Fundamentals:

  • Virtualization and automation
  • Interchangeable (fungible) resources such as servers, storage, and networks
  • Management of these resources as a single fabric
  • Elastic capacity (scale up or down) to respond to business demands
  • Applications (and the tools to develop them) that can truly scale out
  • Focused on the service delivered to the business

There are two types of Clouds:

Private Cloud:
This is an internal service that can be hosted in-house with set of tools like Windows Server, Virtualization, and management solutions like System Center. It provides compatibility with local applications and keeps your data and information within the premises.
Public Cloud:
Provided by service providers, public cloud offers customers the ability to deploy and consume services. In this category, Azure™ is a highly scalable services platform providing pay-as-you-go flexibility delivered from Microsoft’s datacenters.

In the cloud, automation is a great driver—without automation the whole purpose of the cloud is defeated and its true potential cannot be realized. The following automation is critical in the cloud:

  • Automatic provisioning of operating systems and applications as and when user demand arises.
  • Automatically provision new servers and other hardware when required.
  • Applications can be scaled up with more memory and processor power and other resources whenever load increases.
  • Dynamically shifting of load from one workload to another depending upon certain scenarios.

And thus Virtualization and an integrated management solution becomes a super-critical component of a Cloud Platform.

So What Does it Take to Build a Private Cloud of My Own?

These technologies from Microsoft can help creating a fully automated cloud service:

  • Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V:

Hyper-V, the Windows Server 2008 R2 hypervisor-based server virtualization technology, is a core component of the Microsoft private cloud which hosts multiple Virtual Machines running business-critical applications increasing the utilization of your hardware, saving cost in terms of power, space, and management.

  • Microsoft System Center:

System Center delivers cost-effective and agile datacenter services to manage physical, virtual, and cloud environments in an integrated manner.

  • System Center Virtual Machine Manager Self Service Portal 2.0:

VMMSSP 2.0 is an extensible, turnkey solution that empowers datacenters to dynamically pool, allocate, and manage resources to enable on-premises private cloud computing.

A couple of months ago in TechEd Europe 2010 in Berlin, we announced Hyper-V Cloud: a new set of programs that make it easier for customers and partners to build their own cloud infrastructures using the Windows Server platform. There are several programs associated with Hyper-V Cloud.

In my next post, we'll go through what is included in Hyper-V Cloud offerings and learn about these programs in detail:

  • Hyper-V Cloud Fast Track
  • Hyper-V Cloud Service Provider Program
  • Hyper V Cloud Practice Builder
  • Hyper V Cloud Accelerate

Stay tuned :)