TechEd Europe 2010 kicks off today in Berlin, Germany with a keynote by Microsoft’s Brad Anderson, which can be seen here beginning at 7 a.m. (PST). The on-demand replay will be available on the Microsoft Cloud Virtual Pressroom later this week.

At last month’s PDC10 Microsoft announced enhancements to its Platform as a Service (PaaS) offering, the Windows Azure Platform. Today, Microsoft provided more information about how its comprehensive cloud strategy - spanning the public and private cloud - can help organizations meet their unique business needs. While PaaS represents the future of cloud computing, many organizations today require high levels of control or customization within their own IT environments. 

Microsoft’s approach to the cloud includes Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), so customers and partners can build private cloud solutions on top of their existing datacenter investments. Windows Server, Hyper-V, and System Center comprise fully integrated server, virtualization, and management solutions.  And today, the company announced Hyper-V Cloud, a set of programs and initiatives that help customers and partners deploy private clouds on their own terms. The programs include:

  • Hyper-V Cloud Fast Track: For customers who need some level of customization, but also want to reduce risk and speed deployment, reference architectures can provide the perfect balance. Microsoft is collaborating with Dell, Fujitsu, Hitachi, HP IBM and NEC to deliver a broad choice of pre-defined, validated configurations for private cloud deployments—comprising compute, storage, networking resources, virtualization, and management software. These six partners collectively represent more than 80% share of the world’s server market.
  • In addition, HP and Microsoft are announcing jointly developed HP Cloud Foundation for Hyper-V, a reference architecture that combines HP BladeSystem Matrix and Microsoft System Center with Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V. This solution is part of Hyper-V Cloud Fast Track, and one result of the expanded partnership we announced together earlier this year. HP also will offer HP CloudStart for Microsoft, private cloud services that simplify and speed private cloud deployments using HP Cloud Foundation for Microsoft Hyper-V.
  • To find out more, read blog posts by Dell, HP and NEC, and see Hitachi’s press release.
  • Hyper-V Cloud Service Provider Program: More than 70 service providers around the world offer infrastructure as a finished, fully-hosted service built on Microsoft’s technology. This option delivers the fastest, most cost-effective implementation for cloud services, both private and public. Service providers include: Korean Internet Data Center; Fasthosts (UK, US); Agarik (France); Hostway Corporation (US, UK, Netherlands, Germany, France, Belgium, Romania).
  • Hyper-V Cloud Deployment Guides: For customers who want to build their own private clouds on top of existing infrastructure investments, we are now offering tools and guidance based on expertise developed during hundreds of Microsoft Consulting Services (MCS) customer engagements over the past few years. This element of the Hyper-V Cloud program optimizes for the highest levels of flexibility, control, and customization.
  • Hyper-V Cloud Accelerate: To tie it all together, Microsoft is making significant investments to help customers and partners fund assessments, proofs-of-concept, and production deployments. These services will be delivered by MCS and pre-qualified members of the Microsoft Partner Network (MPN).

In addition, Microsoft also announced:

  • General availability of System Center Virtual Machine Manager Self Service Portal 2.0 (first announced at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference in July), a freely downloadable, partner-extensible solution that makes it easier for customers to pool, allocate, and manage their compute, storage, and network resources. A key element of a private cloud infrastructure, this solution is built on top of Windows Server 2008 R2, Hyper-V, and System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2.
  • Availability of Forefront Endpoint Protection 2010 Release Candidate, which helps improve endpoint protection across client and server infrastructure. Built on System Center Configuration Manager 2007, Forefront Endpoint Protection allows customers to use their existing client management infrastructure to deploy and manage desktop security. Forefront Endpoint Protection will release to manufacturing by the end of 2010. 

For more information about today’s news check out the TechEd Europe Fact Sheet and the Cloud Virtual Pressroom. Stay tuned tomorrow for more updates from PASS Summit 2010 in Seattle!