by STB Blogger

Cloud computing is as big a transformation, and opportunity, as the technology industry has ever seen.  Partners and customers can look to Microsoft for the most comprehensive cloud strategy and offerings, in order to improve their business agility, focus and economics.  Today, at the Worldwide Partner Conference, Microsoft announced tools and solutions to help partners capitalize on the opportunities, as well as examples of partners and customers already finding success.

Windows Azure Platform:

  • Windows Azure Marketplace: The Windows Azure Marketplace will now enable application sales, allowing partners and customers to easily sell, try and buy Windows Azure-based applications.  This capability builds on 99 partner data offerings already available for sale through the Marketplace and more than 450 currently listed applications.  The new Windows Azure Marketplace application selling capability is available today. More information is available on the Windows Azure blog at http://blogs.msdn.com/b/windowsazure/.
  • New examples of Innovative Solutions built on Windows Azure:
    • Microsoft partner Wire Stone recently helped Boeing launch its “737 Explained Experience” on Windows Azure to give prospective 737 customers a rich, visually immersive tour of the plane.  A case study is available here
    • Microsoft partner BrandJourney Venturing helped General Mills create a new business outlet on Windows Azure that enables consumers to find and purchase gluten-free products.  A case study is available here.
  • Microsoft yesterday released a commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting entitled “The ISV Business Case For The Windows Azure Platform:” Findings include that software partners deploying solutions on Windows Azure are generating 20% to 250% new revenue by reaching new customers, saving up to 80% on their hosting costs, and are able to reuse up to 80% of their existing .NET code when moving to Windows Azure.   The study is available here.
  • Windows Azure Platform Appliance Progress:
    • Fujitsu announced in June that they would be launching the Fujitsu Global Cloud Platform (FGCP/A5) service in August 2011, running on a Windows Azure Platform Appliance at their datacenter in Japan. By using FGCP/A5, customers will be able to quickly build elastically-scalable applications using familiar Windows Azure platform technologies, streamline their IT operations management and be more competitive in the global market. In addition, customers will have the ability to store their business data domestically in Japan if they prefer.
    • HP also intends to use the appliance to offer private and public cloud computing services, based on Windows Azure. They have an operational appliance at their datacenter that has been validated by Microsoft to run the Windows Azure Platform and they look forward to making services available to their customers later this year.
    • eBay is in the early stages of implementing on the Windows Azure platform appliance and has successfully completed a first application on Windows Azure (ipad.ebay.com). eBay is continuing to evaluate ways in which the Windows Azure platform appliance can help improve engineering agility and reduce operating costs.

Private Cloud Computing with Windows Server and System Center:

  • Windows Server 8:  In his keynote STB president Satya Nadella highlighted that the next version of Windows Server, codenamed Windows Server 8, will be the next step in private cloud computing.  More information will be shared at the BUILD conference in September. 
  • System Center 2012:
    • Microsoft announced a beta of the Operations Manager capability of System Center 2012.  System Center 2012 will further help partners and customers build private cloud services that focus on the delivery of business applications, not just infrastructure.  Operations Manager is a key component that provides end-to-end application service monitoring and diagnostics across Windows, others platforms and Windows Azure. Operations Manager will fully integrate technology from the AVIcode acquisition for monitoring and deep insights into applications. The beta will be available next week through this site and more information can be found next week on the System Center blog.
    • “Project Concero” is now officially the App Controller capability within System Center 2012. Demonstrated during Satya Nadella’s keynote today, App Controller is a new solution in System Center that gives IT managers control across both private and public cloud assets (Windows Azure) and gives application managers across the company the ability to deploy and manage their applications through a self-service experience. 

SQL Server “Denali”:

  • SQL Server “Denali” Community Technology Preview (CTP): SQL Server “Denali,” is a cloud-ready information platform to build and deliver apps across the spectrum of infrastructure.  Customers and partners can use this opportunity to preview the marquee capabilities and new enhancements coming in the next release of SQL Server with the community technology preview available through this site.
  • For the first time, customers can begin testing the much anticipated features of “Denali” with today’s CTP, including SQL Server AlwaysOn and Project “Apollo” for added mission critical confidence, Project “Crescent” for highly visual data exploration that unlocks breakthrough insights, and SQL Server Developer Tools code named “Juneau” for a modern development experience across server, BI, and cloud development projects.  For more information about “Denali” or the new CTP, visit the SQL Server Data Platform Insider blog.