At MMS 2010 and the Worldwide Partner conference, we articulated our holistic datacenter-to-cloud strategy. Specifically: a) How Microsoft's Server platform and Services platform uniquely enable delivering IT as a Service on your own terms - out of your own datacenter, service provider datacenters or Microsoft's own datacenters b) Microsoft uniquely provides a single set of familiar management, identity and developer tools that span across all your datacenter environments  - traditional, private or public clouds -  thereby allowing you to optimally build/operate applications for hybrid cloud environments.

System Center is integral to our Server platform and provides a single set of management tools to bridge the gap across your physical, virtual and cloud datacenter environments. So as you can see, System Center is front and center to our datacenter-to-cloud approach. Great, you may think. How can System Center help me solve today's datacenter management challenges while providing clear line of sight to the cloud? Is Microsoft shipping some of the above mentioned capabilities so we can start taking advantage of them? Can System Center help me build on top of my current investments? The answer to all of these questions is an unequivocal "yes". Let's see how.

We recently released our in-focus dynamic datacenter management solutions to address these questions:

  1. Optimize Service Delivery - This is all about delivering reliable, high performing and available datacenter apps and services. System Center manages across a variety of heterogeneous environments - physical or virtual - right from hardware through to the platform and applications. We build SQL, Exchange & Sharepoint - so we absolutely are best of breed in virtualizing and managing your tier 1 apps! With the upcoming System Center Operations manager update (currently tracking to deliver in CY2010), you will be able to use System Center as a "single pane of glass" to manage services distributed across your own datacenter and Microsoft datacenter in Windows Azure - we showed this in a demo at MMS. Now, wait a minute..that's the hybrid cloud management scenario, right? Bingo!  
  2. Automate datacenter management - System Center provides a range of integrated IT service management, run-book automation and compliance solutions using tools like Service Manager and Opalis that help you deliver predictable datacenter services at lower costs while helping you progress in your path to building private clouds. To enable this, we're adding rich integration between Opalis and other System Center suite components as part of the Opalis 6.3 release - this is due in a few weeks' time, stay tuned!
  3. Deliver your private cloud foundation -  You can build your private cloud today using the Microsoft Server platform (i.e. Windows Server Hyper-V + System Center) and the VMM Self-Service Portal 2.0 , a great opportunity to deliver highly agile and operationally simplified datacenter management services by leveraging your existing investments in Microsoft technologies. Download the VMM Self-Service Portal 2.0 and start a pilot today!   

As you can see, there's a lot of exciting stuff you can do today to solve your core datacenter management challenges while accelerating your journey to the cloud. What's more, these solutions build on top of the Microsoft technologies that your organization uses already!

Keep watching this space - we will continuously keep you updated with additional guidance on the above mentioned solutions. Watch for some cool demo-videos soon!

Cheers, Anant

System Center Product Management   

ansundar@microsoft.com