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On March 21st 2011, Microsoft Management Summit 2011 will kick off in Las Vegas, sold out with about 5000 visitors. Of course a great deal of focus will be on Hyper-V private cloud, Azure public cloud and those parts of System Center that manage the private, public or even hybrid cloud.
Although I have already spent a full day on VMM 2012 during MVP Summit two weeks ago, I will definitely visit the majority of presentations on this topic.
This year I decided to ignore as many sessions that are part of my core competency set. Broadening the scope to several other topics that might help me in my job as an infrastructure consultant and architect. I went to sessions on Azure, Federation, Exchange 2010, System Center Road Map, Configuration Manager R3 and v.Next, DPM2010, SharePoint 2010, Best Practices Implementing R2 on HP ProLiant Servers.
The sessions that are somehow related to Hyper-V or clustering, I will discuss a sequence of blogs.
The first presentation I will talk about in this edition was presented by Kenon Owens:
The True Value of Microsoft Integrated Virtualisation
If you find an s in the word Virtualisation, you can bet your life on it that the speaker is English, at least not American. Kenon started telling us he had been working for VMware for nine years and had been doing competitive analysis. He has recently joined Microsoft and was now fully enthusiastic about the new world of Windows Virtualization (Although I hold a masters in English, I keep on spelling it the American way if you don’t mind).
The speaker argued that a lot has changed since 2007 for customers and their investment plans. Two years ago companies focused on growth, now on survival. It is all about saving money and With Less, Do More.
Nevertheless, CIO’s still think that Server, Storage en Desktop Virtualization as well as Cloud Computing are among the top four trends driving spend decisions for this year and the next.
Of course the differences between vSphere and Microsoft Virtualization + System Center clearly boil down to this slogan of With Less, Do More. Even for an ex-VMware employee this was easy to convey.
Many businesses are progressing from a traditional datacenter towards a virtualized datacenter with consolidated servers increasing utilization and transforming to private clouds, further decreasing cost and introducing IT as a service. It could be only a small step to move parts or all IT services to a public cloud, provided that the next step is evolutionary as is promised with Azure. Returning from the cloud, backup to the private often on premises cloud should also be possible. For instance if security dictates that certain data should be kept in-house. It could be risky living on a cloud. The metaphor of the cloud does not bring much confidence in the stability of its foundation. If you risk falling off a cloud, the way back should be guaranteed. This is exactly what Microsoft Azure has to offer. In another presentation on SQL Server Azure, I saw the same database of the private cloud exported to Azure and back. Exchange 2010 will probably also live in the combined world of the private and the public cloud. Moving mailboxes back and forth has become a non-brainer.
This evolutionary approach seems in step with what many business find reasonable. Confidence in the cloud and its foundation is of utmost importance. This process can be prepared by virtualizing greater parts of the traditional datacenter.
Owens went on to stress the importance of Dynamic IT and all the different technologies from server, application and desktop virtualization. Central and integral management of physical and virtual devices, deep knowledge of the applications running on top of those devices make Microsoft Virtualization a very viable solution.
The Microsoft Infrastructure Optimization model and tooling has helped to gradually progress to the dynamic virtualized private cloud, getting ready to take the final jump to the public cloud, already taking profit of Microsoft Virtualization at a relatively low cost.
In troublesome times it is certainly important to not only talk about this, but also delivering on those promises. The product suite around virtualization and management is certainly able to do this.
What are the steps to actually accomplish this goal of Dynamic IT and reaching the steppingstone to the public cloud?
Here they are:
I actually work for one of those Microsoft Gold Partners and they can help you attain your goals. In our practice we build local clouds with products from Microsoft, HP, Cisco and Citrix.
In my next blog I will talk about a session presented by Doug Dewerd from HP talking about best practices for Windows Server 2008 R2 on HP ProLiant Servers.