Microsoft is bringing some of its newly-announced Windows Azure services -- like virtual machine hosting and Web site hosting -- to Windows Server.
Microsoft announced immediate availability of Community Technology Preview (CTP) test builds of these services during the Day 2 keynote at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference in Toronto.
The new services coming to Windows Server are aimed at service providers and hosting partners. (At some point Microsoft might expand the target audience to other customers, but for now, that's the core audience, officials said.)
The CTPs are versions of four of the same new services that Microsoft announced last month as part of its Azure spring updates.
- Hosted virtual machines
- High-density Web Sites (the complement of Windows Azure Web Sites, codenamed "Antares")
- Service Management Portal
- Service Management application programming interface (codenamed Katal)
Microsoft recently announced it was expanding its Windows Azure from a more-or-less pure platform-as-a-service (PaaS) play to a combined PaaS and infrastructure as a service (IaaS) play. The hosted VM capability will allow users to run Windows Server, Linux, SQL Server and SharePoint (and apps built on these platforms) on Windows Azure. Microsoft now is bringing these IaaS scenarios to Windows Server datacenters.
"We're striving to have consistency across three key areas: Customer datacenters, service providers' datacenters and our datacenters," said Ian Carlson, Director of Product Marketing.
The hosted virtual machine CTP is designed to run on Windows Server 2012 and System Center 2012 Service Pack 1. The high-density Web Sites one works on Windows Server 2008 R2 and later. I'm still checking on the service management portal and API CTP requirements.
The service management portal and interface offer hosters a way to differentiate, noted officials with Apprenda, one Microsoft partner that offers "private PaaS" through its recently announced Apprenda Azure product.
"Azure is moving from a product, to an effort," said Rakesh Malhotra, Vice President of Product with Clifton Park, NY-based Apprenda. "You can consume and acquire services through the portal."