Tips and tools for businesses to get on the private cloud bandwagon
Microsoft has announced a new package of services aimed at businesses wanting to create their own private cloud infrastructures based on the Windows Server operating system.
Private cloud infrastructures allow organisations to use cloud computing to deliver hosted applications while keeping data within the company or at least isolated from other businesses. It is often touted as a way to gain the benefits of traditional public cloud computing, such as flexibility and scalability, while still guaranteeing data security.
Microsoft has already made moves in the private cloud field with the launch earlier this year of Windows Azure Platform Appliance. The appliance enables service providers and large customers to run the Azure development and hosting platform as a private cloud from their own datacentres, allowing developers to build new applications and run them in a cloud environment.
Now Microsoft has announced the Hyper-V Cloud, an initiative focused on the infrastructure-as-a-service side of private cloud, such as hosted computing power, networking and storage.
Microsoft's Hyper-V Cloud initiative is intended to help businesses implement private clouds more quickly
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The Hyper-V Cloud initiative unveiled last week aims to provide tools to help speed private cloud deployments, among them deployment guides for using different hardware and software combinations to underpin rollouts - for example, an IBM server system, networking technology and storage that has been configured to work out of the box with Windows Server 2008 and Windows System Center as a part of a private cloud set-up.
The guides are based on work done by Microsoft Consulting Services and include modules covering architecture, deployment, operations, project validation and project planning.
The Hyper-V Cloud scheme also offers a list of 70 service providers around the world that provide hosted versions of infrastructures based on Microsoft technology.
In addition, part of the programme known as the Hyper-V Cloud Fast Track gives fixed combinations of software and hardware - such as networking and storage kit - that have been put together by Microsoft and partners including Dell, Fujitsu, Hitachi, HP and IBM to be used to support private cloud rollouts.
Dell, HP and IBM have all put together reference architectures for using their own virtualisation technology in conjunction with Windows 2008 Hyper-V and Microsoft System Center to provide foundations for running business applications in a cloud environment.