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Microsoft Announces Hyper-V Cloud

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Microsoft has announced Hyper-V Cloud, a cloud computing solution for those interested in having their own private cloud.

Private clouds are cloud computing implementations with on-premises or off-premises dedicated computing, storage and networking resources. Microsoft has recently announced the availability of such private clouds at TechEd Europe 2010. Called Microsoft Hyper-V Cloud, the solution is an IaaS offering combining Microsoft’s software with hardware provided by six major vendors, Dell, Fujitsu, Hitachi, HP, IBM and NEC, covering more than 80% of the world’s server market, according to Microsoft.

Hyper-V Cloud is a combination of guidelines and configurations for creating private clouds, a customer having one of three options:

  • Creating his own private cloud following the Hyper-V Cloud guidance. This means buying recommended hardware and software, and assembling the cloud.
  • Buying a pre-validated private cloud configuration using the Hyper-V Cloud Fast Track program.
  • Using a service provider who already has such a cloud. There are more than 70 service providers around the world which offer IaaS based on Microsoft’s technology.

Each server vendor will provide the computing, storage and networking hardware he considers as appropriate for a cloud. For example, HP offers BladeSystem Matrix for computing needs, StorageWork Enterprise Virtual Array to store data, and Virtual Connect Flex-10 Ethernet Module for networking tasks.

Besides guidelines created with the help of the mentioned hardware vendors, Microsoft’s main contribution is the software stack: Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V to create virtual machines – various Windows flavors and several Linux versions, System Center to manage resources across the cloud, and Virtual Machine Manager Self-Service Portal to dynamically pool, allocate, and manage resources inside the cloud.

A complementary solution from Microsoft is Windows Azure Platform Appliance, a turnkey cloud computing solution based on Windows Azure, SQL Azure and Microsoft-specified hardware. The appliance is meant to offer PaaS and SaaS on customer’s machines, scaling out to thousands of servers. Dell, eBay, Fujitsu and HP are already committed to use it when it is ready which will probably happen in 2011.

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