Highlights from Microsoft Management Summit 2012

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The 2012 Microsoft Management Summit in Las Vegas introduced System Center 2012, validated the NetApp and Cisco FlexPod infrastructure, and brought announcements from Fujitsu and F5.

System Center 2012

On Tuesday Microsoft (MSFT) Corporate Vice President Brad Anderson spoke to nearly 5,000 IT professionals about their opportunity to deliver fast, reliable services with cloud computing. His keynote speech highlighted how customers around the world are already using Microsoft System Center 2012, available now for evaluation and purchase, to create private clouds. The newest ‘cloud-optimized’ operating system due to be released later this year was announced to be officially named Windows Server 2012.

Citing a System Center 2012 sample customer, Microsoft talked about how EmpireCLS Worldwide Chauffeured Services, a luxury car service headquartered in New Jersey, has used a Microsoft private cloud to reduce data center costs by 50 percent amid 30 percent company growth during the past 18 months. With more than 1,000 employees, EmpireCLS relies on the Microsoft private cloud to deliver a reliable reservation system to customers in more than 700 cities around the world.

Similarly, The Walsh Group, a construction firm based in Chicago, switched to a Microsoft private cloud to automate delivery of virtualized servers and applications for 5,000 employees. “With Microsoft, we are moving beyond virtualization to cloud computing, so we can automate and manage our IT environment as a whole,” said Patrick Wirtz, manager of Technology Innovation at The Walsh Group. “It’s all about giving our engineers, tradespeople and software developers the computing resources they need to build roadways, bridges and high-rises.”

Cisco and NetApp FlexPod validated

Cisco (CSCO) and NetApp (NTAP) announced that the FlexPod shared infrastructure is the first data center solution to be validated by Microsoft for the updated Microsoft Private Cloud Fast Track 2.0. Through the Microsoft Private Cloud Fast Track 2.0 program, Cisco and NetApp have collaborated with Microsoft to help customers reduce infrastructure and application deployment time from days to hours while helping them achieve greater utilization of their physical and virtual resource pools.  The two companies also released a new validated design architecture running Microsoft private cloud with Citrix XenDesktop software on the FlexPod shared infrastructure.

The Cisco UCS Management Packs and NetApp OnCommand plug-in for System Center 2012 allow customers to monitor and manage FlexPod and any applications running on top – from a single interface. The validated design combines Microsoft System Center 2012 with NetApp FlexClone technology and Windows PowerShell automation to provision desktop virtual machines at scale as much as 25 times faster than VDI designs built with traditional storage solutions.

“As virtualization gains greater adoption, customers are increasingly turning to multi-hypervisor environments to gain greater efficiencies and keep pace with the demands of their business,” said Phil Brotherton, vice president and general manager, Microsoft Business Unit at NetApp. “We’ve seen strong interest in the FlexPod with Microsoft Private Cloud solution among attendees at the recent Microsoft Management Summit. Working together, Cisco, Citrix, NetApp, and Microsoft continue to innovate and bring differentiated solutions that offer outstanding efficiency and flexibility to customers as they implement Microsoft private cloud solutions.”

F5 and Fujitsu showcase solutions

Fujitsu announced that it has enhanced its solutions for the Microsoft Private Cloud Fast Track program for building private clouds.The new enhancements to the solutions incorporate the latest version of Fujitsu’s dynamic resource management software, ServerView Resource Orchestrator, as well as Fujitsu’s latest PRIMERGY servers and System Center 2012. Fujitsu will sell the new solutions starting in July.

F5 demonstrated its BIG-IP solutions for Microsoft private cloud deployments at the Microsoft Management Summit. During the event, F5 emphasized BIG-IP compatibility with System Center 2012 to help organizations maximize cloud benefits and productivity. “F5 cloud computing solutions provide customers with a flexible foundation to dynamically provision services and tap the full value of cloud deployments,” says Calvin Rowland, VP, Technology and ISV Alliances at F5. “We’re excited to connect with customers at this event and share our cloud vision and products, which are key building blocks for private cloud environments.”

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