By Calvin Nieh, NetApp
Microsoft has come a long way from the first delivery of Hyper-V in Windows Server 2008, just six years ago. The latest virtualization, networking and storage capabilities delivered in Windows Server 2012 R2 now have enterprise customers migrating over from other virtualization platforms or at least giving Windows a hard evaluation for near-term upgrades. With the ubiquity of server virtualization technology, enterprises are looking to leverage these deployments in order to provide cloud capabilities whether via private cloud, public cloud or some combination hybrid of the two. Indeed, research conducted by the Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) recently revealed that half of organizations using server virtualization consider the technology to be the foundation upon which their private cloud infrastructure is built. For more information from ESG on Private Cloud Infrastructure research, check out the infographic below:
Microsoft has certainly stepped up to the plate with the latest and provisioning, monitoring, and self-service capabilities in System Center 2012 R2 for private cloud and with more than 50 percent of Fortune 500 customers using Azure, their public cloud capability has taken the industry by storm. Now with the announced GA of Azure ExpressRoute, Microsoft is enabling hybrid cloud solutions with low latency, secure, high bandwidth network connections that do not go over the internet and connect private and public cloud resources.
At NetApp, our vision of connected clouds aligns extremely well with Microsoft’s Cloud OS product portfolio and more importantly with how customers are thinking about issues such as cloud platforms, data portability, and cloud choice. “NetApp has embraced Microsoft’s vision for Cloud OS and is a leading partner for Microsoft in delivering a portfolio of solutions supporting Windows Server, System Center and Azure. NetApp’s latest FlexPod with Microsoft Private Cloud converged infrastructure solution has been validated by Microsoft’s Private Cloud Fast Track v4 specification ensuring accelerated deployment of Windows Server 2012 R2 and System Center 2012 R2 on NetApp FAS, Cisco UCS and Nexus.” - Claude Lorenson, Sr. Director of Product Management, Microsoft.
This week NetApp is showcasing new solutions for Microsoft Cloud and SQL Server 2014 and I predict the excitement from customers, partners, and Microsoft will be off the charts. NetApp has gained great recognition from Microsoft over the last couple of years as a 2013 Best of TechEd Winner with FlexPod, Microsoft’s 2012 Private Cloud Partner of the Year and 2013 Server Platform Partner of the Year. Wait, did I just say that? Sorry for the side-track but Yep, NetApp was Microsoft’s 2013 Server Platform Partner of the Year. Not because we build and sell servers, but because of the deep integration with Windows Server and Hyper-V technologies as well as tight support and value we add with System Center and PowerShell.
Check out what’s new and in store on cloud solutions from NetApp this year at Microsoft TechEd 2014:
Microsoft Private Cloud Solutions with Windows Server 2012 and System Center 2012 R2
The award winning FlexPod DataCenter with Microsoft Private Cloud solution is now validated against Microsoft’s Private Cloud Fast Track v4 specification. In addition to support for the R2 stack, we have also delivered a SPOF-less HA configuration and support for Windows Azure Pack, providing Service Provider capabilities in a Private Cloud architecture. Check out the NetApp Verified Architecture here.
Hybrid Cloud demonstration of NetApp storage connected to Microsoft Azure via ExpressRoute
Microsoft’s new Azure ExpressRoute capability provides low latency, dedicated, high bandwidth network connections that do not go over the internet. When Azure is “ExpressRoute” connected to NetApp storage, enterprises gain the best of NetApp storage connected to highly elastic, cost-effective and scalable Azure compute resources. Use cases include DR, test/dev, cloud burst for peak workloads, data center migration/consolidation, database in the cloud, big data analytics and more.
Harness the power of proven NetApp® and Microsoft® cloud solutions for IT agility, service, and application delivery. If you’re at Microsoft TechEd 2014, make sure you visit NetApp’s booth for in-person demos and consulting with our on-site gurus.
If you can’t make it out to TechEd, learn more on www.netapp.com/microsoftcloud or find out the latest on Twitter with #NetAppTechEd.
 Source: ESG Research Report, Trends in Private Cloud Infrastructure, April 2014.