Less than two weeks after announcing major updates to Windows Azure at the Microsoft Professional Developers Conference, Microsoft again demonstrated the breadth of its vision for cloud computing today when it unveiled Hyper-V Cloud, a set of programs and offerings that makes it easier for businesses to build their own private cloud infrastructures using the Windows Server platform.


Dell, Fujitsu, Hitachi, HP, IBM and NEC have already signed on as Hyper-V Cloud partners, and will be working with Microsoft to deliver prevalidated infrastructure and services that enable organizations to implement private clouds with increased speed and reduced risk.

“Many of our customers have told us they want the benefits of cloud-computing — fast deployment, increased agility, lower costs — but with tight control over things like physical infrastructure and security policies,” said Brad Anderson, corporate vice president of Microsoft’s Management and Security Division. “Our new private cloud offerings fulfill that need at the infrastructure level, while providing a clear migration path to cloud services at the platform level.”

Building Private Clouds With Hyper-V Cloud and the Windows Server Platform

Windows Server 2008 R2, Microsoft’s server platform, already delivers comprehensive virtualization and management capabilities through Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V. These technologies, along with Microsoft System Center, provide the components organizations need to implement private clouds.

With the new Hyper-V Cloud Fast Track program, Microsoft and its partners will deliver a broad choice of predefined, validated configurations for private cloud deployments, comprising compute, storage, networking resources, virtualization and management software. These programs and offerings help reduce the risk and increase the speed of private cloud deployments.

As part of the Hyper-V Cloud Fast Track program, HP and Microsoft have jointly developed HP Cloud Foundation for Hyper-V, a reference architecture that combines HP BladeSystem Matrix, Microsoft System Center and Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V to provide customers with a proven foundation for running business applications within a private cloud computing environment. This solution helps reduce infrastructure deployment time, enables dynamic flexing of physical and virtual resource pools, and delivers comprehensive management of Hyper-V virtualized infrastructure and applications. HP also offers HP CloudStart for Hyper-V to deliver to clients a fully operational, private cloud environment within 30 days.

“Organizations are challenged with IT sprawl and siloed infrastructure, which complicate the deployment, maintenance and management of IT services,” said Mark Potter, senior vice president and general manager, Industry Standard Servers and Software, HP. “Private cloud environments based on HP Cloud Foundation for Hyper-V and delivered by HP Cloud consulting services address these challenges by enabling domain experts to configure IT resources once, and IT service owners to provision and reconfigure resources as needed.”

Question – does VMware and Citrix ZenServer have anything to be concerned about with this announcement? Only time will tell.