"With Windows Server and Windows Azure at its core, the Cloud OS provides a consistent platform across customer data centres, service provider data centres and the Microsoft public Cloud", stated Michael Park, corporate vice president of marketing for Server and Tools, Microsoft. "Powerful management and automation capabilities are key elements of the Cloud OS, taking the heavy lifting out of administration and freeing IT organisations to be more innovative as they embrace hybrid Cloud computing and the consumerization of IT."
Using System Center 2012 SP1 with Windows Server 2012, customers can shift from managing data centre components separately to delivering resources as a whole, including networking, storage and compute. Cloud infrastructure capabilities such as multitenancy, software-defined networking and storage virtualization are built in and ready for automated, hybrid Cloud environments.
With the updated System Center, customers can centrally manage Cloud-based applications and resources running in their data centres, on a hosted service provider data centre or on Windows Azure. By integrating service provider Cloud capacity and management directly into their operations, enterprises can extend their data centre capabilities. Administrators can move virtual machines to Windows Azure and manage them from within System Center, based on their needs.
Customers can also use System Center 2012 SP1 to back up their servers to Windows Azure to help protect against data loss and corruption. In addition, SP1 supports Global Service Monitor, a new Windows Azure-based service available for trial evaluation today, which provides Web application performance measurement from a user's perspective.
Hosting service providers play a key role in the Cloud OS with the opportunity to deliver new solutions, attract more customers and grow revenues. With Windows Server 2012 and System Center 2012 SP1, they can build multitenant, massive-scale Cloud services that interoperate with customer data centre operations. For example, System Center 2012 SP1 delivers a Service Provider Foundation API, which hosting partners can use to give customers self-service management of hosted infrastructure and applications.
Microsoft has released Windows Azure technologies that hosting service providers can run on their own Windows Server 2012 infrastructure for high-scale website and virtual machine hosting services. These capabilities are specifically designed for easy incorporation into hosting service providers' offerings for deployment to their customer bases.
With the new release of the Windows Intune service and System Center 2012 Configuration Manager SP1, enterprise customers can centrally manage a full array of PCs, laptops and mobile devices. With one management console, IT organisations can crack the bring-your-own-device challenge, helping ensure secure and productive employee experiences with applications and data on virtually any device, anywhere.
Working as a unified solution, Windows Intune and System Center Configuration Manager provide a comprehensive approach to better securing and managing the new generation of powerful Windows 8 PCs, Windows RT tablets and Windows Phone 8 smartphones, as well as the diversity of other platforms in todays modern enterprise.