Unveiling The Microsoft Cloud Platform System, powered by Dell

CPS is a pre-integrated, pre-deployed, Microsoft validated solution built on Dell hardware, Windows Server 2012 R2, System Center 2012 R2 and Windows Azure Pack. It combines the efficiency and agility of cloud computing, along with the increased control and customization achieved in virtualized, multi-tenant environments. CPS scales from a single rack to up to four racks and is optimized for Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS for Windows and Linux) and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) style deployments. Let’s take a closer look at CPS At the hardware layer, a customer can deploy CPS in increments from one to four racks. Each rack has

  • 512 cores across 32 servers (each with a dual socket Intel Ivy Bridge, E5-2650v2 CPU)
  • 8 TB of RAM with 256 GB per server
  • 282 TB of usable storage
  • 1360 Gb/s of internal rack connectivity
  • 560 Gb/s of inter-rack connectivity
  • Up to 60 Gb/s connectivity to the external world

A single rack can support up to 2000 VM’s (2 vCPU, 1.75 GB RAM, and 50 GB disk). You can scale up to 8000 VM’s using a full stamp with four of these racks. Of course customers have the flexibility of choosing their VM dimensions, as we have seen with the private preview deployments with CPS.

CPS uses software components that customers are familiar with (Windows Server 2012 R2, System Center 2012 R2 and Windows Azure Pack), so there is no retooling needed to operate CPS. It comes with integrated anti-virus, fabric based backup for all VM’s, disaster recovery, orchestrated patching, monitoring, an Azure-consistent self-service portal (Windows Azure Pack) for tenants, REST-based API for programmatic interaction and automation using PowerShell. CPS also provides PaaS services such as “Websites” and Database-as-a-service. There are no additional components to buy to make it a complete cloud solution.

via Unveiling The Microsoft Cloud Platform System, powered by Dell – Windows Server Blog – Site Home – TechNet Blogs.

Microsoft Delivers New Cloud Tools and Solutions at WPC

Microsoft Delivers New Cloud Tools and Solutions at the
Worldwide Partner Conference

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by STB Blogger

Cloud computing is as big a transformation, and opportunity, as the
technology industry has ever seen.  Partners and customers can look to
Microsoft for the most comprehensive cloud strategy and offerings, in order to
improve their business agility, focus and economics.  Today, at the
Worldwide Partner Conference, Microsoft announced tools and solutions to help
partners capitalize on the opportunities, as well as examples of partners and
customers already finding success.

Windows Azure Platform:

  • Windows Azure Marketplace: The Windows Azure Marketplace
    will now enable application sales, allowing partners and customers to easily
    sell, try and buy Windows Azure-based applications.  This capability builds
    on 99 partner data offerings already available for sale through the Marketplace
    and more than 450 currently listed applications.  The new Windows Azure
    Marketplace application selling capability is available today. More information
    is available on the Windows Azure blog at http://blogs.msdn.com/b/windowsazure/.
  • New examples of Innovative Solutions built on Windows
    Azure:
  • Microsoft partner Wire Stone recently helped Boeing launch its “737 Explained
    Experience
    ” on Windows Azure to give prospective 737 customers a rich,
    visually immersive tour of the plane.  A case study is available here
  • Microsoft partner BrandJourney Venturing helped General Mills create a new
    business outlet on Windows Azure that enables consumers to find and purchase
    gluten-free products.  A case study is available here.
  • Microsoft yesterday released a commissioned study conducted by
    Forrester Consulting entitled “The ISV Business Case For The Windows Azure
    Platform:”
    Findings include that software partners deploying solutions
    on Windows Azure are generating 20% to 250% new revenue by reaching new
    customers, saving up to 80% on their hosting costs, and are able to reuse up to
    80% of their existing .NET code when moving to Windows Azure.   The
    study is available here.
  • Windows Azure Platform Appliance Progress:
    • Fujitsu announced in June that they would be launching the
      Fujitsu Global Cloud Platform (FGCP/A5) service in August 2011, running on a
      Windows Azure Platform Appliance at their datacenter in Japan. By using FGCP/A5,
      customers will be able to quickly build elastically-scalable applications using
      familiar Windows Azure platform technologies, streamline their IT operations
      management and be more competitive in the global market. In addition, customers
      will have the ability to store their business data domestically in Japan if they
      prefer.
    • HP also intends to use the appliance to offer private and
      public cloud computing services, based on Windows Azure. They have an
      operational appliance at their datacenter that has been validated by Microsoft
      to run the Windows Azure Platform and they look forward to making services
      available to their customers later this year.
    • eBay is in the early stages of implementing on the Windows
      Azure platform appliance and has successfully completed a first application on
      Windows Azure (ipad.ebay.com). eBay is continuing to evaluate ways in which the
      Windows Azure platform appliance can help improve engineering agility and reduce
      operating costs.

    Private Cloud Computing with Windows Server and System
    Center:

    • Windows Server 8:  In his keynote STB president Satya
      Nadella highlighted that the next version of Windows Server, codenamed Windows
      Server 8, will be the next step in private cloud computing.  More
      information will be shared at the BUILD conference in September. 
    • System Center 2012:
    • Microsoft announced a beta of the Operations Manager capability of
      System Center 2012. 
      System Center 2012 will further help partners
      and customers build private cloud services that focus on the delivery of
      business applications, not just infrastructure.  Operations Manager is a
      key component that provides end-to-end application service monitoring and
      diagnostics across Windows, others platforms and Windows Azure. Operations
      Manager will fully integrate technology from the AVIcode acquisition for
      monitoring and deep insights into applications. The beta will be available next
      week through this site and more information can be found next week on the
      System Center
      blog
      .
    • “Project Concero” is now officially the App Controller capability
      within System Center 2012.
      Demonstrated during Satya Nadella’s keynote
      today, App Controller is a new solution in System Center that gives IT managers
      control across both private and public cloud assets (Windows Azure) and gives
      application managers across the company the ability to deploy and manage their
      applications through a self-service experience. 

    SQL Server “Denali”:

    • SQL Server “Denali” Community Technology Preview (CTP): SQL
      Server “Denali,” is a cloud-ready information platform to build and deliver apps
      across the spectrum of infrastructure.  Customers and partners can use this
      opportunity to preview the marquee capabilities and new enhancements coming in
      the next release of SQL Server with the community technology preview available
      through this site.
    • For the first time, customers can begin testing the much anticipated
      features of “Denali” with today’s CTP, including SQL Server AlwaysOn and Project
      “Apollo” for added mission critical confidence, Project “Crescent” for highly
      visual data exploration that unlocks breakthrough insights, and SQL Server
      Developer Tools code named “Juneau” for a modern development experience across
      server, BI, and cloud development projects.  For more information about
      “Denali” or the new CTP, visit the SQL Server
      Data Platform Insider blog
      .

    A few days old… I was on holiday 🙂

    Microsoft Announces Windows Azure Toolkits for iOS, Android and Windows Phone – The Official Microsoft Blog – News and Perspectives from Microsoft – Site Home – TechNet Blogs

    Microsoft Announces Windows Azure Toolkits for iOS, Android and Windows Phone

    Today, Microsoft announced Windows Azure Toolkits for Devices, consisting of assets for Windows Phone, iOS and a preview of tools for Android.

    Download details: Windows Azure Platform Training Kit – April Update

    The Windows Azure Platform Training Kit includes a comprehensive set of
    technical content including hands-on labs, presentations, and demos that are
    designed to help you learn how to use the Windows Azure platform, including:
    Windows Azure, SQL Azure and the Windows Azure AppFabric.

    The April
    2011 update of the Windows Azure Platform Training Kit has been updated for
    Windows Azure SDK 1.4, Visual Studio 2010 SP1, includes three new HOLs, and
    updated HOLs and demos for the new Windows Azure AppFabric portal.

    Some
    of the specific changes with the April update of the training kit includes:

    • [New] Authenticating Users in a Windows Phone 7 App via ACS, OData Services
      and Windows Azure lab
    • [New] Windows Azure Traffic Manager lab
    • [New] Introduction to SQL Azure Reporting Services lab
    • [Updated] Connecting Apps with Windows Azure Connect lab updated for Connect
      refresh
    • [Updated] Windows Azure CDN lab updated for CDN refresh
    • [Updated] Introduction to the AppFabric ACS 2.0 lab updated to the
      production release of ACS 2.0
    • [Updated] Use ACS to Federate with Multiple Business Identity Providers lab
      updated to the production release of ACS 2.0
    • [Updated] Introduction to Service Bus lab updated to latest AppFabric portal
      experience
    • [Updated] Eventing on the Service Bus lab updated to latest AppFabric portal
      experience
    • [Updated] Service Remoting lab updated to latest AppFabric portal
      experience
    • [Updated] Rafiki demo updated to latest AppFabric portal experience
    • [Updated] Service Bus demos updated to latest AppFabric portal

    Windows #HPC with Burst to Windows #Azure: Application Models and Data Considerations

    Windows® HPC Server 2008 R2 SP1 enables administrators to increase the power of
    the on-premises cluster by adding computational resources in Windows Azure. With
    the Windows Azure “burst” scenario, various types of HPC applications can be
    deployed to Windows Azure nodes and run on these nodes in the same way they run
    in on-premises nodes.

    The article provides a technical overview of developing HPC
    applications that are supported for the Windows Azure burst scenario. The
    article addresses the application models that are supported, and the data issues
    that arise when working with Windows Azure and on-premises nodes, such as the
    proper location for the data, the storage types in Windows Azure, various
    techniques to upload data to Windows Azure storage, and how to access data from
    the computational nodes in the cluster (on-premises and Windows Azure). Finally,
    this article describes how to deploy HPC applications to Windows Azure nodes and
    how to run these HPC applications from client applications, as well as from the
    Windows HPC Server 2008 R2 SP1 job submission interfaces.

    Windows Azure News from MIX11 (2)

    Windows Azure Platform Offer Changes

    We also announced several offer changes today, including:

    • The extension of the expiration date and increases to the amount of free
      storage, storage transactions and data transfers in the Windows Azure
      Introductory Special offer. This promotional offer now includes 750 hours of
      extra-small instances and 25 hours of small instances of the Windows Azure
      service, 20GB of storage, 50K of storage transactions, and 40GB of data
      transfers provided each month at no charge until September 30, 2011. More
      information can be found here.

      • An existing customer who signed up for the original Windows Azure
        Introductory Special offer will get a free upgrade as of today. An existing
        customer who signed up for a different offer (other than the Windows Azure
        Introductory Special) would need to sign up for the updated Windows Azure
        Introductory Special Offer separately.
    • MSDN Ultimate and Premium subscribers will benefit from increased compute,
      storage and bandwidth benefits for Windows Azure. More information can be found
      here.
    • The Cloud Essentials Pack for Microsoft partners now includes 750 hours of
      extra-small instances and 25 hours of small instances of the Windows Azure
      service, 20GB of storage and 50GB of data transfers provided each month at no
      charge. In addition, the Cloud Essentials Pack also contains other Microsoft
      cloud services including SQL Azure, Windows Azure AppFabric, Microsoft Office
      365, Windows Intune and Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online. More information can be
      found here.

    Read carefully: Some important, good changes to the Introductory Special offer, the MDSN subscribers benefits, and the Cloud Essential Pack offer!