The Microsoft server platforms, on the left side of Figure 3, display some of Microsoft's on-premises options and include offerings such as Windows Server, SQL Server, System Center, and Visual Studio. With its cloud offerings, Microsoft is extending its on-premises products into hosted deployment options, implementable both via public cloud hosted at Microsoft datacenters and via private cloud with cloud computing technologies that can be implemented by a hosting provider or enterprises.
Critical to the Microsoft cloud computing vision is the fact that its on-premises and cloud-based offerings are in fact largely equivalent in features, functionality, and user experience. Whether deployed on-premises or via the public cloud hosted in Microsoft datacenters, these Microsoft offerings use common development tools, management tools, and identity. So, for example, developers already familiar with the .NET development environment can continue to develop to the same standards in the Windows Azure environment, customers who have deployed Active Directory can federate identities in private and public clouds, and System Center can be used as a single pane for datacenter and application management, whether on-premises or at a public cloud.
Hyper-V Cloud is a set of programs and offerings from Microsoft focused on making it easier for partners and businesses to build their own private cloud infrastructure-as-a- service offerings using Windows Server, Hyper-V, and System Center. Windows Server 2008 R2, Microsoft's server platform, already delivers virtualization and management capabilities through Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V. These technologies, along with Microsoft System Center's enterprise management suite and the recently released System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2 Self-Service Portal 2.0, provide hypervisor, operating system, and management components required for organizations to implement private clouds.
One of the key components of Microsoft's private cloud strategy is the Hyper-V Cloud Fast Track program. With the Fast Track program, Microsoft and its partners deliver integrated private cloud solutions based on predefined, validated hardware and
virtualization, and management software. These programs and offerings help reduce the risk and increase the speed of private cloud deployments. Dell Inc., Fujitsu Ltd., Hitachi Data Systems (HDS), Hitachi Ltd., HP, IBM Corp., and NEC Corporation have already signed on as Hyper-V Cloud partners. In addition, Microsoft has the following
additional programs in its Hyper-V Cloud offerings:
Hyper-V Cloud Service Provider Program. Microsoft has more than 70 service provider partners around the world who offer infrastructure as a finished, fully hosted service built on Hyper-V cloud technologies. Microsoft Service Provider partners can deliver a fast and cost-effective implementation for cloud services, both private and public. Service providers include Agarik (France); Fasthosts (United Kingdom, United States); Hostway Corp. (United States, United
Kingdom, Netherlands, Germany, France, Belgium, Romania); and Korea Internet Data Center.