Hosting the Hosts

By: Marco Limena, vice president, business channels, Operator Channels, Microsoft

This is one of my favorite times of year, because in late-March at Microsoft we get the opportunity to bring over 400 of our hosting provider partners to Bellevue for the annual Microsoft Global Hosting Summit. Hosting Summit provides an opportunity for leaders across the industry to connect and share ideas on how to expand and build new services, drive innovation, and create new business opportunities.


I’m excited this year because of the enormous opportunity that lies ahead for hosters. At Microsoft, we’re all in on the cloud, and hosters are helping to lead that charge. In fact, Hosting growth is 3 times that of on-premises and off-premises instances will grow 90% between now & 2015.


Another great thing about the Hosting Summit is that it’s an opportunity for us at Microsoft to listen to our partners, hear their challenges, and discuss how to work together to grow our businesses. Microsoft is a company that succeeds because of our partners, and we’re committed working with our service provider partners to increase their operational efficiency, expand their service portfolio, and grow their addressable market. We’ve heard their feedback over the years, and you can see the commitment across the company, with products like Windows Server 8, System Center 2012, and SQL Server 2012 – all designed from the ground up with hosters in mind.


These new products are enabling hosters to deliver some amazing – and profitable – cloud scenarios for their customers. During the keynote sessions today, we outlined five types of scenarios that will light up the cloud in the near future.


  • Virtual Machine Hosting – multi-tenant & isolated
  • Hosted Database – enhanced scalability & multi-tenancy with SQL Server 2012
  • Application Hosting – large ISV ecosystem plus customer demand, and best-in-class managements with System Center 2012
  • Web Hosting – improved scalability with Windows Server 8
  • Hosted Desktop – a new emerging opportunity with simpler deployment & management, and access virtually anywhere


The event will draw to a close tomorrow, but our work with our hosting partners is something that continues year round.