November 11, 2010 News Thursday: PASS Summit and Tech•Ed Europe Special Edition

Q&A: Muglia Discusses the Latest News for Server and Tools

For a snapshot of Server and Tools news over the last few weeks, take a look at the Executive Q&A with Bob Muglia on Microsoft News Center.


PASS Summit 2010

PASS (Professional Association for SQL Server) Summit 2010 kicked off on Tuesday, November 9, 2010 with a keynote address from Ted Kummert, SVP, Business Platform Division. Some of the exciting announcements made during the keynote, which focused on providing enterprise customers with a complete approach to deploying, managing, accessing and delivering their most mission critical business intelligence and cloud applications, include:

  • SQL Server 2008 R2 Parallel Data Warehouse: Available now, SQL Server 2008 R2 Parallel Data Warehouse (PDW) is a highly scalable, high performing appliance for warehouses, with hundreds of terabytes of data. PDW is pre-architected to deliver simplicity and reduced deployment time for customers' most critical data warehouse needs.
  • SQL Server Code-Named "Denali" : The first Community Technology Preview (CTP1) for the next version of SQL Server, SQL Server code-named "Denali," is available for download. The product empowers organizations to be more agile in today's competitive market through an enhanced mission critical platform, increased productivity for developers and IT professionals and pervasive insight.
  • Microsoft Critical Advantage Program: Offered as part of Parallel Data Warehouse, this new program provides appliance customers with an end-to-end suite of pre-tested hardware and software configurations, as well as services and support, all designed to make customers' business more efficient, cost-effective, risk-resistant, and competitive.
  • In addition, Microsoft is offering customers' choice in hardware, in partnership with HP and in the future through other partnerships, like Bull. Through deep integration with the Microsoft Business Intelligence (BI) platform, customers can deliver managed self-service BI solutions to everyone in the organization. The HP Enterprise Data Warehouse Appliance will be available through HP in December 2010.
  • Microsoft Certified Master (MCM) program for SQL Server: Microsoft will now offer an updated program that allows SQL Server experts to achieve MCM certification with more flexibility and at a lower cost. The program will also increase the visibility of MCMs and reinforces their value in the market.
  • Microsoft Code-named "Atlanta" : Customers can sign up today for a new cloud service for overseeing SQL Server configuration to ensure best operational practices. The secure cloud service can help IT to proactively avoid configuration problems and rapidly resolve identified issues through step by step guidance.

For more information about PASS announcements, visit the SQL Server Team Blog.

Tech·Ed Europe 2010 News

TechEd Europe 2010 kicked off on Monday, November 8, 2010 in Berlin, Germany with a keynote by Brad Anderson, corporate vice president of Microsoft's Management and Security Division. The on-demand replay is available at the Microsoft Cloud Virtual Pressroom.

At  PDC10 Microsoft announced enhancements to its Platform as a Service (PaaS) offering, the Windows Azure Platform. At TechEd, Microsoft provided more information about how its comprehensive cloud strategy - spanning the public and private cloud - can help organizations meet their unique business needs. While PaaS represents the future of cloud computing, many organizations today require high levels of control or customization within their own IT environments. 

Microsoft's approach to the cloud includes Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), so customers and partners can build private cloud solutions on top of their existing datacenter investments. Windows Server, Hyper-V, and System Center comprise fully integrated server, virtualization, and management solutions.  At TechEd, the company announced Hyper-V Cloud, a set of programs and initiatives that help customers and partners deploy private clouds on their own terms. The programs include:

  • Hyper-V Cloud Fast Track: For customers who need some level of customization, but also want to reduce risk and speed deployment, reference architectures can provide the perfect balance. Microsoft is collaborating with Dell, Fujitsu, Hitachi, HP, IBM and NEC to deliver a broad choice of pre-defined, validated configurations for private cloud deployments-comprising compute, storage, networking resources, virtualization, and management software. These six partners collectively represent more than 80% share of the world's server market.
  • o In addition, HP and Microsoft are announcing jointly developed HP Cloud Foundation for Hyper-V, a reference architecture that combines HP BladeSystem Matrix and Microsoft System Center with Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V. This solution is part of Hyper-V Cloud Fast Track, and one result of the expanded partnership we announced together earlier this year. HP also will offer HP CloudStart for Microsoft, private cloud services that simplify and speed private cloud deployments using HP Cloud Foundation for Microsoft Hyper-V.
  • o To find out more, read blog posts by Dell, HP and NEC, and see Hitachi's press release.
  • Hyper-V Cloud Service Provider Program: More than 70 service providers around the world offer infrastructure as a finished, fully-hosted service built on Microsoft's technology. This option delivers the fastest, most cost-effective implementation for cloud services, both private and public. Service providers include: Korean Internet Data Center; Fasthosts (UK, US); Agarik (France); Hostway Corporation (US, UK, Netherlands, Germany, France, Belgium, Romania).
  • Hyper-V Cloud Deployment Guides: For customers who want to build their own private clouds on top of existing infrastructure investments, we are now offering tools and guidance based on expertise developed during hundreds of Microsoft Consulting Services (MCS) customer engagements over the past few years. This element of the Hyper-V Cloud program optimizes for the highest levels of flexibility, control, and customization.
  • Hyper-V Cloud Accelerate: To tie it all together, Microsoft is making significant investments to help customers and partners fund assessments, proofs-of-concept, and production deployments. These services will be delivered by MCS and pre-qualified members of the Microsoft Partner Network (MPN).

In addition, Microsoft also announced:

  • General availability of System Center Virtual Machine Manager Self Service Portal 2.0 (first announced at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference in July), a freely downloadable, partner-extensible solution that makes it easier for customers to pool, allocate, and manage their compute, storage, and network resources. A key element of a private cloud infrastructure, this solution is built on top of Windows Server 2008 R2, Hyper-V, and System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2.
  • Availability ofForefront Endpoint Protection 2010 Release Candidate, which helps improve endpoint protection across client and server infrastructure. Built on System Center Configuration Manager 2007, Forefront Endpoint Protection allows customers to use their existing client management infrastructure to deploy and manage desktop security. Forefront Endpoint Protection will release to manufacturing by the end of 2010.

For more information about TechEd news, check out the TechEd Europe Fact Sheet and the Cloud Virtual Pressroom.

Microsoft releases new whitepaper: "The Economics of the Cloud"

Cloud computing is transforming IT, but what will the future of IT look like?  Microsoft conducted extensive analysis of the economic factors underlying cloud computing. Today, Microsoft is sharing these insights publicly with a new whitepaper, "The Economics of the Cloud." Microsoft explores the underlying economics that are driving this trend. Our analysis uncovers significant economies of scale that generate up to 80% cost savings over time. This, combined with the greatly increased agility cloud offers, will enable IT to increase its relevance to the business by focusing more on innovation and spending less time 'keeping the lights on.' In light of this, we provide crucial guidance on how CIOs can harness these economies of scale and agility benefits by architecting their IT organization for the cloud.

We invite you to read the full paper.  For more information, you can also visit the Cloud Virtual Presskit on Microsoft News Center.

IT as a Service: Transforming IT with the Windows Azure Platform

Cloud computing represents a fundamental transformation in IT, one that lets a company focus on driving business success rather than running infrastructure. To enable that shift, Microsoft offers Windows Azure, a complement to the Windows Server platform that provides a common application, identity, and management architecture to enable a new breed of cloud computing applications.

To learn how Windows Azure can help organizations increase business value and lower IT costs by extending IT across both private and public cloud computing scenarios, check out the whitepaper at:

Microsoft WebMatrix Beta 3 now available

Earlier this week, Microsoft announced the release of WebMatrix beta 3. Microsoft WebMatrix makes it easy for anyone to create a new web site using a template or an existing free open source application, customize it, and then publish it on the internet via a wide choice of hosting service providers. The beta includes many updates and bug fixes as well as performance improvements.

For more information please visit

Microsoft announces Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials

Microsoft announced a new storage server targeted to small business owners, Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials.  Microsoft Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials is part of the Windows Storage Server family of network attached storage appliances.  It shares common features and usability with both Windows Home Server Code Name "Vail" and Windows Small Business Server 2011 Essentials, including Server and PC backup, streaming media support, console driven administration and network health monitoring. 

Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials will be available through many OEM vendors who will offer multiple form factors, and will be available in H1 2011. To learn more about Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials, visit the Official Windows Storage Server Blog.

Announcing Windows Small Business Server 2011

Since we announced the availability of the beta version of Windows Small Business Server codename "Aurora" and Windows Small Business Server codename "7," both products have been downloaded more than 9,000 times through both our partner and customer community. Earlier this month, Microsoft also announced the final names, pricing, licensing and estimated availability for the next generation of the Small Business Server family currently in public preview.

  • Windows Small Business Server 2011 Essentials (formerly Windows Small Business Server codename "Aurora") is ideal as a first server for small businesses with up to 25 users, providing a cost-effective and easy-to-use solution to help protect data, organize and access business information from virtually anywhere, support the applications needed to run a business, and quickly connect to online services such as Office 365, hosted e-mail, collaboration and CRM. SBS 2011 Essentials can be used by up to 25 users and requires no CALs for user access. SBS 2011 Essentials is expected to release in H1 2011.
  • Windows Small Business Server 2011 Standard (formerly Windows Small Business Server codename "7") designed and priced for small businesses with up to 75 users, delivering enterprise-class server technology in an affordable, all-in-one solution. Windows Small Business Server 2011 Standard helps protect business' information from loss by performing automatic daily server backups and greater productivity through on-site features like e-mail, Internet connectivity, internal Web sites, remote access, and file and printer sharing. Licensing for SBS 2011 Standard follows the previous versions of Windows SBS 2008 Standard, which required both a Server License, plus CALs for each user. Estimated retail pricing for SBS 2011 Standard is $1,096US, with CALs approximately $72US. SBS 2011 Standard will be available through all current Microsoft server licensing channels and is expected to release in December 2010. Further availability through OEM's and System Builders is expected starting February 2011.

To learn more about the Windows Small Business Server Family, download the family overview brochure and to download previews of SBS 2011 Standard and Essentials you can visit here.

Cloud-Based Billing Solutions Provider Speeds Delivery of Innovative Toolkit for ISVs
Zuora, a developer of online subscription management and billing applications, wanted to provide ISVs and developers with a way to quickly infuse cloud-based solutions with end-to-end commerce capabilities. Zuora opted to develop a toolkit for the Windows Azure platform, a cloud operating system that provides developers with on-demand compute and storage resources to build, host, manage, and scale applications. By using Windows Azure Tools for Visual Studio and taking advantage of the interoperability and flexibility of the Windows Azure Development Fabric, Zuora was able to roll out its Zuora Toolkit for Windows Azure two weeks ahead of schedule. For more information visit: .

Microsoft Takes Home the Gold in Various Product Awards

In the first half of November, Microsoft's STB products have garnered several awards:

  • Dr. Dobb's Jolt Awards - Visual Studio 2010 is the winner of this year's Jolt Product Excellence Award in the Development Environment category.
  • Redmond Magazine Readers' Choice Awards - Server and Tools products took home about 13 overall wins, with a handful more named as "Preferred Products," or runners-up in the 2010 awards.