Editor’s Note: Cloud Computing on Your Terms

A common management toolset from desktop to datacenter, and beyond, puts you in control when using Microsoft’s private cloud technologies.

By Mitch Irsfeld

Let’s set the record straight before we proceed. Private cloud isn’t just a new marketing term for virtualization.

Virtualization has certainly transformed the datacenter. It has provided extra capacity and savings, but the new private cloud capabilities and agility to deliver IT as a service go well beyond a virtualized datacenter. We like to think of the private cloud as “cloud computing on your terms.”

Yes, that is marketing language that explains the private cloud through the lens of IT benefits, but the substance comes when the characteristics of a public cloud (self-service, elasticity, resource pooling, and pay-by-use) are combined with the control and ability to customize an environment that is built on dedicated resources.

Microsoft System Center 2012 provides the common management toolset—“a single pane of glass,” if you will, for managing your IT environments, applications, and services across traditional datacenters, private and public clouds. It fundamentally changes the way applications are deployed and the way services are delivered. When you consider the combination of System Center 2012’s end-to-end service management, the enterprise-class virtualization of Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 with Hyper-V, and Microsoft Forefront Endpoint Protection, you begin to see how you’re always in control, and that’s what we mean by “cloud computing on your terms.”

To illustrate our vision, Microsoft kicks off the announcement of System Center 2012 Release Candidate evaluation downloads with the virtual event Transforming IT with Private Cloud. Watch the on-demand webcast and get real-world answers to help you explore your cloud options.

To see how Microsoft’s vision compares to VMware’s virtualization approach, check out the white paper Microsoft Private Cloud - A Comparative Look at Functionality, Benefits, and Economics. And speaking of benefits, read how the Microsoft solution also supports flexible workstyles in this whitepaper: Flexible Workstyles and Enterprise IT.

Then make sure you are up to speed with the new training resources. Start with the new set of free courses from the Microsoft Virtual Academy, Configuring and Deploying Microsoft’s Private Cloud. Then register for the Creating and Managing a Private Cloud with System Center 2012 Jump Start. And when you’re ready, showcase your expertise with a Microsoft Private Cloud Certification.

Leveraging Microsoft’s private cloud model will let you access System Center’s integrated management capabilities for managing physical, virtual, private and public cloud environments, using Windows Server with Hyper-V. That means enterprise class virtualization with end-to-end service management and cloud platform that lets you focus on the applications that drive business value.

Thanks for reading and happy holidays,


Mitch Irsfeld

Mitch Irsfeld*, Editor of TechNet, is a veteran computer industry journalist and content developer who managed editorial staffs at several leading publications, includingInformationWeek, InternetWeek andCommunicationsWeek. He is also an editor for* TechNet Magazine and managing editor of the TechNet Flash newsletter.