Microsoft Aims to Bring Consistency to the Cloud with New Partner Program

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In an effort to deliver a consistent customer experience across Windows Azure, service provider, and customer cloud environments, Microsoft announced on Thursday the launch of its new Cloud OS Network. The program is a consortium of more than 25 cloud service providers around the world that have built services on the Microsoft Cloud Platform.

As part of the Cloud OS Network, the participating cloud providers’ infrastructure and applications solutions have been built on Windows Server with Hyper-V, System Center and Windows Azure Pack.

“This is all enabled through leveraging common technologies across virtualization, systems management, and development framework, so it really is quite unique,” Eugene Saburi, general manager of Microsoft Cloud OS marketing. Cloud and Enterprise Group, Microsoft says.

“Each of the deployments that [partners] have and will bring to market, Microsoft has worked closely to ensure that they are very high quality, and have high-level of service to make sure customers benefit,” Saburi says.

While the cloud fabric of the providers in the Cloud OS Network will use the same technology, Saburi says that the program provides an opportunity for partners to differentiate their services in other ways, through value-added services.

“Many of these service providers offer distinct capabilities and differentiation, and our goal here is to give customers the widest variety of value-added services, and really giving them greater flexibility and choice,” Saburi says.

Partners in the Cloud OS Network represent 90 markets around the world, and service providers include Computer Sciences Corporation, Dimension Data and iWeb.

According to Saburi, many of the partners have existing relationships with Microsoft, but what makes this program distinct is that they will be deploying the same platform to run their cloud fabric: “it’s what is required and is really key for enabling Cloud OS.”

The increasing adoption of hybrid cloud models is also what this program helps to address, since there really is no one-cloud-fits-all, and different customers have varying requirements in terms of latency and data sovereignty, for example. The Cloud OS Platform helps to create a “boundary-less” data center where customers can have flexibility determining the best approach for their requirements and applications.

“Many workloads are being virtualized and being moved to public cloud services, but what we’ve also learned is customer requirements around the world are really diverse, so for us to think that public cloud services could serve all of our customers is idealist. We’ve worked really closely with these partners to ensure the diverse requirements of customers are met,” Saburi says.

About the Author

Nicole Henderson is the Editor in Chief of the WHIR, where she covers daily news and features online. She has a bachelor of journalism from Ryerson University in Toronto. You can find her on Twitter @NicoleHenderson.

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