Earlier this month I blogged about the launch of Microsoft Windows Server 2012 and some of the new features that are relevant to the storage industry. Windows Server 2012 has many enhancements that help bring storage concepts natively to Windows users as well as offering the ability for SAN storage to leverage these new features to provide additional benefits to the customer (ODX for example).
Following up on this new product launch, EMC issued a press release last week announcing broad support for Windows Server 2012, demonstrating EMC's continued leadership in the marketplace for supporting and integrating with Microsoft technologies! So what does this new support include?
- Support for Windows Server 2012 across EMC's hardware and software portfolio within 90 days of general availability of Microsoft's operating system.
This may not sound like much, but it is BIG. EMC has a deep portfolio of products from our hardware arrays, data de-duplication appliances, data recovery appliances and lots of software such as Powerpath, Networker, Replication Manager and ESI (EMC's free easy to use storage provisioning tool for Windows administrators) which can be difficult keeping all of these products up to date with the latest and greatest partner technologies. While EMC is part of Microsoft's Technology Adoption Program (TAP) which gives us early access to Microsoft's software, we are testing with pre-released software and need to continually re-test and validate once Windows Server is generally available (or "GA") so that we can use the same software code that is available to customers. There is a lot of work involved and the credit goes to many engineers who work hard to make this happen!
- Optimized Microsoft Private Cloud Deployments with EMC Global Services.
I find many customers who either didn't know that EMC has a Microsoft Consulting practice or they didn't realize what our Consulting Services organization is capable of. Several years ago EMC acquired several large Microsoft Consulting organizations to give us a large number of skilled consultants who are often recognized as some of the best talented Microsoft resources in the industry. These include consultants who speak at large events, who have multiple certifications including Microsoft MVPs and others and people who have experience designing and deploying some of the most complex Microsoft related projects in the world!
What does this have to do with Windows Server 2012? Our Global Services organization can conduct assessments and strategy sessions to help companies who are considering a move to Windows 2012 or want to deploy a Microsoft Private Cloud based on Hyper-V and System Center. For those customers who need help actually deploying these new technologies and migrating data, EMC Global Services can help with that too. EMC Consultants have been working with Windows 2012 technologies since pre-release and will be able to bring proven experience to those customers who are eager to deploy new technology.
- Support for Microsoft's Private Cloud Fast Track Version 3 program.
As part of the Microsoft Windows 2012 release, Microsoft has updated their Private Cloud Fast Track program now supporting Windows Server 2012 and Microsoft Hyper-V 2012! Microsoft's Private Cloud Fast Track program provides customers with a pre-built validated Private Cloud solution built on Microsoft and partner technologies (such as EMC & Cisco) and even includes services so that the new Private Cloud solution can be delivered and deployed without any involvement from the end-user. The solution includes all of the software, scripts and architecture documents needed to be fully functional from Day 1.
EMC worked with Microsoft to release two Private Cloud Fast Track solutions based on Windows Server 2008 R2 and we are excited to continue to work with Microsoft to release another one based on these new technologies! What makes this solution different from the others (in addition to Windows Server 2012 software)? This Private Cloud Fast Track is designed for the Small & Mid-Market space and uses EMC's VNXe 3300 with 4 Cisco UCS C220 M3 servers. It is the perfect sized solution for customers who are just starting to deploy Private Cloud solutions or looking for remote office locations. What makes this particular solution different for EMC is it also is part of our VSPEX offering which is EMC's program for our partners allowing our channel to pick the best in breed of server, networking and storage technologies to create bundled offerings that are best for our customers! Stay tuned for more information as I'll be blogging more about this new Private Cloud Fast Track solution soon!
So WOW! This is just the start of the Windows Server 2012 launch and EMC is already announcing support across our product line, creating new Private Cloud Fast Track offerings and already working with customers with our services organization to help customers design and deploy these new technologies! For regular updates on our support and integration with Windows Server 2012, be sure to check out our dedicated product page on the Everything Microsoft at EMC Community and we will be announcing a new webcast series shortly where you can join industry leaders and EMC engineers to learn more about our support for Windows Server 2012 and interact with EMC's top Microsoft Specialists!