Microsoft has released a tool for troubleshooting Configurations of System Center components. The System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Analyzer is a diagnostic tool that you can use to evaluate important configuration settings for computers that are running any of the following System Center 2012 R2 components: Operations Manager, Virtual Machine Manager (VMM), Service Manager, Orchestrator (plus Service Provider Foundation), Configuration Manager, Data Protection Manager (DPM) and App Controller. The tool requires an OS supported by System Center 2012 R2 and the Microsoft Baseline Configuration Analyzer 2.0
Citrix has announced the Cloud Provider Pack version 2. The Cloud Provider Pack is a solution targeted to Citrix Service Providers (CSPs) allowing them to deliver Windows applications and desktops (DaaS) as a hosted cloud service. Citrix announced the first version of the Cloud Provider Pack in March 2012. The Cloud Provider Pack 2 consists of:
Amazon Web Services (AWS) announced it will open a new Region in Beijing, China. Unlike the current AWS regions this region will be an isolated one and will require unique accounts specific to the China region. Customers with existing AWS credentials will not be able to access resources in the new Region, and vice versa. A limited preview will be deployed in early 2014.
AWS is the third US company which will be active in China offering public cloud services. Rackspace has a datacenter in Hong Kong. Microsoft licensed Windows Azure to Chinese service provider 21Vianet. The Chinese clone of Windows Azure is isolated as well. Azure customers outside China cannot use the Azure services offered in Chinese datacenters. The Azure datacenters are located in Beijing and Shanghai. Besides Azure also Office365 is offered. The Beijing datacenter has a capacity of 5,000 cabinets, the largest facility in China as measured by cabinet capacity. Currently Azure is running in preview in China.
Microsoft has released a paper titled: "Windows Azure Network Security". The paper which contains 18 pages provides guidance on securing network communication for applications deployed in Windows Azure, enabling customers to determine how best to protect their virtual infrastructure and data.
The overall architecture and operation of Windows Azure’s network services have been designed for flexibility, security, and integrity. This white paper seeks to uncover these inner-workings and give insights on how customers can take advantage of the platform’s native features to best protect their information assets.
In November this year, Amazon announced their Desktop-as-a-Service offering called Amazon WorkSpaces entering the DaaS service provider market. Besides Amazon its know that other companies are working-on or already offering DaaS services or DaaS service technology.
Cisco today announced a new Desktop as a Service (DaaS) solution which allows service providers to offer customers a Cisco powered virtual desktop subscription service. The solution which is called Cisco DaaS either uses Desktone technology which was acquired by VMware in October this year or the Citrix XenDesktop and Application Orchestation technology from Citrix. The solutions are called DaaS with Citrix or DaaS with Desktone by VMware.
Microsoft has released a new free downloadable ebook titled:"Introducing Microsoft System Center 2012 R2". The book which contains 166 pages and is written by Mitch Tulloch and Symon Perriman. The capabilities of each component of System Center 2012 R2 are first described and then demonstrated chapter by chapter. Real-world and under-the-hood insights are also provided by insiders at Microsoft who live and breathe System Center.
Microsoft has released version 9 of its capacity planning tool, which it provides for free as a so called solution accelerator. Version 9 is the follow up of version 8.5 which was released in July this year. MAP 9.0 helps organizations assess their environment for Office 2013 and Office 365, track usage of Windows Server 2012, Lync Server 2013, SharePoint Server 2013, Exchange Server 2013, System Center Configuration Manager 2012, and SQL Server 2012 and Windows Azure. Read more
Microsoft introduces the Cloud OS Network. This is a group of around 25 Internet Service Providers who offer hosted services based on the Microsoft Cloud OS vision.
This Cloud OS vision of Microsoft is based on the idea that organizations (cloud consumers) have a choice where to deploy their applications. Either in Microsoft hosted Azure datacenters, in datacenters hosted by Service Providers or in on-premise, customer owned datacenters. Management of the services are consistent across all platforms and locations. Also applications can easily be moved from for example on-premise to a Service Provider datacenter without having to convert virtual machines.
Cloud OS is not a product but a Microsoft vision and strategy for hybrid cloud. Service Providers who embraced the Cloud OS vision installed Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V, System Center and the Windows Azure Pack in their datacenters. Windows Azure Pack is the software technology which enables a consistent delivery of management and services. For example the management portal used by customers of Service Providers to manage virtual machines and other services has the same look and feel as the Windows Azure Management Portal used in Microsoft hosted public cloud. Also API’s for automation are exactly the same for Windows Azure as for Service Provider managed clouds.
Some services available in Microsoft Azure like Virtual Machines, Web Sites and Service Bus are also available in SP hosted datacenters.
Oracle yesterday announced that it will sponsor and participate in the OpenStack Foundation.
Besides sponsoring the foundation, Oracle plans to Integrate OpenStack Capabilities into Oracle Solaris, Oracle Linux, Oracle VM, Oracle Virtual Compute Appliance, Oracle Exalogic Elastic Cloud, Oracle’s ZS3 Series, Axiom Storage Systems and StorageTek Tape Systems, Oracle Compute Cloud Service and Oracle Storage Cloud Service.