This week at the Microsoft Hosting Summit 2010, Microsoft Corp. is highlighting partner success stories that underscore new business models Microsoft is enabling for hosting providers in cloud computing. Utilizing the Dynamic Data Center Toolkit, which provides sample code, marketing collateral and a prescriptive guidance based on best practices, hosting providers Fasthosts Internet Ltd. and nGenX Corp. are launching managed services including cloud infrastructure, virtualization and disaster recovery through channel partners and to small and midsize businesses (SMBs). The Dynamic Data Center Toolkit is powered by Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V and Microsoft System Center.
“As awareness of hosted services is increasing among SMBs, there is a transformation underway with how businesses adopt technology,” said John Zanni, general manager of Worldwide Hosting for the Communications Sector at Microsoft. “SMBs are beginning to demand the benefits of the cloud across their IT investments but continue to rely on their traditional IT providers for guidance and support. Microsoft sees this shift as an opportunity to create new business models for its hosting partners and monetize the cloud. Hosting providers have an increasingly important role on the cutting edge of this transformation, bringing finished, relevant services to channel partners and SMBs on top of the raw utility that is the cloud.”
Fasthosts, the U.K.’s largest Web hosting company, recently launched Rise (http://www.rise-partners.com), an infrastructure-as-a-service provider dedicated to the channel, enabling thousands of channel partners such as systems integrators, value-added resellers and outsourcers — which traditionally deploy IT on premises — to become resellers and move into the cloud computing space. Rise is a brand-new company from Fasthosts that will provide cloud and dedicated infrastructure as well as end-to-end solutions for these channel partners to either resell or offer as a white-label service under their own brands.
“SMBs are aware of the cloud, but are often confused about what it delivers and how they can utilize it, usually relying on a third-party trusted advisor and supplier to guide them,” said Andy Burton, CEO of Fasthosts and Rise. “What we’re addressing with Data Center on Demand from Rise is how SMBs buy IT, not just why they should. By providing cloud services to the channel partners, we’re enabling those companies that have the trusted relationship with the end customer to deliver the benefits in a way that is clearly understood by the customer.”
Deploying and managing servers can be a complex, time-consuming process for SMBs that can monopolize IT resources, prohibiting them from spending time and energy on their core competencies. nGenX, a provider of cloud computing and managed hosting solutions, recently announced Guardian Cloud, an automated cloud service that will empower the end users with complete control over their cloud-based infrastructures while lowering their IT costs and management hassles.
A major concern of cloud computing among SMBs is reliability, as downtime or lost data translates to lost revenue, a damaged reputation and halted productivity. Disaster recovery solutions traditionally have been costly and are an investment made more often by large enterprises. Through Microsoft’s Dynamic Data Center Alliance program, nGenX is leveraging storage and data management solutions from NetApp®, the 2009 Microsoft Storage Partner of the year, to deliver an enhanced version of Guardian Cloud called Guardian GeoCloud to be released in the third quarter of 2010. Guardian GeoCloud expands Guardian Cloud by providing the customer with a level of disaster recovery and security traditionally only available to large enterprises. It accomplishes this by using an integration of NetApp shared storage and data management capabilities with Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V and Microsoft System Center. Through this combined solution, which provides replication and failover of a customer’s virtualized environment to a remote datacenter, SMBs are able to rapidly protect and restore valuable information with little or no downtime while maintaining smooth business operations. Furthermore, the integrated solution offers SMBs enterprise-level cloud computing and disaster recovery at a fraction of the cost of traditional solutions.
“We’re excited to introduce Guardian GeoCloud to our SMB customers,” said Robert A. Bye, executive vice president at nGenX. “Microsoft’s Dynamic Data Center Alliance allowed us to leverage NetApp technologies to deliver a differentiated service with disaster recovery that sets us apart in the market and will help our business grow.”
“We see a big opportunity to help hosters deliver disaster recovery to SMBs, helping bridge the technology gap between them and large enterprises,” said Patrick Rogers, vice president of Solutions and Alliances at NetApp. “We’re thrilled to be working with Microsoft as part of the Dynamic Data Center Alliance to help enable these new business models for the hosting community.”
Services similar to Data Center on Demand and Guardian GeoCloud can be deployed by utilizing guidance and sample code available in Microsoft’s Dynamic Data Center Toolkit. More information can be found at http://microsoft.com/dynamicdatacenter.
About Microsoft Hosting Summit 2010
The Microsoft Hosting Summit is an annual event that brings together Microsoft’s hosting provider partners and leaders across the industry to connect and share ideas on how to win together with Microsoft and move their business forward in a constantly changing environment. This year, the Summit will feature presentations on Microsoft’s cloud vision and partner opportunities, Hosted Exchange 2010 and Hosted SharePoint 2010, among many others. For more information, please visit https://www.microsofthostingsummit.com.
To join the conversation on current trends in the market, visit Microsoft’s Hosting Insights blog at http://blogs.technet.com/hosting and follow on Twitter at http://twitter.com/MSFT_hosting.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.