There is a transformational shift underway across the entire IT ecosystem. The explosion of data driven by increasingly smarter devices and more personalised applications has created huge demand for computing power. Businesses all over the world are looking to the cloud to optimise their operations, sparking debate about how computing, storage and networking can come together to solve business objectives.
The golden age of the OS
As the launch of Windows Server 2012 demonstrates, we believe that the operating system holds the keys to the new cloud era. The OS has always been the heartbeat of IT to manage hardware and to deliver applications – and this is no less true in cloud computing.
With Windows Server 2012 and Windows Azure at its core, Microsoft is ushering in the era of the “Cloud OS”, which is the modern platform for the world’s apps and scales the role of the OS from one server, to multiple datacentres, to large scale public clouds.
We’re confident that our platform is in a unique position to consistently meet the demands of the cloud. It is that consistency that will enable customers to use common virtualization, application development, systems management, and data and identity frameworks across all of their clouds.
We like to let our customers do the talking for us and we’re finding businesses across Europe are responding to the benefits that the Cloud OS brings.
City of Barcelona powered by the Cloud OS
Take the City of Barcelona for example. The city IT staff are starting to use virtualisation desktop infrastructure (VDI) based on Windows Server 2012 to take advantage of the desktop virtualization enhancements included in the server platform. By using Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V to consolidate its VDI environment, the City of Barcelona can expand desktop virtualisation to more employees and provide a better user experience. All of the city’s new productivity services (including Microsoft Lync, Sharepoint and Exchange) have been implemented using Hyper-V. In addition, Windows Server 2012 offers enhanced security for contractors accessing servers behind the firewall.
As Eduard Martin, Chief of Technology Innovation in the City of Barcelona IT Department, says, “We hope to use Windows Server 2012 to expand VDI from 200 users to about 1,000 users in the next few months – those who move around a lot or are not connected to the wide area network. This will enable more employees to work from home and give them more flexibility.”
The City of Barcelona predicts that using Windows Server 2012 will save six months of deployment time as they upgrade 2,500 users to Windows 8, equating to roughly €100,000 in savings. They also hope there will be cost savings in comparison with their existing solutions VMWare and Citrix, from reducing storage for VDI images, and lowering energy costs from running fewer high-end PCs.
The Cloud OS works for businesses
Businesses typically have few resources to expend on integrating disparate systems or managing technologies that have been traditionally separate, such as storage, networking and virtualisation. Managing multiple servers and datacentres can stifle the ability and appetite of businesses to maximise the potential of their IT systems. However, with the Cloud OS organisations can bring together all the services required by end users, developers and IT to truly reap the benefits of the cloud.
Cloud OS drives and enables both the modern datacentre and the development and management of modern applications, demonstrating how customers can benefit from this transformation with agility, focus and lower costs.
I invite customers and partners around the world to explore the possibilities of the Cloud OS with Microsoft.
Edwin Yuen, Microsoft Director of Virtualisation and Cloud Strategy