For those of you looking to create a private cloud in a very real way over the past few years and have done your research on what making a professional effort of doing so have likely heard of VMware, the biggest name in the business thus far - but as Microsoft has shown this week, their jump into the environment will be comprehensive, simple to manage, and inexpensive - a powerful combination indeed. At a release candidate launch webcast, Microsoft's corporate vice president of management and security spoke on how they'll soon have their management suite offered as a single product instead of the modular components of their competitors. This suite, System Center 2012, will have a standard version for $1,323, and a data center version for $3,600 USD.
Those are fighting words, mister Anderson, and at those prices with a product that does what Microsoft says it's going to do, VMware should be standing on their feet by now with a plan of attack. The standard version of MSC 2012 will have two OSes, while the data center version supporting unlimited VMs, the standard being for organizations planning on running physical servers and the data center version is for you wanting to build yourself a private cloud. Anderson spoke thusly:
"There are the same capabilities in both products. The only thing that is different is the number of OSes or VMs that you are authorized to manage. With the data center version you have the ability to manage unlimited VMs per server, so you can scale your virtualization, scale your density, and the costs stay the same. Our competitors (for which read VMware) can't do that." - Anderson
When you install MSC 2012, you'll get the option to add any or all of the following components, each with their own set of functions:
• System Center 2012 App Controller
• System Center 2012 Configuration Manager - for comprehensive configuration management
• System Center 2012 Data Protection Manager
• System Center 2012 Endpoint Protection
• System Center 2012 Operations Manager
• System Center 2012 Orchestrator
• System Center 2012 Service Manager
• System Center 2012 Virtual Machine Manager
Microsoft here is attempting to create not only a single name for cloud computing, both on the private and the public fronts, but with an approach of "public plus private cloud" where you'll be able to access your data be it stored on your own data center, a partner data center, or a Microsoft data center. With MSC 2012, you have one place to look at your public cloud and your private cloud. There's also different forms of virtualization infrastructures including from Microsoft, from VMware, and more, all of them able to be brought up in one single, easy to work with, consistent interface.
Microsoft will be offering four services inside its "public plus private cloud" approach, each contributing to the whole single service:
• A common identity that can be used across the public and private cloud
• Virtual machines that can move between the private and public cloud
• Hybridized applications that can be split across the public and private cloud
• Management across public and private clouds
The entire system wont be released until the second quarter of 2012 at the earliest, this meaning that groups like VMware do have a bit of time to get their house in order to have a chance at not losing their whole base. Not that they would, as this is a space where it's certainly not just a flip of a switch to change over to a wholly new set of tools, but for the new waves of cloud lovers, this is a blow in advance!