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Mitch Irsfeld

TechNet Flash, Volume 14, Issue 9 - April 27, 2012
TechNet Flash Editor's Note from Mitch Irsfeld

Put a Private Cloud in Your Sandbox

With the public release of System Center 2012, there's no better time to start testing and building for two important scenarios: Planning and developing effective private cloud implementations to leverage your virtualized IT infrastructure, and to begin managing and securing a diverse set of consumer devices.

The TechNet Evaluation Center has made it easy to try it out, with a preconfigured experience that includes the System Center 2012 suite and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1. You can also try out Windows Server "8" Beta, a scalable, dynamic, multitenant-aware, and cloud-optimized infrastructure.

From the just-released System Center 2012 family, the Microsoft Private Cloud Evaluation includes:

Optionally, if you want to test a unified management infrastructure for a diverse set of devices across physical, virtual, and mobile client environments, the TechNet Evaluation Center has packaged the System Center 2012 Client Management and Security Evaluation. This bundle includes System Center 2012 Configuration Manager and System Center 2012 Endpoint Protection.

The TechNet Evaluation Center also offers the Microsoft Private Cloud Labs, a series of 14 interactive labs that addresses the core capabilities and allows you to experience the Microsoft private cloud right in your browser window.

Increase Your Cloud Knowledge

Speaking of learning experiences, there are now several options for becoming an expert in Microsoft private cloud technology. At a higher level, you can start with the Private Cloud Jump Start Videos to learn about the problems cloud computing solves and how flexible the Microsoft solution can be.

Going deeper, the Microsoft Virtual Academy features two notable new tracks: The Private Cloud Training Courses will help you optimize and deploy the private cloud, starting at the infrastructure layer; and the System Center 2012 Training Courses provide in-depth knowledge of the new System Center 2012 product, while building the necessary skills to grow in your IT role and career.

You also can add your own knowledge of private cloud by joining the collaboration on the Reference Architecture for Private Cloud on the TechNet Wiki. This document set is designed to facilitate an organization's transformation to private cloud as a service. Business decision makers, technical decision makers, IT architects, and IT pros interested in private cloud should use relevant documents in this collection to understand the transformation to private cloud in terms of business drivers, potential architectural approaches, and impact on key aspects of IT.

To cement your expertise in managing and implementing Microsoft private cloud technologies, and to become private cloud certified, get started with a Private Cloud Certification.

Making the Transition

On a strategic level, check out the keynote sessions from last week's Microsoft Management Summit to get an inside view of the latest private cloud and device management offerings. Then find out why it's important for your organization to have a private cloud strategy going forward by watching the IDC webcast on Delivering Private Clouds Today with System Center 2012.

Want to know if a private cloud is a good fit for your organization? The Private Cloud Assessment Tool asks a series of questions about your business drivers and obstacles, your current infrastructure, your processes for scaling IT resources, and how you enable and communicate about service offerings. Take a free 10-minute assessment, get a customized report, and connect with Microsoft.

When you're ready to compare Microsoft's private cloud with other offerings, don't miss the Private Cloud Economics White Paper, for a side-by-side look at private cloud solutions and licensing models from Microsoft and VMware. If you want to calculate the cost of creating a private cloud solution with Microsoft versus VMware technologies, use the Private Cloud ROI Calculator.

This is your opportunity to lead your organization's transformation. It's time to figure out how best to cloud-optimize your business, at your own pace. In previous TechNet Feature packages we've talked about why private cloud architectures make sense, and how managing services rather than servers can help you automate infrastructure provisioning and application deployment.

System Center 2012 provides the management solution that will scale to accommodate a range of applications and infrastructures over time as your cloud environments evolve. It offers the flexibility of automated, self-service provisioning while still providing insight into critical application, infrastructure and business performance analytics. Best of all, you can begin putting it to the test today.

Thanks for reading,

Mitch Irsfeld
Editor, TechNet Flash

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