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Microsoft’s data centre of the future

Infrastructure

MISSISSAUGA, ONT. – What makes up Microsoft’s data centre of the future?

Gladstone Grant, the head of enterprise specialist sales for Microsoft Canada provided customers and channel partners with an outline of what a futuristic data centre looks like at the IT Architects Forum, held at subsidiary’s Canadian headquarters.

Grant said that the data centre of the future will be a data centre without boundaries and would include these key elements:

  • Be able to virtualize any world;
  • Be able to easily move workloads from the data centre to the cloud;
  • Be able to understand that cloud innovation is everywhere;
  • Be able to provide smart storage tiering both in an on-premises scenario and in the cloud; and
  • Be able to do dynamic application delivery that provides a consistent experience across clouds and with Windows Azure.

The Microsoft products available for the data centre of the future are Windows Azure, Windows Server 2012R2, Systems Centre 2012 R2 and SQL Server 2014.

“We are all about innovation,” Grant said. “Many people don’t know that Microsoft has 200 cloud services. The more popular ones are Hotmail, Azure, and Xbox Live,” he added.

For the channel there are many margin opportunities for the data centre of the future. Grant said that the channel should focus on areas such as network virtualization, software-defined networking, storage with commodity hard drives that add a layer of software on top of them in a pool for better management and performance, and storage tariffs built with solid state drives (SSD) and traditional hard drives for faster access on Windows Server and System Center.

An example of a data centre of the future is iWeb of Montreal. iWeb’s data centre provides on-demand server and cloud infrastructure currently for more than 10,000 customers worldwide mostly in the SMB. iWeb’s data centre is not just green but also able to provide cloud hosting, managed cloud, private cloud, and the hybrid cloud along with server clusters, network storage and server backup.

Grant added that the iWeb data centre is an example of a nimble infrastructure. iWeb was recently acquired by Atlanta-based Internap Network Services Corp. in a deal valued at approximately $145 million.

To make the data centre of the future a real possibility sooner, Microsoft has developed industry partnerships with Cisco Systems and NetApp. The company has a joint investment for the FlexPod solution from NetApp. Grant said the FlexPod is suited for private cloud and converged infrastructure.

“It’s optimized for critical workloads like messaging, collaboration, BI, and ERP,” Grant said.