Tough Economic Times Can Be Opportunity for IT Pros
Microsoft technologies help secure the role of IT through business innovation and cost savings.
BARCELONA, Spain — The global economic climate presents new challenges and opportunities for information technology organizations, Brad Anderson, general manager of the Management and Services Division at Microsoft Corp., told approximately 5,000 attendees gathered at Tech•Ed EMEA 2008, Microsoft’s leading technology show in Europe, the Middle East and Africa for IT professionals.
“IT professionals in Europe and elsewhere are under pressure to reduce costs and help their businesses be more efficient,” Anderson said. “We are working with our partners here and across the globe to give IT organizations one of the lowest costs of ownership in the industry as well as the ability to deliver new capabilities to their business.”
Microsoft’s virtualization solutions, for example, help customers reduce costs through hardware consolidation and the associated electrical power reduction, lower desktop deployment and management costs, and gain deployment and monitoring efficiencies through centralized, policy-based management. In addition, to accommodate the changing, dynamic computing needs across a datacenter, the live migration feature within Windows Server 2008 R2 enables customers to move virtual machines between servers with no downtime or loss of performance.
• One of the many European corporations that has benefited from Microsoft’s IT infrastructure solutions is Banque de Luxembourg, a leading private bank serving investors across the continent. Earlier this year, the bank decided to consolidate two datacenters using virtualization technologies. In these datacenters, which included a total of more than 250 physical servers, the bank ran its most critical line-of-business applications and managed more than 15 terabytes of enterprise data.
• “As a result, we’ve been able to reduce the need for computer hardware, power and cooling, and office space, so we’re now running a more cost-effective, environmentally sound operation,” said Pierre Galteau, system engineer at the bank. “Hyper-V and System Center technologies provide our associates with the resources they need, when and where they need them, for a more flexible and cost-effective IT environment.”
“In these uncertain economic times, it is not surprising to expect businesses to take a long, hard look at their IT budgets,” said Chris Ingle, research director of the European Systems Group at IDC. “However, we’re in the midst of a period when key technology trends are converging, and businesses will need to be more agile in their IT decision-making — not only to reduce costs, but to also take advantage of new technologies and trends that can transform their businesses and deliver new innovations to their customers.”
• Microsoft’s Anderson also noted that many businesses today are looking forward to cloud computing as an important part of the evolving datacenter.
• “We live in a hybrid world of software and services,” Anderson said. “Customers need to choose a path that best aligns with their strengths. Microsoft’s software-plus-services offerings allow businesses to choose, and benefit from both the convenience and security of on-premises software and the efficiency of Web-based services.”
The recently announced Azure Services Platform brings a software-plus-services approach to computing that spans from the cloud to the enterprise datacenter, delivering compelling new experiences across the PC, Web and phone. Developers have the flexibility of choice with Internet scalability to build the next generation of applications. Once written, these applications can then run both in the cloud or on-premises, enabling experiences across a broad range of business and consumer scenarios.
New Products for the Next Generation of IT
A number of recent announcements from Microsoft will help customers evolve their IT infrastructure, including the following:
• Windows Server 2008 R2. Microsoft’s flagship server platform is being enhanced with new features, including Live Migration, which allows customers to move virtual machines from one host to another with no service interruption; Branch Cache, which will help customers reduce bandwidth consumption between the datacenter and branch offices DirectAccess, which allows remote workers connect to their work environment and allows IT administrators manage remote PCs, without the use of a virtual private network; and Remote Desktop Services, the new name for Terminal Services, which allows customers to run their desktop or applications in the datacenter regardless of location. More information about Windows Server 2008 R2 is available at http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2008/en/us/R2.aspx.
• Virtualization. Windows Server 2008 R2 will incorporate the newest version of the hypervisor-based virtualization technology called Hyper-V, the only hypervisor in the industry capable of processor power management. More information is available at http://blogs.technet.com/virtualization.
• System Center Operations Manager 2007 R2 beta. Recognizing that IT organizations today often mix products from several suppliers and that it is important to be able to manage these heterogeneous environments from a single platform, Microsoft will soon release the System Center Operations Manager 2007 R2 beta, which includes cross-platform monitoring for Windows, UNIX and Linux servers and improved service level monitoring. These capabilities deliver on Microsoft’s commitment to openness and interoperability, and will help enable greater efficiencies when operating in a cross-platform environment. More information is available at http://blogs.technet.com/systemcenter.
• Integrated identity and security solutions. Two incremental products will help customers better protect their organizations, increase productivity and reduce costs. The release candidate of Identity Lifecycle Manager “2” is available now at http://www.microsoft.com/ilm2, providing self-service for employees, enhanced administration and automation for IT professionals, and extensibility for developers. And the new Intelligent Application Gateway Service Pack 2 utilizes virtualization technology to give mobile workers easy and highly secure access to applications from a broad range of devices and locations. More information is available at http://blogs.technet.com/forefront.
• Microsoft Security Intelligence Report volume 5. The company released today the fifth volume of the Microsoft Security Intelligence Report, which uses data from hundreds of millions of computers worldwide to analyze security and privacy threats for the first half of 2008 and offers prescriptive guidance for customers. The report shows that although the total number of unique vulnerability disclosures across the industry decreased in the first half of 2008, the number of high-severity vulnerabilities increased. In addition, the report shows that the Microsoft Malware Protection Center found significantly more malware and potentially unwanted software worldwide than ever before. The full report is available for download at http://www.microsoft.com/sir.
• TechNet Online social bookmarking. TechNet Online, Microsoft’s Web site for IT professionals, launched social bookmarking across its global network. Available in Czech, English, French, German, Italian, Russian and Spanish, social bookmarking allows IT professionals save their Web favorites online, see what other technical professionals are bookmarking, subscribe to new “social feeds,” and network with other members of the Microsoft technical community. More information is available at http://www.technetbookmarks.com.
• “Dublin.” Code-named for a set of enhanced Windows Server application server capabilities that will offer greater scalability, easier management and closer interoperability with Internet Information Services (IIS), Dublin will provide a standard host for applications that use Windows Workflow Foundation or Windows Communication Foundation. These enhancements will simplify the deployment and management of composite applications, while allowing developers and IT professionals to use their existing skills and management tools. The first customer technology preview was released last week at the Microsoft Professional Developers Conference. More information is available at http://www.microsoft.com/net/Dublin.aspx.
About Microsoft Tech•Ed Europe
In its 15th year in Europe, Tech•Ed is Microsoft’s definitive European conference for building, deploying, securing and managing connected solutions. With a strong mix of developer, infrastructure and messaging content, Microsoft Tech•Ed Europe is Microsoft’s premier technical training conference for a wide range of technology professionals. Tech•Ed Europe, held this year in the Centre Convencions Internacional Barcelona (CCIB) in Barcelona, Spain, encompasses both Tech•Ed EMEA 2008 IT Professionals (Nov. 3–7) and Tech•Ed EMEA 2008 Developers (Nov.10–14).
More information about Tech•Ed 2008 is available at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/events/teched/default.mspx.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
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