Business Insights Newsletter Article | October 2013
Microsoft Defines the Cloud with One Word - Value

The modern workforce isn’t just better connected and more mobile than ever before, it’s also more discerning (and demanding) about the hardware and software used on the job. While company leaders around the world are celebrating the increased productivity and accessibility of their workforce, the exponential increase in devices and platforms that the workforce wants to use can stretch a company’s infrastructure (and IT department!) to its limit.”

Brad Anderson, Corporate Vice President, Microsoft
When conversation turns to cloud computing, there is a lot of noise. Press, vendors, analysts, bloggers and others deliver opinions on what a successful cloud strategy entails.

Converging technologies such as Big Data, Mobility, BYOD and Social are transforming how businesses operate and compete and are relying on cloud as a critical enabler. Cloud itself is considered an emerging megatrend representing a real opportunity for IT to introduce more efficiency across every operational line of business.

Microsoft believes that cloud is quite simply about a single concept – value. In this article we will share how Microsoft helps you realize the value of cloud, why Windows Server is best suited to take you on the journey, and let you hear how luxury car-maker Aston Martin transformed their business and their IT department by using a Windows Server hybrid strategy.

Your Journey to the Cloud

The true value of cloud is the opportunity for IT to get all the benefits of scale, speed, and agility while still protecting existing investments.
There are multiple ways for customers to think about how they provision their infrastructure, and we aim to enable an 'and' philosophy for our customers so they don’t have to think that it’s an either/or decision. We allow them to take servers and other technology they are running on premises and think about how they might want to move some of it into cloud services, while still having a consistent level of management, identity and security.”

Gavriella Schuster, Microsoft GM US Server Tools
Cloud better enables the introduction of the megatrends of Big Data, Social and Mobile by providing answers to help IT manage risk while delivering quality services and applications quickly, efficiently, securely. As organizations start their journey to the cloud, they typically are grappling with a combination of traditional on-premise and cloud-based solutions; however these hybrid scenarios have the potential to introduce new complications. Working with multiple versions of conflicting operating systems, management tools and applications is usually counter-productive and results in staff frustration, departmental inefficiencies and poor productivity. To be successful, teams need a way to consistently manage, support and automate the datacenter. Microsoft Cloud OS Vision Begins with Windows Server 2012 R2

Organizations can begin to realize tremendous value with cloud when they leverage the ability to operate and manage a converged infrastructure that shares a common operating system and set of tools across hybrid environments supporting an assortment of devices, applications and users.

Figure 1: Windows Server Delivers Value with a Unified Hybrid Environment

At the heart of the Microsoft Cloud OS vision is Windows Server 2012 R2. With Windows Server 2012 R2 Microsoft's experience delivering global-scale cloud services enables organizations of all sizes to take advantage of new features and enhancements across virtualization, storage, networking, virtual desktop infrastructure, access and information protection, and more.

The value of standardizing on Windows 2012 R2 as your Cloud OS strategy includes:

Experience Enterprise-class Performance and Scale
  • Take advantage of even better performance and more efficient capacity utilization in your datacenter.
  • Increase the agility of your business with a consistent experience across every environment.
  • Leverage the proven, enterprise-class virtualization and cloud platform that scales to continuously run your largest workloads while enabling robust recovery options to protect against service outages.
Drive Bottom Line Efficiencies with Cost Savings and Automation
  • Enjoy resilient, multi-tenant-aware storage and networking capabilities for a wide range of workloads.
  • Re-deploy your budget to other critical projects with the cost-savings delivered through a Windows 2012 R2 Cloud OS.
  • Automate a broad set of built-in management tasks.
  • Simplify the deployment of major workloads and increase operational efficiencies.
Unlock Competitive Advantage with Faster Application Deployment
  • Build, deploy and scale applications and web sites quickly, and with more flexibility than ever before.
  • Unlock improved application portability between on-premises environments and public and service provider clouds in concert with Windows Azure VM and System Center 2012 R2 making it simple to rapidly shift your critical applications virtually anywhere, anytime.
  • Increase flexibility and elasticity of IT services with the Windows Server 2012 R2 platform for mission-critical applications while protecting existing investments with enhanced support for open standards, open source applications and various development languages.
Empower Users with Better Access Anywhere
  • Windows Server 2012 R2 makes it easier to deploy a virtual desktop infrastructure making it possible for users to access IT from virtually anywhere, providing them a rich Windows experience while ensuring enhanced data security and compliance.
  • Lower storage costs significantly by supporting a broad range of storage options and VHD de-duplication.
  • Easily manage your user's identities across the datacenter and into the cloud to help deliver secure access to corporate resources.
In Summary
The datacenter is the hub for everything IT offers to the business: storage, networking and computing capacity. The right Cloud OS strategy enables IT to transform those resources into a datacenter that is capable of handling changing needs and unexpected opportunities. With Windows Server 2012 R2, Microsoft offers a consistent operating system and set of management tools that acts and behaves in exactly the same manner across every setting. Windows Server 2012 R2 delivers the same experience and requires the same skill-sets and knowledge to manage and operate in any environment. Windows Server 2012 R2 delivers a "future-proof" road-map with a fully seamless and scalable platform, making organizations agile, nimble and ready. Highly scalable, Windows Server 2012 is already powering many of the worlds' largest datacenters - including Microsoft's - proving out capabilities at cloud scale and then delivering them for the enterprise. With the latest release of Windows Server 2012 R2, Microsoft is redefining the server category, delivering hundreds of new features and enhancements spanning virtualization, networking, storage, user experience, cloud computing, automation, and more. The goal of Windows Server 2012 R2 is to help organizations transform their IT operations to reduce costs and deliver a whole new level of business value.

Aston Martin Uses Windows Server 2012 to Drive IT Transformation

Behind every luxury sports car produced by Aston Martin is a sophisticated IT infrastructure. The goal of the Aston Martin IT team is to optimize that infrastructure so that it performs as efficiently as the production line it supports.
“The IT team’s purpose is to enable Aston Martin to build the most beautiful sports cars in the world. So, from servers, to desktops, to production line PCs, Microsoft technology is behind everything we do.”

Daniel Roach-Rooke
IT Infrastructure Manager, Aston Martin
To meet that goal, Aston Martin has standardized on Microsoft technology. The IT team chose the Windows Server 2012 operating system, including Hyper-V technology to virtualize its data center and build four private clouds to dynamically allocate IT resources to the business as needed. For cloud and data center management, Aston Martin uses Microsoft System Center 2012.

Watch this short video to lean how the team at Aston Martin envisioned and executed on their strategy.

Watch the Aston Martin video now

Call to Action
With Windows Server Data Center 2012 R2 set to release in November, now is the time to see your Microsoft licensed solution provider for information about software savings.