Microsoft Windows Server 2012, Hyper-V: Early Partner Wins
Windows Server 2012, with the updated Hyper-V hypervisor, is starting to earn the trust of Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) channel partners and their customers. A key example: Quality Technology Solutions, a partner in New Jersey, has started to deploy the new server operating system in a law firm. Moreover, QTS is starting to connect the dots between on-premises Microsoft solutions and cloud offerings like Windows Intune and Office 365. Here’s the update.
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has publicly stated — multiple times — that this year marks the company’s most ambitious product upgrade cycle since Windows 95 and Office 95 arrived 17 years ago. Ballmer points to Windows 8, Office 2013, and Windows Server 2012 as the big opportunities for partners ahead.
Hmmm… If The VAR Guy was a betting man he would put a few bucks on Windows Server 2012. QTS, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, also is focusing heavily on that operating system. President and CEO Neil Rosenberg drives the business, while Chief Operating Officer and VP Christine Bongard serves on two Microsoft advisory councils and drives project execution.
The result? QTS was Microsoft’s New York Metro District Partner of the Year for FY2012, and a finalist for US Partner of the Year.
Windows Server 2012 Deployment
Among QTS’s latest wins: A law firm that is integrating Windows Server 2012 with a NetApp SAN (storage area network). QTS is overseeing the project. Everything has gone “extremely smoothly,” said Rosenberg, who predicted the deployment will save the law firm significant dollars because it’s a one-step long-term solution rather than a short-term move to Windows Server 2008 R2.
Also, Rosenberg says Microsoft has advanced its virtualization capabilities to the point where Windows Server 2012, Hyper-V and System Center can be a growing choice for many customers. (Thought he notes QTS also has a healthy relationship with VMware.)
Longer term, QTS sees an opportunity to connect the dots between Windows Intune and PC management opportunities. Plus, the solution provider is keeping a close eye on Windows Azure as a platform for Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). And Rosenberg sees compelling opportunities to federate Active Directory to the cloud.
Mixed within those opportunities are Office 365 engagements. Fifty percent of QTS’s email system migrations now involve the cloud, up from about 20 percent of email migrations a few years ago, said Rosenberg.
Oh, and there’s a Windows 8 angle here too, folks. QTS is testing the new desktop, mobile and tablet operating system internally. “Search, boot up and shut down are dramatically improved and there are nice nuances throughout the product,” said Rosenberg.
Bottom line: QTS says Microsoft is finally delivering “sexy” products again. “They really have,” he said. “They are coming to market with stuff that’s functional and also very appealing from a usage perspective. They’ve talked about the consumerization of IT for years. But this launch wave they are definitely driving — rather than reacting — to the market.”
The VAR Guy’s Spin
Roughly 18 months ago, Microsoft was in danger of losing relevance. Cloud computing and mobile computing — tablets and smartphones — were far outside the company’s sweet spot. Fast forward to the present, and Microsoft has a product offering and marketing message in every fast-growing IT market.
Plus, it sounds like Windows Server 2012 and its enhanced Hyper-V hypervisor are earning respect in the channel. That’s a big statement, considering how new Windows Server 2012 is.