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Microsoft pushes .NET, enlists storage partners for data center blueprints

Microsoft trotted out the top storage and networking vendors in the enterprise data center space Wednesday.

Microsoft Corp., has gotten a little help from its friend in high-end spaces.

The software giant was joined by partners Avanade Inc., Brocade Communications Systems Inc., Dell Computer Corp., EMC Corp., Emulex Corp., Nortel Networks Inc., and Unisys Corp., on Wednesday, in announcing the Internet Blueprint and the Internet Blueprint Plus for the Microsoft Systems Architecture.

According to Don Thompson, product manager for .NET product group, the Microsoft Systems Architecture (MSA) program is designed to help users implement data center infrastructures based on the Windows 2000 server platform.

Thompson said the MSAs are secure, repeatable and tested blueprints that help consolidate server farms that have gotten out of control.

"We believe [the MSA] addresses user's needs for manageable data center architectures," he said.

These are the first in a series of Microsoft Systems Architecture Qualified partner-led Prescriptive Architecture Guides (PAGs) by industry leaders designed to provide tested guidance to support enterprise customers looking to simplify core infrastructure implementations and reduce the time and cost associated with deployment of data center solutions built on the Windows 2000 Server platform.

But an industry partnership such as this, according to experts, seems to be a marketing ploy.

Enterprise Storage Group Inc., Founder and Senior Analyst Steve Duplessie said the so-called blueprints represent Microsoft's effort to push the acceptance of its .NET initiative in enterprise data centers. To that end, he said, Microsoft is smartly working with all the players who live in that world.

"By working the issues up front, it makes it easier for customers to feel good about the migration to .NET, which helps Microsoft gain traction as early as possible. It helps the industry players by having [Microsoft] certified solutions on day one," Duplessie said.

Microsoft has also announced the Microsoft Systems Architecture program, developed with the goal of architecting, validating, and documenting a set of IT infrastructure architectures that simplify deployment and management of storage to support Microsoft software-based applications, the company said.

The aforementioned partners, including storage vendors Dell, EMC, and Emulex worked together to design, develop, and qualify these blueprints in the EMC lab in Redmond, Wash. These Microsoft-qualified architectures are designed to deliver a Web-enabled, IT infrastructure, including servers, storage, storage networking infrastructures software, and other tools and scripts to support e-business applications.

The Internet Blueprint for Microsoft Systems Architecture is built to feature Dell PowerEdge servers and EMC Clariion Enterprise Storage systems. The Internet Blueprint Plus for Microsoft Systems Architecture features Unisys ES7000 and EMC's Symmetrix Enterprise Storage systems.

Let us know what you think about the story, e-mail Kevin Komiega, News Writer


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