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Application Center 2000 Released to Early Adopters

Microsoft Corp.’s Application Center 2000 is no longer vaporware. The product that’s been in development for two years has been released to early adopter partners, according to Bob Pulliam, technical product manger for Application Center 2000.

Those partners include application hosting companies Data Return and Digex Inc., Embark.com, which manages the application and recruitment process of more than 500 colleges and universities, and the Lycos Network, one of the Web’s most visited portals.

Lycos, in particular, will be a stiff test of Application Center 2000’s abilities, since it will serve up to 300 million page views a week with Windows 2000 and Application Center 2000, while (hopefully) maintaining near 100 percent availability.

Application Center 2000, for those unaware, is Microsoft’s effort to add clustering and load balancing to Windows 2000. The key is being able to scale out, Pulliam says, and not just for the big guns. Microsoft targets Application Center 2000 as “scaling out for the masses. We found that people who were getting scaling out to work were large IT shops. We want to bring that down so there are benefits for IT shops as well as smaller customers.”

Somewhat surprisingly, Application Center 2000 is only available on the Windows 2000 Server, Advanced Server and Datacenter Server products. Pulliam says that technical issues keep it from being used with Windows NT. Windows 2000 shops, however, will enjoy the fact that network load balancing is finally available with Application Center 2000, a heretofore missing piece of the puzzle.

Expect to see the final release of Application Center 2000 in the first quarter of 2001, Pulliam says. It’s a stand-alone product with licensing, like others in the .NET server line, on a per-processor basis.

Pulliam, for his part, is glad to have Application Center 2000 shipping in its “near-finished” form. “The primary thing is the fact that we do have production customers running the product. We announced it over a year ago, and it is major step [to] have production customers and release candidate one.” -- Keith Ward

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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