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Data Center in a Package: Just Add Money

Microsoft and a host of hardware and services vendors want to help you get your Internet Data Center, based on Microsoft software, up and running quickly.

To that end, more than a dozen vendors are working on prescriptive architecture guides (PAG) under a program called the Microsoft Systems Architecture (MSA) program.

Microsoft's official explanation is that the program and guides are supposed to "simplify implementation while minimizing time and cost associated with Windows 2000 Server integration into corporate computing infrastructures."

Don Thompson, Microsoft product manager for the Windows .NET products management group, says the program boils down to solutions that are lab integrated by the vendors and pre-tested to Microsoft standards, along with service and support components, to produce predictable costs, reduced risks and predictable time to benefits.

"This will help customers to consolidate server farms or best-of-breed environments that have gotten out of control," Thompson said during a Wednesday afternoon news conference. "We believe now it's time to consolidate and help our customers get these data centers back under control. Give them a manageable environment with fewer operating systems."

An "industry-led" -- as opposed to Microsoft-led -- group has already produced a Microsoft Systems Architecture for Internet Data Center. That group consists of Avanade Inc., Brocade Communications Systems Inc., Dell Computer Corp., Emulex Corp., EMC Corp., Nortel Networks Ltd. and Unisys Corp.

Microsoft also has an MSA for IDC of its own, which it developed with input and equipment from Cap Gemini Ernst & Young, Cisco Systems Inc., EMC, Hewlett-Packard Co. and Nortel.

Other heavyweights working on prescriptive guidance and service and support packages include IBM, NEC, Hitachi Data Systems, Fujitsu Siemens, Siemens Business Services and NetIQ.

Early adopter customers that have used the MSA program include LEGO.com, T-Mobile Business Solutions, IndyMac Bank and the Learning Station.

Microsoft offered a link to the guides and solutions, although by late afternoon the link was still pointing to an outdated page about MSA that Microsoft set up back in January:
www.microsoft.com/systemsarchitecture/.

Unisys had a link to the industry-led group's documentation here.

Earlier in the year, Microsoft officials said the company was working with partners to create such prescriptive guidance, service and support packages for departmental data centers and enterprise data centers in addition to the Internet data center packages unveiled Wednesday.

About the Author

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

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