Microsoft Powers New Partner-Hosted Business Models Enabling Monetization of the Cloud


Partners utilize the Microsoft Dynamic Data Center Toolkit for hosters to deploy cloud and disaster recovery services.

This week at the Microsoft Hosting Summit 2010, Microsoft Corp. is highlighting partner success stories that underscore new business models Microsoft is enabling for hosting providers in cloud computing. Utilizing the Dynamic Data Center Toolkit, which provides sample code, marketing collateral and a prescriptive guidance based on best practices, hosting providers Fasthosts Internet Ltd. and nGenX Corp. are launching managed services including cloud infrastructure, virtualization and disaster recovery through channel partners and to small and midsize businesses (SMBs). The Dynamic Data Center Toolkit is powered by Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V and Microsoft System Center.

“As awareness of hosted services is increasing among SMBs, there is a transformation underway with how businesses adopt technology,” said John Zanni, general manager of Worldwide Hosting for the Communications Sector at Microsoft. “SMBs are beginning to demand the benefits of the cloud across their IT investments but continue to rely on their traditional IT providers for guidance and support. Microsoft sees this shift as an opportunity to create new business models for its hosting partners and monetize the cloud. Hosting providers have an increasingly important role on the cutting edge of this transformation, bringing finished, relevant services to channel partners and SMBs on top of the raw utility that is the cloud.”

Fasthosts, the U.K.’s largest Web hosting company, recently launched Rise ( http://www.rise-partners.com), an infrastructure-as-a-service provider dedicated to the channel, enabling thousands of channel partners such as systems integrators, value-added resellers and outsourcers — which traditionally deploy IT on premises — to become resellers and move into the cloud computing space. Rise is a brand-new company from Fasthosts that will provide cloud and dedicated infrastructure as well as end-to-end solutions for these channel partners to either resell or offer as a white-label service under their own brands.

“SMBs are aware of the cloud, but are often confused about what it delivers and how they can utilize it, usually relying on a third-party trusted advisor and supplier to guide them,” said Andy Burton, CEO of Fasthosts and Rise. “What we’re addressing with Data Center on Demand from Rise is how SMBs buy IT, not just why they should. By providing cloud services to the channel partners, we’re enabling those companies that have the trusted relationship with the end customer to deliver the benefits in a way that is clearly understood by the customer.”

Deploying and managing servers can be a complex, time-consuming process for SMBs that can monopolize IT resources, prohibiting them from spending time and energy on their core competencies. nGenX, a provider of cloud computing and managed hosting solutions, recently announced Guardian Cloud, an automated cloud service that will empower the end users with complete control over their cloud-based infrastructures while lowering their IT costs and management hassles.

A major concern of cloud computing among SMBs is reliability, as downtime or lost data translates to lost revenue, a damaged reputation and halted productivity. Disaster recovery solutions traditionally have been costly and are an investment made more

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