The Microsoft® Private Cloud Fast Track Program is a joint effort between Microsoft and its hardware partners. The goal of the program is to help organizations decrease the time, complexity, and risk of implementing private clouds. The program provides:
- Reference implementation guidance: Lab-tested and validated guidance for implementing multiple Microsoft products and technologies with hardware that meets specific, minimum, hardware vendor-agnostic requirements. Customers can use this guidance to implement a private cloud solution with hardware they already own or purchase. The guidance set consists of the following downloadable documents:
- Reference Architecture Guide: This guide details a reference architecture that incorporates many Microsoft product and consulting team best practices. The architecture is the foundation for a highly available, scalable, secure, and manageable private cloud with high performance. While all organizations will find it of value, it will prove most useful to medium through large enterprise environments.
- Reference Deployment Guide: This guide provides detailed installation and configuration steps to deploy the physical architecture detailed in the reference architecture guide.
- Reference Operations Guide: This guide includes many of the operational tasks that are often executed in a private cloud environment.
- Reference implementations: Microsoft hardware partners define physical architectures with computing, network, storage, and value-added software components that meet (or exceed) the minimum hardware requirements defined in the reference implementation guidance. Each implementation is then validated with Microsoft and made available for purchase to customers. Further details can be found by reading the information at Private Cloud How To Buy.
The customer has the choice of building the solution by using the reference implementation guidance or purchasing a reference implementation from a Microsoft hardware partner that couples the guidance with optimized hardware configurations. Although both options decrease the time, cost, and risk in implementing private clouds, purchasing a reference implementation from a Microsoft hardware partner will result in the fastest, lowest-risk solution. This is because in this option, all of the hardware and software best practice implementation choices have been determined by Microsoft and its hardware partners’ engineering teams. As a result, this will often also prove to be the most inexpensive option.
The private cloud model provides much of the efficiency and agility of cloud computing in addition to the increased control and customization that is achieved through dedicated private resources. With the Microsoft Private Cloud Fast Track Program, Microsoft and its hardware partners can help provide organizations with the control and flexibility required to reap the potential benefits of the private cloud.