Cloud Solutions news at Ignite

Vijay Tewari is at Ignite and he joins us to tell us about some of the CPS-related news there.

Welcome to Ignite! The number of people and the sheer energy and excitement here are amazing. It is indeed a privilege to be here. Many of our partners are here as well, showcasing innovative Private Cloud Fast Track solutions. We will be hearing more from them in the coming days. We launched CPS in Oct 2014, and have received invaluable feedback from customers and have been adding capabilities based on it. This is a summary of the CPS-related news we are announcing. We will talk about them at length at our sessions, so please come by our sessions and booth to hear more about them.

A critical part of operating a cloud is continually keeping it updated with capabilities and fixes, but doing so in a manner that keeps the customer workloads operational while this happens. We talked about how we make this possible in CPS with our Zero Downtime Patch and Update capability in a recent blog post. We released Update 1, the first of our periodic CPS updates, at the end of March and are now working on Update 2, which will be out in August this year. These packages contain updates to Windows Server, System Center, Windows Azure Pack and firmware fixes that we test and validate on our multiple test CPS racks.

Update 2 will also contain new functionality that we are adding to CPS based on your feedback.

  • VDI support: VDI has emerged as a critical workload for customers looking to use server infrastructure to centralize client workloads. CPS provides an excellent VDI environment (be it client- or session-based). We provide automated deployment of VDI workloads (Windows Server RDS-H, Microsoft virtual desktops, and Citrix Xen Desktops) via Windows Azure Pack. A session on Thursday will discuss this topic.
  • Enhanced Data Protection and Disaster Recovery: Protecting your data is critical to maintaining your business operational in case of unintended events. CPS comes with both backup capabilities, to protect you against data corruption and accidental deletes, and with disaster recovery, to insure your business can continue to function in case a datacenter is lost. These capabilities have been in CPS since the start, however, we are now improving them:
  • Backup uses System Center Data Protection Manager, which stores its data on the storage subsystem in a CPS rack. With the new capabilities, customers can now also retain a copy on additional storage outside of the rack.
  • For disaster recovery, CPS replicates data between two CPS stamps using Hyper-V replica, which enables customers to bring up their workloads at a secondary site in the event of a disaster using Azure Site Recovery. We now have added the ability to use Azure as secondary site, so data from your CPS stamp can replicate into Azure. This gives customers choice in planning their disaster recovery solutions: customers have the option of having a secondary site of your own or using Azure.
  • FedRAMP support: Cloud Service Providers seeking to provide secure services to the US Federal Government have to comply with a set of regulations called Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP). We describe how to configure a CPS stamp to achieve a validated security baseline, and provide guidance on how to fulfill the technology-related requirements needed for FedRAMP certification.

As you can see, we are continually adding new capabilities to CPS, so keep the feedback coming! We look forward to seeing you at the booth for the “relfies”.