Bringing Windows Azure Services to Windows Server – Beta Release

As part of the product management team for Windows Server & System Center, it’s been very energizing to see the excitement in the community around the 2012 releases of Windows Server and System Center.  I just came back last week from conducting launch events in Southeast Asia for Windows Server 2012 and, while people were very interested in many of the individual technologies, there was a real sense that they also find the broader vision Microsoft has laid out highly compelling.  Specifically I’m talking about the notion that as datacenter computing continues to evolve, customers should ultimately have full flexibility to decide where their datacenter resources are deployed (in their datacenter, a service provider’s datacenter, or Microsoft’s datacenter) and not have to worry about increased management burden or costs.  These are the fundamentals of the vision we call the Cloud OS.

A big part of this vision is making sure we provide innovative technologies to our hosting service provider partners to allow them to easily deploy more solutions and drive down their overall cost structure.  In July, Mike Schutz announced the Community Technology Preview of the ability for hosters to deliver cloud capabilities on Windows Server & System Center that were previously found only in Windows Azure.  Today, I’m happy to announce that we’ve moved to the next engineering milestone and have released the beta version of these technologies

We’ve had a lot of interest in this solution and have been actively working with several partners who have been helping us test and refine the technologies.  This release is now feature complete and I’ve included a short list of many of the top enhancements you’ll find in this version of the bits:

Service Management Portal & API

  • Distributed install
    • of the Service Management Portal and API (datacenter readiness)
    • of the Web Sites controller separate from the Service Management Portal and API
  • Users are now able to sign up for multiple plans

Web Sites

  • HTTPS/SSL support – tenants are now able to upload custom certificates and use them for programmatic access
  • Distributed installation with High Availability and Live Upgrade
  • Generic FastCGI and custom stack support

Virtual Machines

  • Custom create from VM Template with a rich wizard experience
  • Create VM from VHD using hardware profile
  • Tenants are now VMM Tenant Admins and utilize the new VMM On-behalf Of features


As a reminder, these technologies are not something incremental that needs to be purchased by hosters.  This is simply part of the broad solution you tap into when you deploy Windows Server 2012 and System Center 2012.  We’re now moving in the final phase of testing and bug fixes to make sure these technologies will be fully released along with the System Center 2012 Service Pack 1, which is scheduled for early 2013.

We’re really excited about how this solution is coming together and it’s great to see the momentum already in the partner ecosystem.  Please check out the beta and provide feedback!


Chris Van Wesep
Sr. Product Manager