“Providers, Providers, Providers!” was the chant at Microsoft’s TechED 2012 session, and everything I have read, the webinars I have watched and the training the Redmond company is delivering, tells a simple story of Microsoft’s interest in dominating the service provider space by not only delivering cost effective platform solutions, but the tools and training required to help service providers, like LightEdge, bring those services to market.

I’ve seen several examples of that over the last few months, and the ones I find most interesting are:

Hyper-V 3.0 –  This new Hypervisor ships with Windows Server 2012.   The technical excitement over this product, along with the cost savings has both CTO’s and CFO’s talking.

SQL 2012 – It’s not just for Databases Anymore.  Ok, so it’s still mostly about databases, but with Multitenant capabilities (i.e.  Constrained Data Bases and Enhanced Security Segregation) makes DaaS (Database as a Service) a much more plausible solution.  Add in Hosted Business Intelligence, and multi-site SQL DR backup and you have more service offering possibilities than you can imagine. Did I also mention they are including resource management for Memory and CPU?

SCCM/App Manager – Imagine being able to manage your on Premise and Cloud based environments (Hyper-V and VMWARE) all in one application?  Microsoft is making that a reality now, along with the hints of expanding into Citrix/Zen and even Amazon as well.  SCCM also brings Providers the tools necessary to provisions customer systems from Bare-Metal to fully installed Operating Systems and Applications, SLA Reporting to SharePoint, and Application level Monitoring that brings proactive monitoring to both Providers and clients as well.

Active Directory AZURE Single Sign on – Imagine being able to project your Active Directory into the cloud?  With Microsoft’s Active Directory AZURE technology, service providers may actually achieve what I like to call the “Holy Grail” of Enterprise Single Sign on at a fraction of the cost of the third party offerings out there today.

Microsoft Orchestrator – Bringing PowerShell to the masses.  With Orchestrator, you can  develop “Run Books”, which are PowerShell scripts designed to address thousands of Administration Tasks.   With a growing PowerShell community, you will be able to share or even purchase these scripts to help build Provisioning and Management and Maintenance systems internally.

The message here is clear – Microsoft has seen the future, and Service Providers are a large part of it.  They have pledged to make all their platforms (Active Directory, Exchange, Lync and SQL just to name a few) Multi-Tenant capable and priced in such a way to help LightEdge not only roll out compelling solutions, but price them in a way that is compelling for all of our customers.