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Microsoft and six of its server chums have joined forces to inflate so-called private clouds with pre-validated hardware running Hyper-V and Windows Server 2008 R2.

On Monday, at its TechEd Europe conference in Berlin, Germany, the company announced the Hyper-V Cloud Program, a set of planned systems and services to float customers' clouds.

Server and Windows stalwarts Dell, Fujitsu, Hitachi, HP, IBM, and NEC have already signed onto the program. Dell, HP and IBM have built reference architectures, with the others due to deliver architectures "shortly."

Also, Microsoft has also re-branded its Dynamic Datacenter Alliance. It's now know as the the Hyper-V Cloud Service Provider program. The program is home to more than 70 service providers delivering public and private services built on Windows Server Hyper-V and System Center and the Dynamic Datacenter toolkit that les you provision VMs.

The programs and services are designed to reduce the risk and increase the speed of private cloud deployments, Microsoft said.

They're also designed to help it capitalize on what Microsoft calls the "Tier 1 Enterprise" cloud, and they arrive in the wake of a massive re-organization of Microsoft's server and tools business unit, uncovered earlier this year by The Reg.

Before the re-org, Microsoft felt it was under "intensive competitive pressure" from VMware, Oracle, Linux, Apache, MySQL, Perl, PHP, and Python.

The idea was not just to deliver packaged technologies and services for the cloud, but also to deliver a broad-fronted communications campaign to get Microsoft's message out.

Following the re-org, Microsoft said server chums Dell, HP, and Fujitsu - three of the company's figuring in Monday's news - would also be the fist to implement and sell hosted clouds running Microsoft's Azure cloud fabric outside the Redmond data center. Yhe server makers were also joined by online auction house eBay.

The companies planned to install the Windows Azure Platform Appliance in their own data centers. The Appliance consists of Microsoft's Azure compute fabric and its Azure SQL storage mechanism. As yet, it does not seem the three server makers have delivered their Azure-based services.

Monday's news does not include this Windows Azure element. It focuses more on server virtualization as a way to block VMware and Oracle.

You get the Hyper-V Cloud Fast Track program that plays strongly the Microsoft-OEM partner card of supported configurations. Microsoft and partners will deliver predefined, validated configurations covering compute, storage, networking resources, virtualization, and management software. Pre-configured and supported server architectures are standard staples in this kind of big-performance, big dollar-value world where server failure is not an option.

The core of the companies' server architectures run on Microsoft's Windows Server 2008 R2 with Hyper-V and a virtual machine manager, Microsoft said. "Recommended elements" will be Microsoft's System Center Operations Manager, System Center Virtual Machine Manager, System Center Service Manager, Opalis for workflow automation, and System Center Virtual Machine Manager R2 Self-Service Portal. ®

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