Microsoft Announces Datacenter Program for Windows 2000

REDMOND, Wash., Feb. 15, 2000 — Microsoft Corp. today announced its Windows® Datacenter Program that will complement the Microsoft® Windows 2000 Datacenter Server operating system. This program will provide customers with an integrated hardware and software support offer, which will be jointly marketed, sold and delivered by Microsoft and qualified server vendors. This new program is specifically designed to address the demanding requirements of enterprise customers and will include a joint support team with server vendors for single-point-of-contact support, rigorous system testing and qualification focused on the entire system vs. individual components, coordinated maintenance and change control for hardware and software updates, and new Microsoft Certified Support Center (MCSC) for Datacenter requirements.

“Customers are asking for choice and flexibility. No one should be locked into expensive, proprietary systems to get acceptable levels of reliability,”
said Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft.
“By partnering with the best in the industry, Microsoft’s Windows Datacenter Program gives customers a comprehensive and cost-effective solution that meets their hardware, software and support needs.”

Single-Point-of-Contact Support

The Windows Datacenter Program introduces the concept of a joint support team staffed by Microsoft and participating server vendors. This joint support commitment is designed to provide customers with a single point of contact for support as well as to speed up problem resolution and reduce
“finger-pointing.”
The joint staffing of MCSCs for Datacenter will allow Microsoft and the server vendors to jointly own the entire issue.

Rigorous System Testing and Qualification

The Windows Datacenter Program includes a new qualification process, Datacenter Hardware Compatibility List (HCL), which extends the current hardware compatibility requirements from Microsoft. All servers qualified to run Windows 2000 Datacenter Server will undergo extra testing, qualification and rigorous configuration control. These servers will be required to complete a 30-day server stress test, ensuring that all server components are tested together in a high-use environment. In addition, any changes to hardware or system kernel components will require the server configuration to be retested for seven days.

Coordinated Maintenance and Change Control

As part of the Windows Datacenter Program, Microsoft and server vendors will be providing ongoing assurances that future hardware or software components are tested together in the same rigorous manner. As changes are made to the hardware and operating system, the server vendors will ensure that these components are delivered to the customer in a coordinated manner. The server vendor will deliver to the customer all hardware and software updates in a given period as a single, re-qualified system. The systems will be retested under high-utilization, real-world workloads – with every Microsoft Windows 2000 Datacenter Server service pack or hardware component change. Customers will benefit from testing environments that simulate peak usage and heavy production workload of all key server services such as Internet Information Services (IIS), file and print networking and disk farms.

“This program puts Microsoft on the right track,”
said Tony Iams, senior analyst, D.H. Brown Associates Inc.
“It is clearly serious about meeting the needs of enterprise users and has carefully thought through the relevant issues for deploying high-end Windows 2000-based systems. Further, the program does a good job of balancing the needs of high availability with the realities of the marketplace. Limiting the configurations to maintain reliability, managing the changes in a coordinated manner, and supporting customers through an integrated team all represent key steps in enabling successful deployment of Windows 2000 servers in datacenter environments.”

MCSC for Datacenter

Server vendors participating in MCSC for Datacenter will have to meet a new level of support requirements to ensure high reliability for customers. In addition to forming a joint support team, the requirements include staffing levels and certification, escalation and incident flow, problem reproduction, quality assurance, and new services matrix components that include the following:

  • A minimum uptime guarantee of 99.9 percent availability

  • Installation and configuration services

  • Availability assessment

  • 24×7 hardware and software support via the joint support team

  • Onsite hardware and software services

“Wells Fargo is extremely pleased that Microsoft has responded to the needs of its enterprise class customer base, which has often been willing but unable to utilize a single-solution offering such as this,”
said Dustin R. Sauter, enterprise manager, Wells Fargo and Co.
“We feel that these relationships will enable our organization to leverage the enhanced scalability and availability of Windows 2000 Datacenter Server by ensuring that predefined configurations have been tested as a single quality product.”

Server Vendors to Participate in the Windows Datacenter Program

The following companies are planning to participate in the Windows Datacenter Program:

  • Amdahl Corp.

  • Compaq Computer Corp.

  • Data General

  • Dell Computer Corp.

  • EMC

  • Fujitsu Ltd.

  • Hewlett-Packard Co.

  • Hitachi Ltd.

  • IBM Corp.

  • NEC Corp.

  • Stratus Computer Inc.

  • Unisys Corp.

Family of Reliable Operating Systems

Windows 2000 Datacenter Server is the operating system for demanding line-of-business and e-commerce environments that run on large servers (including hardware fault-tolerant systems) and is part of the Windows 2000 Server family, which provides businesses with compatible and reliable solutions from the workgroup to the datacenter. It includes all of the features found in Windows 2000 Advanced Server and has high-end scalability features such as 64 GB of memory and support for 32 processors, as well as reliability features such as four-node clustering and process control. Windows 2000 Datacenter Server is only available through qualified server vendors.

The Windows Datacenter Program will be available on shipment of Windows Datacenter Server.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
“MSFT”
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software – any time, any place and on any device.

Microsoft and Windows are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

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Quote Sheet

“Microsoft Windows 2000 Datacenter Server showcases our position as a premier provider of integrated solutions for the datacenter,”
said David B. Wright, president and CEO of Amdahl.
“Our longstanding alliance with Microsoft, combined with our expertise in large, complex computing environments, positions us to help customers achieve a nondisruptive, accelerated and cost-effective transition to Windows 2000.”

“Microsoft’s Datacenter Program further enables Compaq to deliver to customers the reliability and support they expect in enterprise environments with the innovation and economics of an industry-standard platform,”
said Enrico Pesatori, senior vice president and group general manager, Enterprise Solutions and Services Group, Compaq.
“The combination of Compaq’s industry-leading ProLiant servers, StorageWorks systems and life-cycle services makes the Compaq and Windows 2000 Datacenter Server solution a compelling choice for customers to run their critical business operations.”

“Data General offers highly available, reliable and scalable AViiON platforms that are well suited to support Microsoft Windows 2000 Datacenter Server,”
said Bob Dutkowsky, president of EMC’s Data General division.
“Datacenter Server will address the computing requirements of customers with the most demanding information technology environments, and the consolidated computing solutions and services Data General that offers will simplify the implementation of this platform for customers.”

“Keeping enterprise systems online and available has become even more critical in the Internet economy,”
said Bob Van Steenberg, vice president and general manager of the Enterprise Server Products Division at Dell.
“Working with Microsoft on the Windows Datacenter Program will give our mutual customers extremely reliable Dell PowerEdge servers and Dell PowerVault storage systems running the Windows 2000 Datacenter Server operating system. The program will help accelerate customers’ adoption of our industry-leading systems to power the largest of jobs in their Internet and e-commerce operations.”

“EMC has a proven track record of leadership and experience in providing customers with enterprise storage solutions for datacenter environments,”
said Roy Sanford, vice president of Enterprise Alliances at EMC.
“The Windows Datacenter Program will allow customers to leverage this experience as they integrate and deploy mission-critical applications on Windows 2000 Datacenter Server with EMC storage systems and software.”

“Fujitsu has been striving to offer highly reliable and stable computing environments for its enterprise customers,”
said Masaharu Kitaoka, vice president, PC Software Division, Fujitsu Ltd.
“Testing and certifying the reliability and stability of Windows 2000 Datacenter Server with Microsoft will allow us to extend its offering with more assurance to our mutual customers.”


HP customers consistently recognize the quality and reliability of our mission-critical computing solutions. The Windows Datacenter Program will provide HP with a rigorous testing and certification process to ensure HP NetServer systems are scalable and reliable with increased

uptime,
“said Richard Archuleta, general manager, Network Server Division, Hewlett-Packard.”
HP will also provide comprehensive services to help customers plan, design, implement and maintain HP NetServer and Windows 2000 Datacenter Server solutions.

“Hitachi introduced the first eight-way Intel Profusion-technology-based system to the enterprise server market since 1998. So we are very excited to be an associate in the Windows Datacenter Program,”
said Takao Kato, senior corporate officer, president and CEO, Information and Computer Systems, Hitachi.
“This program will provide our customers with a highly reliable and available platform for their businesses. Hitachi’s high-end PC servers running Windows 2000 Datacenter Server will be key servers for enterprise system solutions. Also, Hitachi’s highest performance and intelligent RAID subsystem and high performance RAID subsystem will be key storage components for enterprise system solutions”

“IBM has been synonymous with ‘datacenter’ for decades, and we are pleased to bring the experience, technology and skills of a world-class services organization to the Windows Datacenter Program,”
said Sandy Carter, director, Partnerworld for Developers for Netfinity, IBM.
“By combining our Netfinity server X-Architecture with Windows 2000 Datacenter Server, IBM and Microsoft will take industry-standard computing for e-business to the next level.”

“NEC is pleased to be an associate in the Windows Datacenter Program with our high-end Express5800 servers running Windows 2000 Datacenter Server,”
said Tatsumi Nishi, general manager of NEC.
“NEC has long provided outstanding support for enterprise systems. Customers will strongly benefit through the NEC solution with Windows Datacenter Program. This program is yet another example of the close and productive relationship between NEC and Microsoft.”

“Stratus applauds Microsoft’s commitment through its Windows Datacenter Program to cohesively address the many variables affecting system reliability and availability for business-critical applications,”
said Stephen C. Kiely, president and CEO of Stratus Computer.
“As a leading supplier of fault-tolerant computing with integrated service and support, we see escalating demand for availability everywhere, from ‘lights-out’ appliance applications up through the largest installations. Windows 2000 Datacenter Server provides a framework we can fully get behind as Stratus brings its continuously available server technology to Windows 2000.”

“Unisys designed the Unisys e-@ction Enterprise Server ES7000 with the datacenter and Windows 2000 in mind,”
said George Gazerwitz, president, Unisys Systems and Technologies.
“The ES7000 is based on Cellular MultiProcessing (CMP) architecture, which supports superior scaling-up capability as a 32-way SMP server with 96 PCI slots and 64 GB of memory. In addition, for superior scaling-out capability, it can be partitioned into as many as eight server nodes, resulting in uninterrupted system availability while utilizing the most advanced enterprise capabilities of Windows 2000 Datacenter Server. The scale-up capabilities of this platform, combined with the Windows Datacenter Program, provide superior price and performance compared to the industry’s largest UNIX/RISC alternative, eliminating remaining barriers to using Microsoft and Intel technology as the foundation for global, high-volume electronic business computing.”

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