The Full Circle (www.thefullcircle.com) has been working with Microsoft Virtualisation technologies since before they were Microsoft Virtualisation technologies… (think back to Virtual PC from Connectix ;-)).
More recently and formally, we have been working with Microsoft Hyper-V since the v1 Rapid Deployment Program (RDP) in spring 2008. We attended various RDP Bootcamp training and used pre-release/beta versions of Hyper-V extensively to accelerate testing and migration for our Microsoft Windows Essential Business Server (EBS) Technology Adoption Program (TAP) customer, Newman Martin and Buchan – read more at http://reubenjcook.wordpress.com/2008/11/12/windows-essential-business-server-2008-launch/
For Hyper-V v2 we are a UK Early Adopter Program (EAP) partner for Windows Server 2008 R2, with a focus on virtualisation, specifically Hyper-V with failover clustering. We’ve been working with various builds and flavours of Hyper-V v2 including the command line only and free Hyper-V Server 2008 R2, and also the full GUI versions available in the full Windows Server 2008 R2 product.
For an EAP, or TAP for that matter, you need a customer who’s willing to participate in deploying and testing early release software (Beta’s and Release Candidate builds) in a production environment, and then talk about it through press releases, case studies, etc. also known in Microsoft speak as ‘customer evidence’.
The benefits are many! Microsoft gets real world deployments of their new product ahead of general release which helps with convincing the wider market that the technology is dependable and fit to deploy. The customer gets to the latest technology for their business ahead of their competition, and often assistance/support such as sponsored consulting, licenses, etc. The partner (us) gets supported training, technical assistance, and exposure to new products ahead of our competition, plus, of course, exposure in the market through PR & various co-marketing activities.
Our EAP customer deployment was with Ascom Network Testing (formerly Argogroup – www.argogroup.com). Ascom Network Testing is part of the Mobile Test Solutions business of the Swiss company Ascom (www.ascom.com), and is a global provider of mobile test & measurement solutions for some of the worlds largest mobile network operators (the likes of Verizon, T-Mobile, Orange, etc.).
Specifically Ascom wanted to update and improve the backend server components of a product called Monitor Master. Monitor Master is an end-to-end solution for measuring ‘User Experience’ and collates and presents measurement data from mobile services probes out in the field. Monitor Master is a Business Intelligence (BI) platform with a data warehouse back-end running on Microsoft SQL Server.
The project was given the title ‘EPIC’ due to the scale of the larger deployments which can be several hundreds of Gigabytes of data. The primary goals were to accelerate the quality and consistency of customer deployments of the Monitor Master server components. This was achieved by defining and testing new reference architectures including O/S setup, database configuration, hardware platform architecture, and operational procedures to manage the environment.
Clearly Virtualisation can help accelerate almost any platform development project and due to the timings of the project, Windows Server 2008 R2 and Hyper-V v2 was an obvious choice. Soon into the project we came to realise that due to the performance and other benefits of Hyper-V v2 it could actually form part of the solution, not just a tool to help develop it! 🙂
Our old mate, business associate & mentor (for all things PR & communications), John Dean (COO of www.showmethegolf.tv) helped us put together a short release that announced this exciting project, it went out to coincide with the global Windows Server 2008 R2 & Windows 7 launch events and is available online via PRWEB (http://uk.prweb.com/releases/2009/10/prweb3039184.htm), but also below for your enjoyment!:
The Full Circle Secures Client for Windows Server 2008 R2 EAP
Ascom Network Testing Enrolled as Early Adopter for Hyper-V Virtualisation
London, 15 October 2009 – The Full Circle, the Microsoft Gold Partner specialising in virtualisation and infrastructure deployments, announced today that it had secured Ascom Network Testing’s participation in the Windows Server 2008 R2 UK Early Adopter Program (EAP).
Ascom Network Testing is a global mobile data software systems provider. They offer test and measurement solutions to many of the world’s largest mobile network operators, including Verizon, Orange, and T-Mobile.
The EAP enables selected partners to take part in co-funded consulting engagements to drive product deployments prior to full launch. This gives partners and customers strategic advantage while enabling Microsoft to develop public references for their marketing efforts.
Reuben Cook, Founder, The Full Circle – “We are delighted that Ascom Network Testing will be part of the Windows Server 2008 R2 EAP. We are confident it will offer tremendous value as it will enable them to reap the benefits that the new technologies can deliver to the business well in advance of their competitors. Windows Server 2008 R2 is planned for release October 22nd”
Kit Smithers, Chief Technical Officer, Ascom Network Testing Ltd – ”We immediately recognised the benefits of participating in the program. We have a particularly strong interest in the benefits of virtualisation and consolidation, and look forward to enjoying the performance and flexibility benefits that it will give us.”
Mike Peers, Channel Development Manager, Virtualisation, Microsoft – “The Full Circle have been an active partner on our Windows Server 2008 R2 Early Adoption Programme. The programme is designed to help partners gain early experience deploying Hyper-V, whilst also benefitting customers in the early adoption of the technology.”
Cook concluded: “At first we saw Hyper-V as a component that could accelerate Ascom’s internal solution development process. But it has quickly become apparent that Hyper-V could in itself become part of their client solution offering, due to the power, performance and stability it offers. It has been a great success.”
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