When is HMC Not HMC…

January 25, 2009

…When its just Hosted Exchange

So this begs the question ‘What is HMC?’  and further ‘What makes it HMC and not just Hosted Exchange and WSS?’

I will set this out below.

If you take a Latte and ask for with no Milk, isn’t it just a black coffee?  … an Iced Tea with no Ice, its just Tea! A Cheeseburger without the Cheese is just a hamburger! A four course meal where you ask could you take the steak from main meal and just have it with some bread, isn’t that now just a steak sandwich snack?

….Enough examples and analogies we get the picture I hear you say ;o)

So before I copy and paste the Microsoft Marketing Line, here’s the Headline IMO of what makes HMC, HMC and not just hosted Exchange

…In two words ‘Multi-Tenancy’     ..well that’s my thoughts anyway

Yes, there’s a lot more to it than that, and that is very simplistic view, but in a nutshell that’s what it is. There is the Service Delivery Platform aspect, the provisioning system, web services, workflow, service management (Bus), and Web Management Interface/ Control Panel (Microsoft HSSP/ TUSP or 3rd party solution such as Ensim/Parallels/ExtendASP). This is a whole topic in itself and will coverthis in another post.

But in its most basic form, it is about being able to take an application or service that was designed with the architecture and intent of single-Tenancy i.e  traditional Enterprise IT consumption, and ‘Re-Architecting’ (for want of a better word) it for Multi-Tenancy in a Commercial Hosting Environment.

Another great explanation of HMC in sevral related posts is available in the the following blog post…
http://blogs.technet.com/provtest/archive/2008/12/04/hmc-4-5-and-exchange-2007-sp1-part-1.aspx

When we introduce HMC into traditional Enterprise single-tenant applications such as Exchange/ OCS we are in effect not talking about delivering ‘Product’ or ‘Applications’ any more we are talking about ‘Services’, we are now delivering a messaging service, a collbaoration Service.

The commercial aspect of HMC is around the notion of being able to resell and offer hosted services to many from one scaleable architecture, as opposed to one architecture per tenant (Silos). See Illustrations later on post to illustrate this.

What is multi-tenancy
From Wikipedia, "Multitenancy refers to a principle in software architecture where a single instance of the software runs on a software-as-a-service (SaaS) vendor’s servers, serving multiple client organizations (tenants)."

 

The description from the Microsoft HMC Documentation is:

"..The solution is an architectural design for building out a Hosted Multi-Tenant Messaging and Collaboration Environment…

…The solution can enable service providers to extend their subscriber base and increase profitability through offering rich e-mail, mobility, collaboration, and messaging services"

This then leads to the question,  in the Hosted Messaging & Collaboration (HMC) Solution name ….

What Is the Hosted Messaging? – Hosted Exchange is a rich messaging service you host using Microsoft Exchange Server 2007.

What Is the Collaboration? –  The solution provides Windows SharePoint Services WSS Hosting, which allows you to host team Web sites for customers to use for sharing documents and other information.


Solution Components
 
The solution includes two types of components:

Hosted services – The hosted services are the solution’s revenue-generating components. The hosted services are Hosted Exchange, Customer Directory Integration, Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services WSS Hosting, and Secure Messaging with Internet Security and Acceleration (ISA) Server 2006.

Infrastructure components –The infrastructure components provide the foundation upon which to build your services; they can help lower operational costs. The infrastructure components are server purposing, centralized management, service provisioning, Microsoft Provisioning System (MPS) Deployment Tool, monitoring and reporting, and update management.

 

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