Public cloud infrastructure and cloud management platform provider Tier 3 has launched new enterprise cloud templates for deploying Microsoft (MSFT) Lync, Exchange and SharePoint on the service provider's public cloud infrastructure. Announced at Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference 2013 (WPC13) this morning, the new "Cloud Blueprints" are intended to accelerate the deployment of the Microsoft applications on its public cloud.

"Enterprise IT is in the midst of a major transition from simply keeping key systems running, to accelerating business transformation," said Jared Wray, founder and CTO of Tier 3, in a prepared statement. "A logical first step in this journey is to migrate key 'run-the-business' messaging and collaboration applications to the cloud. With Cloud Blueprints, IT doesn't have to spend weeks manually configuring their cloud infrastructure—now, it takes just a few clicks. This immediately frees up IT staff to spend more time supporting strategic business initiatives."

Of course, that's the trend right now in cloud computing—accelerating deployments and time-to-market for applications of all types. The quicker a customer can be up and running, the better it is for both the customer and the partner deploying or reselling the cloud services.

Tier 3 outlined the usefulness of its Cloud Blueprints with a SharePoint example. According to the company, a typical 10-server SharePoint farm can require more than 30 hours of work to build and configure it. It claims its Cloud Blueprint for SharePoint can turn that 30-hour gruelling project into a 10-minute job of 81 discrete steps. The key seems to be in automating a lot of the configuration. Not an easy task, but if it works, that means a faster deployment and a happier customer.

Tier 3 launched four Cloud Blueprints at Microsoft WPC, including (in its own words):

  • Tier 3 for Microsoft Lync. Tier 3 is one of the only cloud providers offering Lync as a service, including a Managed Lync option where Tier 3 systems engineers perform routine maintenance and administrative tasks on the customer's behalf.

  • Tier 3 for Microsoft Exchange. Enterprises can deploy tens of thousands of mailboxes on Tier 3's cloud. To further reduce operational overhead customers may choose to upgrade to a Managed Exchange deployment.

  • Tier 3 for Microsoft SharePoint. Business can run the most complex, ambitious deployments of SharePoint on Tier 3, supporting scenarios from business intelligence to collaboration without having to worry about resources, implementation or availability.
  • Tier 3 for Microsoft SQL Server. Tier 3's high-performance, secure infrastructure, backed by a 99.999 percent SLA, supports the most demanding database applications and the most advanced configurations.

There are several versions of the Cloud Blueprints available that have been validated. Partners and customers can browse a set of publicly available Cloud Blueprints, create their own or work with Tier 3's Professional Services organization to create new blueprints for Microsoft products to be deployed in the cloud.