Trend Micro Brings Cloud Security to Windows Server 2012

Trend Micro is getting an early start in securing Windows Server 2012 for small and midsized businesses (SMBs).

The company today announced that it will integrate its venerable Worry-Free Business Security Services into the Windows Server 2012 Essentials management console. In the grand scheme of a big server OS launch, it’s a small detail that can have a big impact on how small businesses protect their data and how early they fold cloud services into their IT mix.

For Windows Server 2012, Microsoft pared the purchasing options to just four, jettisoning the Small Business Server edition. In its place is the Windows Server 2012 Essentials edition. Priced at $425, Essentials is designed for single-processor servers and features a user account limit of 25.

Another feature is pre-configured cloud services support. It’s an effort to make Windows Server 2012 Microsoft’s most cloud-friendly server OS yet, a push that extends all the way up to the enterprise-grade Datacenter edition with its advanced virtualization and cloud workload management capabilities.

But for small businesses, Trend Micro is betting that integrating with Windows Server 2012 Essentials will provide real-time, cloud-enabled anti-malware and data protection to small IT shops nearly right out of the box.

Trend Micro Worry-Free Business Security Services is continually updated by the company’s Smart Protection Network, a cloud-based virus protection system that provides around-the-clock monitoring. Since the bulk of the data security processing is performed in the cloud, the result is a lightweight anti-virus solution that consumes little memory and disk space, averting server slowdowns according to the company.

Microsoft meanwhile is eager to bridge Windows Server with cloud services, a strategy that could rewrite the rules of small business IT purchasing, spending and management. And it’s a good bet that the alliance between the companies — and others like it — will resonate among small business IT buyers if recent trends are anything to go by.

A recent survey conducted by Techaisle for Dell revealed that small businesses are flocking to cloud services. The 400 cloud-friendly small businesses polled by the companies reported that they planned to operate seven cloud apps this year on average, a drastic increase over 2010’s average of just two cloud services.

This bodes well for Microsoft’s embrace of the cloud for Windows Server 2012. Trend Micro’s vice president of Global Alliances and Business Development, Partha Panda, is similarly bullish on the partnership’s chances.

“Trend Micro and Microsoft are both committed to the growing cloud-era MSP channel community, and our products serve this market,” said Panda in a statement. “Both companies are leaders in this space, and we continue to be leaders by working together and delivering hosted and hybrid solutions that are easy to use and manage, and include trusted security at a lower total cost,” adds Panda.

Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.

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