Two flavors of cloud computing – Public and Private
Six years ago we announced a multi-year, multi-product vision for the Enterprise which we called Dynamic IT. The principles were simple - virtualization, model driven, services oriented and user centric. Shortly thereafter, we began to conceptualize a services-based offering in the cloud which culminated in our Azure Services Platform announcement last October. These two initiatives might seem distinct, but they are in fact highly related. Simply put, this is the continued evolution from physical to logical to virtual.
In addition to the interest in cloud computing, there is even more interest in the application of cloud computing principles in the enterprise data center. As I have mentioned previously, at some point in the future, the Azure Services Platform and an enterprise data center will be, technically speaking, largely indistinguishable. Both will:
· Be highly virtualized and elastic
· Be managed in a consistent manner within and across the firewall
· Hide the complexities of hardware infrastructure from the applications they serve
We are learning a lot from the investments that we are making in Azure and will use these learnings to drive additional benefits for customers not just in the cloud but also with our premises technologies. One of our primary objectives is to deliver the technology that empowers Enterprises to build private clouds within their existing datacenters.
While there are a lot of vendors talking about private clouds, let’s think this through a bit. Would you buy beef from a vegetarian? I digress… here’s the point – the knowledge that we gain from running a public cloud will yield better technology for the private ones that we help customers deliver.
How does Microsoft deliver this today?
· Hardware Abstraction: Delivered in Windows Server 2008 with Hyper-V
· Logical Pooling of Compute: Delivered through management tools like VMM, you can connect the compute power from your servers into a single, logical resource
· Automated Provisioning of Resources: Delivered this with tools like Intelligent Placement in VMM allowing you to expand and contract workloads across your fabric
With Windows Server 2008 R2 our fabric capabilities become even stronger. In this release, we deliver enhancements to the native virtualization capabilities:
· Live Migration
· Larger VM Support: 32 and 64-bit VMs, with up to 64GB memory per VM
· Boot from VHD & Clustered Shared Volumes (core enhancements from Windows Azure)
To net this out, we’re bringing the lessons learned from our public cloud to the places where they will likely deliver the most benefit in the near term – right in your data center. As we evolve the technology that drives Azure, you can count on continued innovation and evolution of our premises technology that will make private cloud computing a reality.