Editor’s Note: Build for the Cloud

With the continued focus on the cloud, we take a practical approach —looking at how to build a private cloud platform and other cumulus topics.

Lafe Low

Everyone in the IT world has their eyes on the cloud.  For all the promise and possibilities of the cloud, most of what you’re reading in the IT press has been about how the cloud will save your organization money and save management headaches—heck, it just may even save the world.

We’re taking a more practical approach to our cloud coverage with some direct how-to, some sage pre-cloud advice and some thoughts on combining virtualization and the cloud. This month, we start what will be a four-part series on building cloud services using the Microsoft System Center stack. Adam Fazio goes into extreme detail and takes us through the process of defining, designing and building out a Private Cloud/IaaS model. Keep an eye on TechNet Magazine over the next few months for the remaining three parts of the series to be published.

We also serve up some sage advice on pre-cloud considerations. Storage entrepreneur Andy Cordial shares his thoughts on how to get the most out of moving to the cloud, how to prepare and what to keep an eye on. Finally, we share some strategies for getting into the cloud with virtualization—from working with the virtual machine role to Windows Azure.

Speaking of practical approaches to the cloud: Among the hosted services and myriad applications is that most fundamental of IT tasks—maintaining a population of PCs. Microsoft already has an answer for that need: Windows Intune.

As the name implies, Windows Intune helps you keep your organization’s crop of PCs running as smoothly as possible. You can manage and secure your PC population though a Web-based console that brings your desktop management to you, not the other way around. Windows Intune taps into Windows cloud services for managing PCs and checking out security updates and alerts, malware update status and all those other regular updates you need to check.

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Lafe Low

Lafe Low is the editor in chief of TechNet Magazine. A veteran technology journalist, he’s also the former executive editor of 1105 Media’s Redmond magazine.