The framework of the IT world is changing.
We're seeing on-demand, streaming, and consumerization of IT transforming the way that individuals and businesses consume and deliver technology solutions. We're going to see technologies which transcend the typical hypervisor discussion to talk about the end-to-end private and public cloud solutions. Microsoft is in a unique place to address the coming changes to how we deliver IT services.
What is cloud computing? Cloud computing is the concept of delivering IT solutions in an on-demand model, with the underlying management and provisioning abstracted and offloaded from the delivery of the service. The IT solutions take the form of software as service, platform as service, infrastructure as service, or complete on-premise cloud infrastructures.
What are the end-to-end scenarios?
- Software as a Service: Office365, CRM Online, ERP as a Service, etc.
- Platform as a Service (PaaS): Azure
- On Premise / Infrastructure as Service: Hyper-V Cloud Infrastructure
What about Software as a Service?
Microsoft is taking big steps in the area of its software as a service model. They truly have the opportunity to offer the best of both worlds to businesses desiring to leverage both internal and cloud application environments. The key point is that Microsoft offers companies the opportunity to run both on-premise, cloud, or hybrid application infrastructures. This starts with the Office365 suite, CRM online, and synchronized identity. However, this area will continue to grow and become more integrated, offering feature parity from on-premise to cloud.
What about Platform as a Service?
Azure is awesome. The platform as a service model is going to change the game of how IT delivers services. Although Azure is largely a re-architecting of the underlying applications, it is the transformation of the IT service into re-usable, dynamic, template-based infrastructures. The Azure platform is essentially a "cloud OS", which offers push-button deployment of services constructed from entirely virtual components.
This is a very interesting break-out between the public and private cloud, though both are managed by the same set of tools:
What about core Private Cloud solutions?
The concept of the "private cloud" infrastructure is essentially the concept that even internal IT services need to be transformed into an on-demand, commoditized, scalable delivery model. An internal "private cloud" is a concept that is very attractive to businesses, as it shifts the focus away from the underlying platform and more toward solutions. In order to facilitate the private cloud approach, as well as its integration to public cloud (platform as a service) solutions, Microsoft has constructed reference criteria and especially launch programs on private cloud infrastructures.
What makes up the private cloud?
Here are some examples:
How does this affect management?
This is the key area where Microsoft has an opportunity to innovate. The System Center product suites, especially the upcoming Virtual Machine Manager, Service Manager, Operations Manager, and Configuration Manager products, provide an end-to-end scenario for managing private and public cloud solutions. Here is a breakout of the relationship between private clouds and VMM 2012:
Check out the service template designer for private / public clouds:
This is a very exciting time for Microsoft. Stay tuned for more information from the field…