Microsoft Takes a New Approach to the Cloud
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REDMOND, Wash. --Cloud was the big word at Microsoft's recent Private Cloud Reviewers' Workshop here. There were many other words uttered, such as System Center 2012, Windows Azure, Hyper-V and so forth, but cloud seemed to be spoken the most.
However, whenever presenters during the event--which ran the week of Jan. 9--mentioned the cloud, they were really talking about much more than standard view of cloud technology. Microsoft's utterances of a word that has come to mean many different things to many people was meant to clarify, not further confuse. Simply put, the term cloud was meant to encourage, not blur visions of future IT.
In the keynote session of the workshop, Brad Anderson, corporate vice president of Microsoft's Server and Tools Business unit, probably explained it best by showing that the cloud (at least in Microsoft's view) is all about optimizing business. Anderson said clouds (public, private or hybrid) share four common technologies: virtualization, identity, management and development. He said it is that gang of technologies Microsoft uses to build public and private clouds.
Microsoft's public clouds are part of the Windows Azure platform, while the private clouds fall under the mantle of Windows Server and Microsoft System Center. Anderson said private and public clouds have been distinct and separate entities in Microsoft's view, and that Microsoft's current tool set does not support moving from a public cloud to a private cloud or vice versa seamlessly, further highlighting the distinction between the two.
According to Anderson, System Center 2012 will become the platform for provisioning, managing and deploying private cloud technologies using Microsoft technology, and that the software giant has put significant effort into designing private cloud capabilities into platform.
During the event here, Microsoft engineers demonstrated many of the new capabilities that System Center 2012 will offer IT managers, and attendees were given hands-on exercises to further help define how System Center 2012 will fit into the management of private clouds.
Anderson said the primary ideologies System Center 2012 brings to the data center include a flexible and cost-effective infrastructure that works with what IT administrators already own and know, and applications that ensure predictable service levels with deep application insight. In addition, the platform will offer a common toolset for managing the cloud environment.