Thursday, November 25, 2010

Why is it called an "Appliance"

Windows Azure Appliance - Why is it called an Appliance ? Its so because of being a turn-key cloud solution on highly standardized and pre configured hardware delivered to enterprises or large organizations.  Don't think its going to be small. It will be hundreds of servers in pre configured racks of networking and storage based on a Microsoft specific reference architecture and provided by Microsoft's partners.

The appliance story from Microsoft

The Windows Azure appliance which was recently announced by Microsoft is to me, one of the most promising cloud announcements done my MS for enterprises. With this Microsoft is poised well in the enterprise cloud market. This will help Microsoft to play a major role in public and private cloud and straight away compete with the current leaders Vmware as well as Amazon.

The appliance as such will be a set of hardware unlike the servers on which the earlier version of Windows operating system used to be installed, from major vendor partners of Microsoft shipped as containers to customer locations or data centers and will be a versatile platform with options of customization.

This private cloud version of Windows Azure will allow large enterprises to take full advantage of cloud computing. This will help them in standardizing their service platform where Microsoft along with their partners will run the cloud for them. This can be in enterprise datacenters, partner datacenters or Microsoft's own data centers. More over this will also help enterprises to utilize their existing investments on server software or tools. Microsoft by offering the Azure appliance is giving back the control of the platform to the enterprise while providing the benefits of scale and operational efficiencies.

Security & compliance, Data privacy and Control are some of the major obstacles and concerns for enterprises for  embracing the cloud. Azure appliance i believe is a solution for enterprises to take advantage of what a platform like Azure can provide within the four walls of their data center and can address the above concerns.  More over this will provide lower operational cost for enterprises and an option to scale on demand to public version of cloud to handle any burst scenarios.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Reasons that Keep CIO's away from public Clouds

For a while I have been thinking why should some of the CIO's in spite of understanding the advantages of the mammoth concept of Cloud computing say "No" or take a wait and watch position on Public clouds. Most of them accept the fact that the public cloud is one form which can very well support the enterprises on its overall economic goals. Beyond the cost aspect they are clearly aware of the innovation capabilities that a cloud computing platform can provide and thereby increasing their reach to their end customers or consumers multifold. Still there are strong reasons for them to keep away. The predominant ones what i believe are

1. Data relocation
2. Data Ownership
3. Vendor lock in
4. Loss of control of infrastructure
5. And finally Legitimate contracts

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Clouds in general may be sleeping giants of climate change - true ?

I was listening to one of the documentaries on "Thunderheads" where a daring group of scientists tries to catch the Perfect storm across Darwin in Australia. International cloud experiment is what they call themselves. During their research they realize that clouds are indeed sleeping giants and they have ability to trap heat and reflect sunlight back into space.

So how is this related to our cloud in the whole cloud computing space? I believe that cloud computing is a sleeping giant and organizations are yet to realize the potential of the same. Once it’s unearthed it’s beyond doubt going to change the rules of Information technology. If the demand heats up will the cloud coverage change? That is the question which most of us simply don’t know but part of the answer lies with the enterprises or large organizations and cloud vendors as they are the clouds that make the cloud. Going forward it’s going to be collaboration amongst all of them which will keep the cloud sparkly.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Can public cloud dominate the Enterprise space ?

In most of the conversations what i have with my colleagues on the various cloud delivery models for enterprises, public cloud adoption seems to be the most debated. While we all agree to the fact that nothing you build internally can match the economies of scale and reach the skepticism pops up around the challenges for its adoption. Security being the primary one followed by the lack of standards and committed service levels. The debate that private cloud adoption will be the mainstream within enterprises by embracing the technology behind the public cloud i strongly believe that there is no reason why not to choose Public cloud instead. The simple reason behind the belief is that the talent tap that comes from the public cloud, the consumer base and solution variety will become irresistible for enterprises and before we see any big difference in the way it exists today adoption would have already happened.

While affordability will draw more and more minds to innovate new markets will be created and public clouds will become the mainstream reach to the end customers for enterprises. The modes of usage will be refined based on the business line but majority over the private is not so far.

Cloud Computing – Will organizations adopt to Save money ?

Organizations are pondering around the buzz word of cloud computing and technology behind the same with the de facto offer of cost savings build into the model. While new technology has been a tool to optimize and streamline the overall IT operations, its being heavily looked upon to cut costs and hence very less cutting back on the new technology uptake.

Most CIO's considers their internal IT systems to be too expensive but still considers themselves early adopters of technology. Its clear that the adoption is primarily driven with the motive to cut costs. There is a strong belief among the CIO's that cloud computing as a new technology can help them bring in a positive impact on the bottom line by bringing in a controlled outflow on recurring costs and lower upfront costs. Given the fact that cost savings are a possibility the adoption of these technology with full force is yet to happen. There was a strong reluctance due to the turbulent economic times and now with the change in the scenario adoption and switch will begin.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Innovation - Changing Paradigm, Keeps the prices on check

Innovation is rapidly being challenged in the cloud computing world. The space is still work in progress and will continue to be in the state for ever. This in fact is challenging the leading players like Microsoft, Google, Amazon to regularly update their product suits and offerings to differentiate among ts others. As these companies are throwing everything into this ring the competition is getting tougher day by day. The outcome of this is certainly benefiting the end customers who is consuming these services. The offer prices are being challenged to core and is going down to enable each of them to fight for the market share.