Azure Tangent – some folks are missing the point
So as I continue on my journey of learning Azure and the broader topic of could computing, I’ve noticed that it appears some folks still don’t get it. I’ve seen, several times I might add, folks asking questions like "but I can’t put xxx into the could for reason yyy". Its important to point out that these folks are still thinking old-school.
Doing work in the cloud does NOT mean that everything needs to live in the cloud. The cloud is just another option, an enabling technology. Part of the promise of cloud computing is that you can bring together different components and combine them into a new solution. You can take bits of virtual earth, combine it with say CRM Online Services, use your own AD as a security authority, and mash it all up using your own internal data. The only part of all this that may exist as your own cloud application is the presentation layer. The virtual earth bits aren’t part of your cloud, they exist in their own container. The same could be said of say… your data. It may still reside within your network, on a database server you manage. You just expose the information you need to your cloud application, possibly via a secure connection, or more likely as a series of web services.
This type of application mash-up is already being done all over the web. We just need to start thinking outside of the box and realizing that the cloud can be just anotehr extension of the environments we’re used to working in. The best example I’ve personally talked with of cloud was using it to deliver a solution that had to cross data-center boundaries. They didn’t view the cloud as a replacement for the datacenters, it was simply an extension of their infrastructure that provided an easy way to cross their current boundaries.
I guess the point I’m trying to make, and the one I think some folks are missing, is that Windows Azure isn’t where everything should live. Its simply another option for enabling your organizaing to meet business needs. Will it be appropriate for everyone? No. But it can and does give businesses of all sizes new tools they can use when delivering solutions.