On Premise Windows Azure – Not likely
I’ve heard this question and seen this message posted several times. But it bears restating… Azure requires such a customized setup that its simply not feasible (currently) for internal implementation. I do NOT believe that this kills Azure’s viability. I believe that there are as many potential clients for this as there are hosted services. Lastly, I believe that we likely haven’t heard the end of this.
Folks that believe Azure’s lack of on-premise support destroys its viability subscribe to the "all of nothing" school of thought on SaaS. As I’ve mentioned before, SaaS is an enabling technology. Or as I put it to another person, SaaS is a box of crayons, one of the nice big "deluxe 64" boxes. When you’re creating a picture, you don’t need the whole box. You pick and chose the colors that allow you to best realize your vision.
I’ve also seen folks question who would want soemthing like Azure on-premise. Wouldn’t this go against the idea of putting things in the cloud? I’ve known several organizations that manage their own datacenters that would love to have something like the Azure fabric to help reduce infrastructure costs and increase availability. With the increase emphasis on virtualization within the entireprise, a product like Azure with its dynamic configuration and potential for scalability would be a huge boost to those models. Why wouldn’t a sufficiently large organization want it?
Lastly, I honestly don’t think we’ve seen the end of this line of thought. Will we see an on-premise Windows Azure in the next 2 years? unlikely. Will it even be a strictly OS based package that you buy and just install on your own hardware? I doubt it. But I can see a joint hardware/software vendor selling pre-configured cabineets that could be placed into an existing datacenter. This would only be an incremental step from several products that are already on the market. However, like those solutions, this option would likely prove to be expensive enough to put it out of reach of many organizations.
But then these are only my opinions.