A rant about the future of Windows Azure
July 14, 2011 1 Comment
Hello, my name is Brent and I’m a Mirosoft fanboy. More pointedly, I’m a Windows Azure Fanboy. I even blogged my personal feelings about why Windows Azure represents the future of cloud computing.
Well this week, at the World Wide Patner conference, we finally got to see more info on MSFT’s private cloud solution. And unfortunately, I believe MSFT is missing the mark. While they are still talking about the Azure Appliance, their “private cloud” is really just virtalization on top of Hyper-V. Aka the Hyper-V cloud.
I won’t get into debating defintions of what is a cloud, instead I want to focus on what Windows Azure brings to the table. Namely a stateless, role based application architecture model, automated deployment, failover/upgrade management, and reduced infrastructure management.
The hyper-V cloud doesn’t fill any of these (at least well). And this IMHO is the opportunity MSFT is currently missing. Regardless of the underlaying implementations, there is an opportunity here for lacking a better term, a common application server model. A way for me to take my Azure roles and deploy them both on premises or in the cloud.
I realize I’d stil need to manage the hyper-V cloud’s infrasture. But it would seem to me that there has to be a happy middle ground where that cloud can automate the provisioning and configuration of VM’s and then automating the deployments of my roles to this. I don’t necessarially need WAD monitoring my apps (I should be able to use System Center).
Additionally, having this choice of deployment locales, with the benefits of the scale/failover would be a HUGE differentiator for Microsoft. Its something neither google or amazon have. Outside of a handful of smallish ISV startups, I think VMWare or Cisco are the only other outfits that would able to touch something like this.
I’m certain someone at MSFT has been thinking about this. So why I’m not seeing it on the radar yet just floors me. It is my firm believe that we need a solution for on-premises PaaS, not just another infrastructure management tool. And don’t get me wrong, I’m still an Azure fanboy. But I also believe that the benefits that Azure, as a PaaS solution, brings shouldn’t be limited to just the public cloud.