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Microsoft has hinted it will eventually offer tools that let businesses span the gap between their own infrastructure and Redmond's platform in the sky - Windows Azure. The question is whether it will ever provide a full-fledged version of Azure for the private data center. "We get lots of questions [from businesses] about how …

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Coat

MS Cloud offering - typical MS

Vaporware!

Mines the one with the dark fluffy bits around the edges

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Linux

operating system in the cloud

Yep, it's called red hat. It's been working for years. Microsoft is 6+ years late on this and counting. I remember going to a meeting in 2001 where people were discussing how to set up global computing grids.

As for public / private clouds. Private clouds are clearly going to offer more performance but they come at an additional cost. For what I use, if you ain't got a valid certificate you can't submit and Joe blogger can't buy a certificate. Costs a bucket load but you get exclusive use, we still rag it to breaking point at times though :)

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Expect to see Azure Services in Windows 7 Server

Expect to see Azure Services in Windows 7 Server

In the marketplace for cloud platforms, Microsoft already have the handicap of a proprietary services stack (Google’s MapReduce has Hadoop equivalent) before adding in a single-provider handicap. The key question is whether Microsoft’s Service Stack (particularly Queue & BigTable) is that much better/easier/sexier than Google’s AppEngine in the cloud space.. and the answer is maybe/not yet/no.

Where Microsoft’s stack can initially stand-out is in an “Enterprise Adaptor” offering that puts Azure Queues and BigTable access inside the data centre.. but those “Enterprise Adaptors” will need many of the clustering features for High-Availability.. the step beyond to private clouds is more market-speak than technology.

If cloud computing is a game-changer then Microsoft’s revenue model will offset server licences fees for private clouds against lost rental fees for public clouds. If cloud computing is NOT a game-changer then private clouds are a way to sell more software.. either way Microsoft’s unique interest mean private-clouds will happen at some point.

IF the enterprise expectation is for private clouds “sooner or later”.. the pertinent question becomes “Is Azure good/stable enough for packaging yet?”.. which leads to the counter-intuitive conclusion that enterprises will not buy Azure until they don’t need to!

.. so expect to see some Azure Services in Windows 7 Server (when that is announced).

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