back to article Microsoft and Dell’s cloud in a box: Instant Azure for the data centre

Two words were missing from Microsoft’s cloudy event in San Francisco yesterday, where CEO Satya Nadella and Cloud and Enterprise VP Scott Guthrie presented an update to the company’s Azure and hybrid cloud strategy. Those two words were System Center. That was an odd omission considering that System Center is meant to be the …

  1. Tim Anderson

    An url that works

    More info on this is now available here:

    http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/server-cloud/products/cloud-platform-system/

    Tim

  2. Levente Szileszky

    Well, it was about time, for MSFT to take out SC to the back and...

    ...shoot it - it was really-really awkward from the beginning and while it was only logical they quickly add/implement the hybrid cloud option (I actually expected it to arrive many years ago, that's why I gave it several spin around the 2008 R2-2012 transition) they never did it, it was always a rather clunky, complex system of all sorts of things plugged together, with constant issues.

  3. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

    Priced, of course, so that nobody using will ever be able to compete with Azure, which in turn is still more expensive than running a roll your own. And there's no word on a reduction of licensing complexities a-la SPLA, (indeed, MS just jacked up the price another 15-50%). And let's not even touch VDI licensing, or how a virtualised server instance isn't the same as a virtualised endpoint instance, especially for apps specifically coded to detect server instances and refuse to run on them...

    It's a cute first try, but for Microsoft to truly compete with in the software defined infrastructure wars will require that they admit the past 15 years of licensing shenanigans were wrongheaded, gut the entire thing, and move to something that's actually partner and end customer friendly.

    Not fucking likely.

    And that's before we get into talking about efficiency relating to "number of VMs per rack, or the configuration of those VMs, or the IOPS.

    That said, if you're married to Microsoft, it's a great offering. Some people are, and this will help them kind-of/sort-of keep up with the Jones. Everyone else will be able to do more while spending way less...but at least it will be sort of close.

    Maybe, if everyone's really lucky, they'll figure out that they actually have to compete and they'll get on doing that at some point. Then the prices can come down to competitive levels, density can go up, system center can finally, mercifully be forever expunged, and everyone can win.

    Maybe. I live in hope.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Priced, of course, so that nobody using will ever be able to compete with Azure, which in turn is still more expensive than running a roll your own"

      Erm, no - no it isn't. Unless you employ only third world monkeys, bought your infrastructure at Cash Convertors, and host it under the stairs with Harry Potter, Azure is far far cheaper than building, hosting and running your own.

      Azure revenue is about to overtake Amazon - It's hardly going to be that popular if it cost more than DIY!

      1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge
        Pint

        You are wrong. The public cloud is not about being cheaper. It's about being easier, especially for those who don't want people saying "no" to them. This leads to problems.

        Ah, but then, you're the sniveling coward who can't think outside of Microsoft's marketing messaging and isn't man enough to post under their own name. I'm sure we'll soon get a completely unverifiable assertion about your self importance in order to back up how much you "know it all to be true", followed by a comparison of Azure to what amounts to VCE for an on-premises deployment, and a bunch of waffle about the manpower cost when you have to run a team of 50 just to light up one rack, oh woe is the enterprise space and all those millions of VMs you support.

        Yup. Move along, little doe-eyed brainwashed marketing puppet. The rest of us actually run the numbers.

        Now, next, you'll tell me that Microsoft's Cost Estimation Tool for Windows Azure was perfectly justified in telling me that I should expect to pay $2,379,343.52 per month to support the IT of a small business in the cloud, before bandwidth is factored in.

        This would be a small business that has an annual income of $5,000,000. Oh, and that I've managed to run successfully on less than $200k for hardware, software, bandwidth and staffing for the past eleven fucking years.

        And yet, apparently, $2M a month is cheaper. Of course it is. Because Microsoft says so. Because the cloud. The cloud wants one hundred and twenty times (120x!!!!) the amount of money to run, doesn't include backups, disaster recovery or bandwidth for that price, and has the added "benefit" of putting all my customer data in the hands of the NSA and placing me in violation of various local privacy laws for doing so.

        But it's unquestionably cheaper, and Trevor Pott is just a stupid Mirosoft-hating moron who can't understand this simple fact.

        Well, I'm glad we cleared that right the fuck up. Cheers for beers, Microsoft marketing chap. In fact, here's one for you now -->

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      It's viable.

      Significantly cheaper than doing this yourself, when you take into account the cost of building and maintaining a data centre, buying licensing.

      Worse, adding in the vmware licensing that you can do without in this scenario as you're rolling out Microsoft (hyperV) vms..

      1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

        Prove. It.

        And not in a "enterprise who needs to build entire datacenters" kind of way. For the 99.9995% of businesses out there who don't build datacenters. For whom renting 1-4 racks at a colo is just fine.

        Prove azure's cheaper. For real world workloads, not ones designed from scratch for the cloud. Prove it, prove it, prove it.

        Stop your assertions, drop the anonymous coward and man the fuck up with some actual evidence.

        There are only 17,000 "enterprises" in this world. There are over one billion businesses. Prove your assertion in the context of the majority.

        Proof. Not assertions. Proof.

        1. Levente Szileszky

          Exactly, see my point above. MSFT missed its HUGE chance to define the hybrid cloud and make it super-easy for SMBs to transition to an Azure-based hybrid solution with their Windows-based server and storage infrastructure.

      2. Levente Szileszky

        "Significantly cheaper than doing this yourself, when you take into account the cost of building and maintaining a data centre, buying licensing."

        Sorry but it's BS, typical of clueless MSFT marketing monkeys. People don't build DCs, they build server rooms, with one or two racks. As Trevor pointed out Azure's pricing is nonsensical when it's compared to a typical one rack cabinet worth of on-premise server, storage and networking stack including 3-y/4-hr support. If you have decent bargaining skills I can literally guarantee you will beat your comparable 3-y Azure quote at l;east by 50% if not more. And there are the usage details where cloud also fails: having 10GbE to the desktop is a no-brainer, costs very little extra nowadays (I run 10Gb to our WS for ~4 years now) - imagine your internet AND/OR your VDI bill when you want to do something similarly high-end in your cloud...

        ...did mention that anyone with existing infrastructure can get a huge discount after 3-4 year from any server or storage vendor?

        The reality is that the pure cloud-base pitch makes clueless CEOs and alikes excited (mainly because they believe it'd save money for their bonuses but they are wrong) but most CIOs/CTOs know that beyond basic docs/email/web/etc usage it brings its own issues and when something happens you don't even have the hardware in your server room with your latest data on it.

        I firmly believe hybrid cloud is the best pitch cloud providers can make and MSFT is YEAAARS behind... they should brought out integrated hybrid cloud offering with Server 2012, at least in 2012 clusters, with a one-click built-in Azure feature-set: mirrored cluster config in Azure, default DR, backup etc. It's almost 2015 and it's still not there and Ballmer was still stroking his idiotic tablet & devices plans - incompetency at its worst, they wasted years and billions chasing something they have little to do with while letting a huge market opportunity slowly disappear.

  4. Zed Zee

    Prediction for cloud computing.

    I believe private cloud is dead - you don't need it. If you have a virtualised infrastructure already, that's good enough, you just need decent deployment tools and even the standard tools supplied by VMWare, Microsoft and others tend to be good enough. However, one might want to consider using containers (LXC or Docker) but beyond that, private clouds don't give you anything above what virtualisation technologies do.

    Public clouds have been only good for a handful of 'consumer' applications. You're only now seeing the likes of IBM, SAP and Oracle slowly moving their apps into a cloud model - so when they mature in a few years, that would be the time to start considering them. Having said that, as others claim on here, public cloud is not for everyone due to security concerns/laws.

    Hybrid clouds might work better, but not in their current guise. I think once what they offer can be componentised (not an entire application, but a subset) into offering things like Docker in a seamless and dynamically interchangeable model - whereby application subsets are loaded and offloaded, into/out of the private side of a hybrid cloud, as the business needs change - then you'll be in a real position to consider a move to cloud computing. I'm predicting a capability in a hybrid cloud environment, whereby application subsets (based on something like LXC or Docker), come in and out of one's private cloud (from a public cloud - probably supplied by an apps vendor) to deliver a particular function or application service. This movement of apps/subsets creates a hybrid cloud (because you have a mixture of app types - in-house developed/running and those coming in from a public cloud) and breaks things down to beyond an application; actually using subsets delivered by something like LXC or Docker.

    Until then, it's all marketing and a repeat of what one already has at the moment = virtualisation.

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