Microsoft and the Software Defined Cloud

Last week Microsoft made a slew of important announcements. The important thing to remember here is that while all the others are rabble rousing about cloud and ‘software-defined-something’ – Microsoft continues to build out a very well rationalized approach to converting its massive installed base from virtualization to cloud, just like it has done helping its customers go from physical to virtual. The truth is Microsoft has the software-defined data center already – they’ve been running it at scale for a decade and now they have packaged it up for everyone else with their Cloud OS.

Cloud OS is Windows Server 2012 R2, Hyper-V, Systems Center, and Windows Azure Pack. These are the core parts needed to build out an IaaS with Microsoft Windows Azure – on premises. Add to this Microsoft’s long heritage with .NET as a natural PaaS on top of the IaaS layer. Multi-tenancy, check--chargeback, check--single pane of glass managementm check--fidelity between private and public Azure, check.

Now all this cool functionality is no good without a good channel – and Microsoft has that in spades. They have a massive and loyal reseller network plus a lot of footprint in millions of customer sites. Now they have added the third piece to the puzzle by signing up 25 cloud service providers in more than 80 countries with 100s of data centers serving millions of customers.

In terms of the 25 CSP partners – these are not lightweight CSPs – they include Fujitsu, SingTel, CSC, Capgemini, and Dimension Data, and this is just the start for Microsoft.

As for the software-defined – Microsoft has all the pieces for this as well – SDN is based on their network virtualization technology embedded in Hyper-V, SDS is SMB3 is Microsoft’s application layer network protocol that allows ports, printers, and files to be shared, and of course SDC is Hyper-V. Add to this the fact that the capabilities of Active Directory tie all the pieces together and provide several security services and that Systems Center provides that single pane of glass as well as the ability to migrate VMs across private and public Azure clouds. Lastly it is important to mention that last week Dellcloudworld-i-mean-dellworld/index.html" target="_blank"> announced that they are selling Microsoft’s public cloud software as well, giving Microsoft yet another important channel (and reseller network).

So what’s missing? Not much! – just a matter of execution at this point and them sharing customer success stories. Microsoft Azure’s object store has over 1 trillion objects in it on its own. It will be interesting to see what the uptake is and how good a job Microsoft does supporting the CSP partner program and ongoing investments in Cloud OS.

Topics: Cloud Services & Orchestration