Look out – Here comes Microsoft Azure

microsoft-chicago-containersAzure in a Box?

Well, kind of…this is a picture of Microsoft’s Chicago data center containers packed with computing power. 

Azure is currently providing “Platform As A Service” to businesses loyal to the MS application suite and ASP.NET web application framework which allows programmers to build dynamic web sitesweb applications and web services.

So what does a picture like this mean? Well, it’s not a new computing box you plug power into and set free in the pacific ocean for green cooling. No, it’s simply packed with thousands of servers which are going into Microsoft’s data centers to bring new capacity online to support its growing cloud computing operation. Yeap, look out Amazon, Rackspace, GoGrid, Flexiscale, and the like (oh yeah, and lets not forget IBM’s soon to be announced public cloud).


What’s Next For Azure?

Besides building out their data center, Azure needs to move from a PaaS to more of a IaaS in order to provide the flexibility needed for a broader deployment of existing applications which want to execute in the Azure Cloud. 

Easier said than done. The Microsoft team has a lot of work just building out infrastructure, let alone the abilities of enabling customers with a selection of small, medium, large, and extra-large instances of machines running on various versions of Microsoft operating systems. Amazon has been in the business since 2006 and four years might seem like a short period, but it’s not…especially, when it comes to the amount of functionality developed to enable self-service elastic computing.

The clock is ticking….lets see how long it will take the big iron in Chicago data centers to translate into an easy-to-use web interface that allows me to provision a Windows box and load up my legacy Microsoft applications.

Jim Kaskade

Jim Kaskade is a serial entrepreneur & enterprise software executive of over 36 years. He is the CEO of Conversica, a leader in Augmented Workforce solutions that help clients attract, acquire, and grow end-customers. He most recently successfully exited a PE-backed SaaS company, Janrain, in the digital identity security space. Prior to identity, he led a digital application business of over 7,000 people ($1B). Prior to that he led a big data & analytics business of over 1,000 ($250M). He was the CEO of a Big Data Cloud company ($50M); was an EIR at PARC (the Bell Labs of Silicon Valley) which resulted in a spinout of an AML AI company; led two separate private cloud software startups; founded of one of the most advanced digital video SaaS companies delivering online and wireless solutions to over 10,000 enterprises; and was involved with three semiconductor startups (two of which he founded, one of which he sold). He started his career engineering massively parallel processing datacenter applications. Jim has an Electrical and Computer Science Engineering degree from University of California, Santa Barbara, with an emphasis in semiconductor design and computer science; and an MBA from the University of San Diego with an emphasis in entrepreneurship and finance.

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