Look out – Here comes Microsoft Azure
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 sites, web 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.