Only a few days ago, Microsoft announced plans to integrate IT into its cloud technology platform. The company wants to do this by connecting the current corporate networks with cloud services. This integration will ascertain the more efficient functions and processes of a single infrastructure.
This idea came to fruition during the company’s recent Professional Developers Conference. The goal is to move above and beyond the current trends in cloud computing. At present, cloud computing is defined by raw resources from Microsoft, Google, and other providers. Microsoft wants the next phase to be about running applications across local and cloud networks, particularly those on the Azure cloud OS of Microsoft.
Aloft with Azure
The Azure cloud operating system can open up several possibilities in cloud computing. According to Gartner analyst Ray Valdez, Azure is definitely looking at the 2nd wave, which happens after the raw infrastructure. This happens when companies move real systems into the cloud. These hybrid systems then have to connect back to legacy environments. Microsoft sees this as both a big challenge and opportunity.
Microsoft is taking the first steps in making the most of these possibilities. The company has moved forward with developments in the projects, such as the System Center Cloud, ApFabric, and the Next Generation Active Directory. Likewise, it is seeing updates that can expand functions and processes within the .Net Framework. All these projects are slated for beta release.
The goal behind all this is to push an infrastructure that blends software and services. This makes for a more satisfying and less costly user experience. But then, the underlying issue remains on how a giant like Microsoft can eventually release and maintain such an integrated infrastructure that spans several online networks.
Apparently, before releasing this concept to the rest of the world, Microsoft is already trying it out internally. According to a company insider, Microsoft is already testing Azure, looking at how it blends with the corporate network. However, this part of the development process is still early and developers still have unanswered questions. Microsoft will be able to look at and test these tools once they are available.
This early, feedback – positive and otherwise – has gotten around. According to Amitabh Srivastava, a senior vice president at Microsoft, not all will move their IT into the cloud. Due to privacy and competitive issues, and sensitive data sets, some people will store information in the data center. Plenty of applications may have to be divided into cloud and IT, so Microsoft is also planning to offer tools and services for application partition. In this way, the various needs of different users will be met, whether they store their information in a data center or through a cloud.