Microsoft Launches Appliance For Building Private Clouds
"This offers scalability, efficiency, and the ability to rapidly respond to changing situations," said James Barrese, vice president of technology at eBay, which partnered with Microsoft on the appliance.
Microsoft has developed a private cloud appliance with hardware partners and the $60 billion-a-year, online marketplace, eBay.
The Azure platform appliance is designed to be deployed in an on-premises private cloud in racks of hundreds or thousands of servers. It will run both Windows Server and a software stack that matches what's available in Microsoft's Azure public cloud. In addition to enterprises, the appliance is geared for use by large cloud services suppliers.
Microsoft is seeking to help build private clouds, not at the expense of its Azure public cloud, but on a pattern that matches what's available in Azure. Such private clouds, locked down behind firewalls and intrusion detection systems, will be able to handle private customer data and financial transactions. To do so, Microsoft is willing to run Java applications on its appliance as first class citizens alongside Microsoft .Net languages, such as Visual Basic and C#, Microsoft's Java competitor.
"They got that right. We decided to move forward with them," said James Barrese, eBay's VP of technology.
Earlier this year, EBay, as a $60 billion-a-year online marketplace, was looking toward its next generation infrastructure and showed Microsoft its blueprint for future high volume, scalable operations. EBay in the past has built up its own data centers.
But it was seeking greater automation of pooled resources, greater ease of maintaining security and easier administration of users. "We asked, do we want to build this ourselves or partner with somebody who can do it," said Barrese in an interview. "We see Azure appliances as being able to scale out very quickly," he said.
In positioning itself as an architect and builder of the private cloud for eBay and others, Microsoft is also ensuring that its existing customers stay wedded to Windows as they move toward cloud computing. The Azure platform appliance will do many things the same way Azure does, so it's also building potential future users of its public Azure cloud.
Microsoft is partnering with HP, Fujitsu and Dell, who will adopt the appliance for use in their own cloud services, then make versions available to customers. EBay plans to install a limited production release sometime later this year for the Garden by EBay site, where it tests partner's ideas and new customer applications. Barrese said eBay expects to move beyond the testbed site to broader use of the appliance in production systems at a future date.
Google in the Enterprise SurveyThere's no doubt Google has made headway into businesses: Just 28 percent discourage or ban use of its productivity products, and 69 percent cite Google Apps' good or excellent mobility. But progress could still stall: 59 percent of nonusers distrust the security of Google's cloud. Its data privacy is an open question, and 37 percent worry about integration.
CIOs Get Smart About BIIT’s tried for years to simplify business intelligence efforts. Have visual analysis tools and Hadoop and NoSQL databases helped? Respondents to our 2014 InformationWeek Analytics, Business Intelligence, and Information Management Survey have a mixed outlook.
InformationWeek Must Reads Oct. 21, 2014InformationWeek's new Must Reads is a compendium of our best recent coverage of digital strategy. Learn why you should learn to embrace DevOps, how to avoid roadblocks for digital projects, what the five steps to API management are, and more.