Private-Cloud Azure? How About Shipping Azure? - InformationWeek
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3/29/2009
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Dave Methvin
Dave Methvin
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Private-Cloud Azure? How About Shipping Azure?

Microsoft is hard at work trying to finish its Azure cloud operating system and eventually make the Azure world safe for customer data. With that in mind, it seems a bit premature to worry about whether users can create their own private Azure environments. Microsoft is right to tamp down speculation that Azure will move from service to product any time soon, because it is too soon.

Microsoft is hard at work trying to finish its Azure cloud operating system and eventually make the Azure world safe for customer data. With that in mind, it seems a bit premature to worry about whether users can create their own private Azure environments. Microsoft is right to tamp down speculation that Azure will move from service to product any time soon, because it is too soon.Azure includes a lot of new technologies and interfaces, plus existing Microsoft products and technologies being used in complex configurations. It's all changing quickly; as Microsoft figures it all out, Azure is not always working. Remember, this is all Microsoft internal development. The company can play fast and loose with the documentation and deployment since it's all within the company. As long as it looks good from the outside, the world will be none the wiser.

Compare that already complex situation to what would be needed for Azure to be sold as a product deployable on customer premises as a private cloud. A whole new level of support, documentation and training would be needed for corporate IT staff to operate and maintain a private Azure setup. Azure is changing so quickly that any "Microsoft Azure Operations" training program developed right now would probably be obsolete in a few months.

Cloud computing is still in its infancy; the companies trying to formulate their offerings are making a lot of it up as they go along. The best course of action for Microsoft is the one they're following. First, they need to work out the details of operating and maintaining an Azure cloud inside Microsoft. Next, once the details are settled and not changing daily, they can look at whether it makes sense to offer Azure as a private-cloud product.

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