"While Windows Azure isn't something we will license for premises deployment, we will license many of the innovations via future versions of Windows Server and System Center," Steven Martin, Microsoft senior director of product management for the company's development division, wrote in his blog this week.
How might that manifest itself? "You could imagine that at some point a 'cloud' and an enterprise data center will share a lot of the same attributes in terms of the functionality it delivers and the way it runs. There will be places where Windows Azure features will make good sense for customers across multiple segments, and we want to make sure that functionality is offered to them as broadly as possible for their on-premises solutions."
Microsoft executives like business division president Bob Muglia have been telling us since the company announced Azure in October that Azure lessons learned would be used to help Windows Server power private clouds. Even further back, Microsoft has been pushing its Dynamic IT vision of data center automation for more than a year.
Some of the scalability, reliability and manageability of Azure is destined for Windows Server and System Center within the next couple of years. Bet on it.