I was at the keynote speech this morning and Ray Ozzie announced Windows Azure and an offering for cloud based services. Today was geared towards the developer but they will be moving down the road to pretty much offering the complete Microsoft suite of products. Instead of you hosting the servers and being responsible for the day to day maintenance operations on the hardware, Microsoft will take care of that for you. For example, you might have your exchange server hosted with Microsoft instead of within your own environment. They services they are starting with are listed below.
- Windows Azure for service hosting and management, low-level scalable storage, computation and networking
- Microsoft SQL Services for a wide range of database services and reporting
- Microsoft .NET Services which are service-based implementations of familiar .NET Framework concepts such as workflow and access control
- Live Services for a consistent way for users to store, share and synchronize documents, photos, files and information across their PCs, phones, PC applications and Web sites
- Microsoft SharePoint Services and Microsoft Dynamics CRM Services for business content, collaboration and rapid solution development in the cloud
Another thing they were showing off which was mentioned in the press page was System Center “codename Atlanta”. It was a System Center setup where the data from your operation was shipped to Microsoft, they analyzed that data and compared it to other locations and you can see where you are with respect to other organizations and help you tune your best practices. In the end,they plan to pretty much offer everything they have via the cloud. I think its interesting and we past due, I have been using the cloud with McAfee Total Protection since 2005 and I have been a huge fan of that method of delivery.
The press release can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2008/oct08/10-27PDCDay1PR.mspx and you can find the Azure Services Platform page at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2008/oct08/10-27PDCDay1PR.mspx.