Does Microsoft Windows Azure Threaten vCloud

Does Microsoft Windows Azure Threaten vCloud?

It appears like Microsoft is desperate to become the OS for cloud computing. At Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference on July 10th, the company has announced its Windows Azure’s white-label version which is targeted at the web hosts currently based on Windows Server. This can be viewed as a challenge for VMware, which is trying to push its vCloud agenda. In recent years, VMware is spanning cloud-based and on-premise deployments.

In the past, Microsoft has received flak for not having a lawful hybrid cloud-strategy. But, Microsoft appears to be back on the right track with this announcement. The new offering is known as Service management Portal, which is presently in the Community Technology Preview mode. With this, Microsoft’s partners can provide an infrastructure similar to Windows Azure to their customers without actually employing the Microsoft’s cloud. This can be achieved through the standardized management portal as well as through extensible APIs. The extensible APIs allow the developers to link their applications to the specialized services of the hosts, to the on-premise resources, or to Windows Azure itself.

According to Sinclair Schuller, the CEO & founder of Microsoft Partner Apprenda, Microsoft’s this move is smart and the company has tried to develop its cloud-computing footprint. He said,” As Microsoft is expanding their toolkit they’re trying to make sure it’s not a disjointed experience.” Users might wish to use multiple cloud services, but they want a single interface to interact with them.

Apprenda provides an on-premise platform for .NET applications and is now a partner to Microsoft’s latest offering. If a web host performs an internal deployment of an Apprenda instance & plugs it into the portal, the auto-scaling & PaaS capabilities of Apprenda can be deployed directly from the Service Management Portal by the customers.

The Service Management Portal may prove to be the most prominent weapon for Microsoft in its war against virtualization king VMware to become cloud’s operating system. The vCloud-Datacenter-Services program & the vCloud-Director-Management software have provided the head start to VMware, but now Microsoft has got the answers to both. Microsoft, although, still needs to mature a lot, particularly if it wishes to contend for the enterprise-workloads.

Microsoft did something similar few years back with the introduction of Windows Azure Appliance, but it never worked. This strategy was confined to few big partners including Dell, Fujitsu, and HP. Apparently, Fujitsu is the only partner that followed through this strategy.

Microsoft is adding insult to the injury by planning to grow a service-provider-partners ecosystem with a latest program. This will assist them to shift from VMware’s hypervisor to Microsoft’s Hyper-V.

By Doug Hamilton

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