Welcome!

Microsoft Cloud Authors: Lori MacVittie, Elizabeth White, Yeshim Deniz, Serafima Al, Janakiram MSV

Related Topics: @DevOpsSummit, Microsoft Cloud, @CloudExpo, FinTech Journal

@DevOpsSummit: Article

Microsoft Takes Giant Leap | @CloudExpo @Azure #Cloud #IoT #BigData

Microsoft sets stage for an automated hybrid cloud future with Azure Stack Technical Preview

Last week’s arrival of the Microsoft Azure Stack Technical Preview marks a turning point in the cloud computing market and forms a leading indicator of how dramatically Microsoft has changed in the past two years.

The cloud turning point comes because the path to hybrid-cloud capabilities and benefits has a powerful new usher, one with the enterprise, developer, and service-provider presence, R and D budget, and competitive imperative to succeed in a market still under served and nebulous.

Over the past five years, public cloud infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) value and utility have matured rapidly around three major players: Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform, and Microsoft Azure. But hybrid-cloud infrastructure standards are still under-developed, with no dominant market driver.

The best path to a hybrid cloud global standard remains a vision only, fragmented in practice, and lacking a viable commercial beachhead.

OpenStack, Apache CloudStack, Cloud Foundry, Eucalyptus, vCloud Air — none is dominant, none forms an industry standard with critical mass at either the enterprise or service-provider levels. The best path to a hybrid cloud global standard remains a vision only, fragmented in practice, and lacking a viable commercial beachhead.

Right now, it’s hard for enterprise IT architects to place a major bet on their hybrid cloud strategy. Yet placing major bets on the best path to effective hybrid cloud capabilities is exactly what enterprise IT architects should be doing as soon as possible.

Instead of a clear private-to-public cloud synergy strategy, IT organizations are fretting over whether to take a cloud-first or mobile-first approach to their apps, data and development. They want to simultaneously modernize legacy apps, rationalize their data, give their organizations a DevOps efficiency, find comprehensive platform-as-a-service (PaaS) simplicity, and manage it all securely.  They know that hybrid cloud is a big part of all of these, yet they have no clear direction.

API first

The right way to approach the problem, says my friend Chris Haydon, chief Strategy Officer at SAP Ariba, is to resist cloud-first and mobile-first, and instead take the higher abstraction API-first approach to as many aspects of IT as possible. He’s right, and SAP’s own success at cloud models — particularly SaaS and big data as a service — is a firm indicator. [Disclosure: SAP Ariba is a sponsor of my BriefingsDirect podcasts.]

With Microsoft Azure Stack (MAS), the clear direction of the future of cloud is of an API-first and highly automated private-cloud platform that has full compatibility with a major public cloud, Microsoft Azure. Like public Azure, private Azure Stack supports workloads from many tools and platforms — including Linux and Docker — and, as a cloud should, fires up hypervisors to run any major virtual machine supported workload.

Sensing an integrated private cloud platform opportunity big enough to drive a truck through, Microsoft has developed MAS to be highly inclusive, with a unified application model around Azure Resource Manager. Using templates typically found on GitHub, MAS operators can rapidly and simply create powerful private cloud resources to support apps and data. Because it’s Azure-consistent, they also allow ease in moving those workloads to a public cloud. This is not a Windows Server or .NET abstraction, its a private-cloud abstraction, with an API-first approach to management and assembly of data centers on the fly.

Because it’s Azure-consistent, they also allow ease in moving those workloads to a public cloud.

Because MAS is built on software-defined data center (SDDC) principles and technologies, it requires modern and robust, albeit industry standard, commodity hardware. Converged and hyper-converged infrastructure models, then work very well to rapidly deploy MAS private clouds on-premises as appliances, racks, blocks, and allow cost and capacity visibility and planning to align the hardware side with the API-first model on the software infrastructure. Indeed, the API-first and converged infrastructure models together are highly compatible, synergistic.
Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) clearly has this hardware opportunity for enterprise private cloud in mind, recognizes the vision for "composable infrastructure," and has already partnering with Microsoft at this level. [Disclosure: HPE is a sponsor of my BriefingsDirect podcasts.]

Incidentally, the MAS model isn’t just great for new and old server-based apps, but it’s a way to combine that with desktop virtualization and to deliver the full user experience as a service to any desktop or mobile endpoint. And the big-data analytics across all database, app stores, and unstructured data sources can be integrated well into the server and desktop apps cloud.

Dramatic change

And this is why MAS portends the dramatic change that Microsoft has undergone. Certainly MAS and the Azure hybrid cloud roadmap suit Microsoft’s installed base and therefore Windows legacy. There is a compelling path from Windows Server, Microsoft SaaS apps and Exchange, .NET, and Visual Studio to Azure and MAS. There is a way to rationalize all Microsoft and standard data across its entire lifecycle. But there is also a customer-focused requirements list that allows for any client endpoint support, and an open mobile apps development path. There is a path for any enterprise app or database on a hypervisor to and from MAS and Azure. There are attractive markets for ISVs, service providers, and IT integrators and support providers. There is a high desirable global hardware market around the new on-premises and cloud provider hardware configurations to support SDDC modernization and MAS.

Clearly, Amazon Web Services and its stunning public-cloud success has clarified Microsoft's thinking around customer-centric market focus and more open IT systems design. But the on-premises data center, when made efficient via SDDC and new hardware, competes well on price against public cloud over time. And private cloud solves issues of data sovereignty, network latency, control, and security.

But to me, what makes Microsoft Azure Stack such a game-changer is the new path toward an automated hybrid-cloud future that virtually no other vendor or cloud provider is in a better position than Microsoft to execute. Google, Amazon, even IBM, are public-cloud biased. The legacy software IT vendors are on-premises-biased. Pretty much only Microsoft is hybrid biased and on the path to API-first thinking removes the need for enterprise IT to puzzle over the hybrid cloud boundary. It will become an automated boundary, but only with a truly common hybrid cloud management capability.

Because when you take the step toward API-first IT and find a common hybrid cloud model designed for the IT as a service future, then all the major IT constituencies — from dev to ops to CISO to business process architects to integrators to users — focus on the services. Just the services.

Once IT focuses on IT as a service, the target for deployment can be best managed programmatically, based on rules and policies.

Once IT focuses on IT as a service, the target for deployment can be best managed programmatically, based on rules and policies. Eventually managing the best dynamic mix of on-prem and public-cloud services can be optimized and automated using algorithms, compliance dictates, cost modeling, and experience. This hybridization can be extended down to the micro-services and container levels. but only if the platform and services are under a common foundation.

In IT, architecture is destiny. And business supported as management of services, with the infrastructure abstracted away, is the agile Digital Business that innovates and analyzes better than the competition.

A common set of API and data services that spans on-premises and public clouds is essential for creating hybrid clouds that support and propel business needs. With the right cloud model in place, IT leaders gain the freedom to acquire, deploy and broker all the services any business needs. IT becomes the source of business value streams, while the hybrid cloud supports that.

API-first private cloud instances on converged infrastructure with automated hybrid cloud services management is the obvious future. Too bad there have been so few clear paths to attainment of this end-game.

It just now looks like Microsoft is poised to get there first and best. Yes, it really is a new Microsoft.

[Disclosure: Microsoft defrayed travel expenses for me to attend a recent Microsoft Azure Stack workshop and industry analyst gathering.]

You may also be interested in:

More Stories By Dana Gardner

At Interarbor Solutions, we create the analysis and in-depth podcasts on enterprise software and cloud trends that help fuel the social media revolution. As a veteran IT analyst, Dana Gardner moderates discussions and interviews get to the meat of the hottest technology topics. We define and forecast the business productivity effects of enterprise infrastructure, SOA and cloud advances. Our social media vehicles become conversational platforms, powerfully distributed via the BriefingsDirect Network of online media partners like ZDNet and IT-Director.com. As founder and principal analyst at Interarbor Solutions, Dana Gardner created BriefingsDirect to give online readers and listeners in-depth and direct access to the brightest thought leaders on IT. Our twice-monthly BriefingsDirect Analyst Insights Edition podcasts examine the latest IT news with a panel of analysts and guests. Our sponsored discussions provide a unique, deep-dive focus on specific industry problems and the latest solutions. This podcast equivalent of an analyst briefing session -- made available as a podcast/transcript/blog to any interested viewer and search engine seeker -- breaks the mold on closed knowledge. These informational podcasts jump-start conversational evangelism, drive traffic to lead generation campaigns, and produce strong SEO returns. Interarbor Solutions provides fresh and creative thinking on IT, SOA, cloud and social media strategies based on the power of thoughtful content, made freely and easily available to proactive seekers of insights and information. As a result, marketers and branding professionals can communicate inexpensively with self-qualifiying readers/listeners in discreet market segments. BriefingsDirect podcasts hosted by Dana Gardner: Full turnkey planning, moderatiing, producing, hosting, and distribution via blogs and IT media partners of essential IT knowledge and understanding.

@ThingsExpo Stories
Announcing Poland #DigitalTransformation Pavilion
Digital Transformation is much more than a buzzword. The radical shift to digital mechanisms for almost every process is evident across all industries and verticals. This is often especially true in financial services, where the legacy environment is many times unable to keep up with the rapidly shifting demands of the consumer. The constant pressure to provide complete, omnichannel delivery of customer-facing solutions to meet both regulatory and customer demands is putting enormous pressure on...
CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO are the world's most influential, independent events where Cloud Computing was coined and where technology buyers and vendors meet to experience and discuss the big picture of Digital Transformation and all of the strategies, tactics, and tools they need to realize their goals. Sponsors of DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO benefit from unmatched branding, profile building and lead generation opportunities.
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that All in Mobile, a mobile app development company from Poland, will exhibit at the 22nd International CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO. All In Mobile is a mobile app development company from Poland. Since 2014, they maintain passion for developing mobile applications for enterprises and startups worldwide.
The best way to leverage your CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO presence as a sponsor and exhibitor is to plan your news announcements around our events. The press covering CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO will have access to these releases and will amplify your news announcements. More than two dozen Cloud companies either set deals at our shows or have announced their mergers and acquisitions at CloudEXPO. Product announcements during our show provide your company with the most reach through our targeted audienc...
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo, taking place November 12-13 in New York City, NY, is co-located with 22nd international CloudEXPO | first international DXWorldEXPO and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world.
Everything run by electricity will eventually be connected to the Internet. Get ahead of the Internet of Things revolution. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Akvelon expert and IoT industry leader Sergey Grebnov provided an educational dive into the world of managing your home, workplace and all the devices they contain with the power of machine-based AI and intelligent Bot services for a completely streamlined experience.
DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO are the world's most influential, independent events where Cloud Computing was coined and where technology buyers and vendors meet to experience and discuss the big picture of Digital Transformation and all of the strategies, tactics, and tools they need to realize their goals. Sponsors of DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO benefit from unmatched branding, profile building and lead generation opportunities.
22nd International Cloud Expo, taking place June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and co-located with the 1st DXWorld Expo will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud ...
In his keynote at 19th Cloud Expo, Sheng Liang, co-founder and CEO of Rancher Labs, discussed the technological advances and new business opportunities created by the rapid adoption of containers. With the success of Amazon Web Services (AWS) and various open source technologies used to build private clouds, cloud computing has become an essential component of IT strategy. However, users continue to face challenges in implementing clouds, as older technologies evolve and newer ones like Docker c...
"MobiDev is a software development company and we do complex, custom software development for everybody from entrepreneurs to large enterprises," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
JETRO showcased Japan Digital Transformation Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo® at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. The Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) is a non-profit organization that provides business support services to companies expanding to Japan. With the support of JETRO's dedicated staff, clients can incorporate their business; receive visa, immigration, and HR support; find dedicated office space; identify local government subsidies; get...
Dion Hinchcliffe is an internationally recognized digital expert, bestselling book author, frequent keynote speaker, analyst, futurist, and transformation expert based in Washington, DC. He is currently Chief Strategy Officer at the industry-leading digital strategy and online community solutions firm, 7Summits.
Bill Schmarzo, author of "Big Data: Understanding How Data Powers Big Business" and "Big Data MBA: Driving Business Strategies with Data Science," is responsible for setting the strategy and defining the Big Data service offerings and capabilities for EMC Global Services Big Data Practice. As the CTO for the Big Data Practice, he is responsible for working with organizations to help them identify where and how to start their big data journeys. He's written several white papers, is an avid blogge...
In past @ThingsExpo presentations, Joseph di Paolantonio has explored how various Internet of Things (IoT) and data management and analytics (DMA) solution spaces will come together as sensor analytics ecosystems. This year, in his session at @ThingsExpo, Joseph di Paolantonio from DataArchon, added the numerous Transportation areas, from autonomous vehicles to “Uber for containers.” While IoT data in any one area of Transportation will have a huge impact in that area, combining sensor analytic...
Bill Schmarzo, author of "Big Data: Understanding How Data Powers Big Business" and "Big Data MBA: Driving Business Strategies with Data Science," is responsible for setting the strategy and defining the Big Data service offerings and capabilities for EMC Global Services Big Data Practice. As the CTO for the Big Data Practice, he is responsible for working with organizations to help them identify where and how to start their big data journeys. He's written several white papers, is an avid blogge...
Charles Araujo is an industry analyst, internationally recognized authority on the Digital Enterprise and author of The Quantum Age of IT: Why Everything You Know About IT is About to Change. As Principal Analyst with Intellyx, he writes, speaks and advises organizations on how to navigate through this time of disruption. He is also the founder of The Institute for Digital Transformation and a sought after keynote speaker. He has been a regular contributor to both InformationWeek and CIO Insight...
Michael Maximilien, better known as max or Dr. Max, is a computer scientist with IBM. At IBM Research Triangle Park, he was a principal engineer for the worldwide industry point-of-sale standard: JavaPOS. At IBM Research, some highlights include pioneering research on semantic Web services, mashups, and cloud computing, and platform-as-a-service. He joined the IBM Cloud Labs in 2014 and works closely with Pivotal Inc., to help make the Cloud Found the best PaaS.
It is of utmost importance for the future success of WebRTC to ensure that interoperability is operational between web browsers and any WebRTC-compliant client. To be guaranteed as operational and effective, interoperability must be tested extensively by establishing WebRTC data and media connections between different web browsers running on different devices and operating systems. In his session at WebRTC Summit at @ThingsExpo, Dr. Alex Gouaillard, CEO and Founder of CoSMo Software, presented ...
I think DevOps is now a rambunctious teenager - it's starting to get a mind of its own, wanting to get its own things but it still needs some adult supervision," explained Thomas Hooker, VP of marketing at CollabNet, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.