Microsoft Clarifies Its Version of Cloud
"We wanted to clarify what we see as 'the cloud,'" Greschler told eWEEK. "They [VMware] talk about a stack, but it's very much a disconnected stack-between this new infrastructure they've got [vCloud Director], and this new [vSphere] platform. "There is really no connection between the two. When they were showing some of the connections that were out there, it was all just clouds built on virtualization.""We've got virtualization with Hyper-V and System Center, Windows Server and so on. We've also got Azure and a whole suite of, in effect, software services-Exchange, SharePoint, SQL Server and so on," Greschler said. "What we've done is made sure that there is a very strong connection between virtualization and the cloud." Windows Azure is a cloud services operating system that serves as an offsite development, service hosting and service management environment. Using this Microsoft-owned-and-operated system, users can run enterprise workloads in the cloud; build, modify and distribute scalable applications with minimal on-premises resources; perform large-volume storage, batch processing, intense or large-volume computations; and create, test, debug and distribute Web services. For example, from a management perspective, Greschler said, "Microsoft System Center can, from a single pane of glass operations manager, manage an on-premises virtualized cloud, a third-party hosted virtualized cloud and Azure. You can just watch it all. "For a development perspective, you can take .NET apps-virtualized or not-and you can obviously run them as you always have, but you can also move them into Azure. A lot of people think Azure is just about new apps, which is really how VMware is positioning their platform. Ours is very different." Microsoft understands that data centers are going to have a mix of on-premises, third-party hosters and public cloud applications. "We want to make it completely seamless between them," Greschler said. Microsoft is extending improved identity and security software and services out to the cloud as well, Greschler said. "What we wanted to make clear to customers [in the open letter] that: a) we've got a very strong connection between virtualization and cloud; and b) we've got a cloud that's out there [in Azure]. What they're [VMware] really just talking about is virtualization." Microsoft questions scalability, elasticity in VMware cloud Just taking your application and moving it into a VM running somebody else's service isn't giving you any of the benefits of the cloud, Neil told eWEEK. "It won't give you that scalability or elastic behavior for applications that have capabilities to take advantage of that," Neil said. "Here's the real stark contrast," Greschler said. "Why is virtualization so popular? Server consolidation; much easier to do business continuity; rapid provisioning. Look at those benefits in the context of a public cloud: To get server consolidation-forget it. We're talking about server elimination. Don't worry about servers anymore. Business continuity? With virtualization business continuity, you still have to set up your network, etc. ... and that's where VMware is still talking. "What we're talking about with Azure is: Put it on our network-we have data centers all over the world-and it just runs. There's always the battle of live migration, vMotion, blah, blah, blah ... those issues go away with a real public cloud," Greschler said. "And costs, also, tied to all that." Microsoft has more than 10,000 customers currently running their applications on Azure, Greschler said. Many people would call that vendor lock-in. "We wanted to remind everybody that the vision they're [VMware] sort of spinning but don't really have, we've already got today, and it's available now," Greschler said.
Microsoft takes a completely different approach, Greschler said.