Microsoft’s Beginner’s Guide To Cloud Computing

As I mentioned in an earlier post today, Ron Markezich is talking at the MIT Sloan CIO Symposium later today in Cambridge, MA on a panel about cloud computing. I just caught up with John Foley’s post from InformationWeek who confirms that Ron will share five tips on how to get started in the cloud, based on the experiences of Microsoft's early cloud customers.

So here are the 5


  1. Know where and how cloud services fit into your company's IT architecture
  2. Prepare your company for the changes associated with cloud services
  3. Attend to your identity management system
  4. Choose the right apps
  5. Select the right cloud service provider


I wont steal John’s thunder as he has the detail on each but as he notes, it’s not a bad starting point to help the many befuddled executives and IT guys who’ve been baffled with the industry excitement around cloud.

Alternatively, our Presspass site has a Q&A with Ron and a series of videos discussing these key topics for CIOs looking to build a cloud strategy.

At the same time, I think it’s interesting that Software + Services is really starting to gain some acceptance in the market. Sure, people aren’t using that exact term but it’s funny how a few years ago it was derided as a way of preserving our client software business. To be honest it had a whiff of that when I first heard it but the deeper you dig, the more you can see some folks actually really thought about this and predicted where things would go. Hats off to David Tebbutt at Freeform Dynamics who’s one of the first to acknowledge this and goes so far as to say


It sticks in my craw to say it, but I think Microsoft got it dead right.

Comments (3)
  1. Steve,

    Microsoft may have got it dead right, but nobody will know until pricing emerges.

    Some of the things you have done in Azure storage definitely steal a march on S3 (really like the block level access to files and the 50GB max size for files, those are winners).

    Its unclear on how the fabric layer will play with everything else. Can I just drop existing win32 apps into a compute node or do I need to recast them to the Azure interfaces.

    Haven’t seen much talk about those details.

    We would like to use Azure, but it will need to be able to support Postgres and Python installations unmodified. Its not clear that the Azure compute environment will support those kind of installs.

    Finally, any cloud strategy that depends on a sole vendor had better understand that *every* cloud vendor will have outages and you need to understand what those outages mean for your business.



  2. Joe – great points and more will come to light on this Azure side over the next few months. i think you’ll be pleased.

    On your last point, that’s dead right – just like an internal IT shop today, nobody buys everything from one vendor and I don’t see the cloud being different so interop is going to be very important, as well as SLA’s.

    It’s still very early days for all this stuff so will be a while til it pans out but glad to hear you’re optimistic about it



  3. Let’s not get too carried away here. All I was saying is that the future is likely to be hybrid. Enterprises are likely to mix cloud services with their existing IT where it makes sense so to do.

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