Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Microsoft’s Azure Gets A Business Model And An Official Release Date

Via TechCrunch:

Microsoft says that Azure will be offered for purchase through a consumption-based pricing model and will try to continue to offer promotional discounts to enterprise customers. Pricing for Azure’s OS is $0.12 cents an hour for computing and $0.15 cents per Gigabyte per month for storage. SQL Azure will offer a basic $9.99 per month plan and a $99.99 business edition, which has a database capacity of up to ten gigabytes.

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Thursday, July 9, 2009

Microsoft SQL Services Is Now Microsoft SQL Azure, More Software + Services News Next Week At WPC09

Via LiveSide - Windows Live news and interviews:

MsftSQLAzure Microsoft is updating the branding for SQL Services and SQL Data Services. From now on SQL Services will be called Microsoft SQL Azure and SQL Data Services will be called Microsoft Azure Database:

This name change doesn’t reflect a change in the products themselves; we will still be providing a powerful relational database foundation to the Azure Services Platform. By standardizing our naming conventions, we’re demonstrating the tight integration between the components of the services platform. More intuitive names also help to reinforce the relationships between our on-premises and cloud solutions. Ultimately, the goal is to drive simplicity and clarity for customers as they consider on-premises and cloud computing approaches for solving their IT needs.

More news and updates related to Microsoft’s Software + Services strategy will be announced next week at Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference in New Orleans.

Long Zheng has been digging in deeper as to what might be announced next monday: Potential announcements already on people’s minds include the announcement and subsequent availability of Windows 7 RTM code and pricing and licensing plans for Windows Azure. What also might be announced is the public release of the Microsoft Office Web application that was announced back at PDC08, Long received some information that confirms this one. Can’t wait!

We’ll keep our eyes open, that’s for sure!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Meffifying Windows Azure

Via CodeBetter.Com - Stuff you need to Code Better!:

Magnus has been off doing some interesting work around integrating MEF with Windows Azure. The first question you might be asking is Why?

In his words, he set out to build a template for Windows Azure templates that:

  • enables testability
  • abstracts away storage
  • is extensible and easy to evolve during development
  • In the post he shows how to take the RoleManger and expose it through MEF, thereby making it pluggable. He then creates a mock Role Manager for use in his unit tests, thus removing the dependency on all the Azure infrastructure.

    I am guessing this is the first of many posts to come on MEF and Azure.

    For more, check out Magnus post here.


  • Open source to shape cloud computing, but not dominate it

    Via CNET News.com:

    Redmonk analyst Stephen O'Grady writes a bleak, but likely accurate, eulogy for open source's relevance to cloud computing. In a world where horsepower matters more than the software feeding those "horses," in terms of the entry cost to compete, and where big vendors like Amazon and Google are already divvying up the market, the odds of a small-fry, open-source start-up challenging "Goliath" are slim.

    Continue reading Open source to shape cloud computing, but not dominate it

    Thursday, July 2, 2009

    The Cloud as a Platform for Platforms

    Via Amazon Web Services Blog:

    Of the many things I love about AWS, I will mention three of my favorites in this blog post:

    • AWS does not force developers to use any particular programming model, language, or operating system.
    • AWS does not force developers to use the entire suite of services - they can use any of our infrastructure services individually or in any combination.
    • AWS does not limit developers to a pre-set amount of storage, bandwidth, or computing resources they can consume - they can use as much or as little as they wish, and only pay for what they use.

    Our customers love this flexibility. Today, a developer can run more experiments and achieve results much faster than before. If something does not work in a particular environment, the developer can drop that idea, click a few buttons, dispose all of his infrastructure and move on to the next experiment; starting with a fresh, new environment. Developers can try out several new ideas simultaneously by running multiple projects concurrently. Once the ideas are implemented, they can be further battle-tested using more resources in the AWS cloud until they become finished products. Developers love this because they are able to convert their concept/idea into a successful finished product quickly. As a result, we are seeing tremendous innovation happening at break-neck speed. The Cloud is becoming a platform for Innovation. 

    Continue reading about The Cloud as a Platform for Platforms.

    Monday, June 22, 2009

    The Role of the CTO & CIO in Cloud Computing

    Via Latest News from Cloudonomics Journal:

    Recently I asked a question on twitter, one I figured would stir up some debate. (Which was the point) The question was "Does the CTO matter any more with the rise of Cloud Computing or is it all about the CIO with data reigning supreme?"

    As the founder of a cloud software company, I am the self imposed CTO. I have no formal CTO training other then a passion for emerging technology. In a company full of PHd's, I have probably the least technical credentials with no formal post secondary education. As a CTO I view my job as the technical leader. My job is to stay ahead of the curve, spotting trends or even sometimes helping to create the trends based on what I see as a continued evolution occurring in computing. In this new information driven world, ideas have become the new currency and in this, I see my role as not only the technical leader but also the creative leader. I continually try to educate myself on the various emerging technologies with an eye toward their practical implementation within either our cloud software platform or within our customers infrastructures.

    For me thought leadership is also a very important aspect of my job. For example, this very blog, is a way for me to publicly think through various concepts with a kind of public peer review.

    I do admit, the job of a CTO can greatly vary depending on your company size and the market segment. Like any executive job role there is room for a standard deviation within it's definition. Most will agree there is no common definition of a CTO or it's responsibilities, apart from that of acting as the senior-most technologist in an organization. The role can also greatly vary depending on the type of work, industry or market segment of the organization. More over a CTO can be thought of as a "Jack of all technical trades" and possibly a master of some.

    I found the follow excerpt on wikipedia contrasting the differences of a CIO Vs CTO particularly insightful, "The focus of a CTO may be contrasted with that of a CIO in that, whereas a CIO is predisposed to solve problems by acquiring and adapting ready-made technologies, a CTO is predisposed to solve problems by developing new technologies. In practice, each will typically blend both approaches."

    "In an enterprise whose primary technology concerns are addressable by ready-made technologies, a CIO might be the primary representative of technology issues at the executive level. In an enterprise whose primary technology concerns are addressed by developing new technologies, or the general strategic exploitation of intellectual property held by the company, a CTO might be the primary representative of these concerns at the executive level."

    "A CTO is focused on technology needed for products and technology sold to clients where a CIO is an internal facing job focused on technology to run the company and maintaining the platform to run services to sell to clients."

    So basically a CTO is in charge of technology whether a phone system, security system, storage system or anything that has a technological aspect. In contrast the CIO leads the management of data / information and how it's utilized.

    With the rise of cloud computing the role of the CIO is quickly becoming one of the most important jobs in any well manged business. Information has become a disruptive tool and defining the information architecture while assuring a near realtime access to an ever expanding world of data will be the key metric in which successful and competitive businesses are measured. I won't go as far as saying the role of the CTO is becoming less important, but the role of the CIO is certainly more important then ever before and this is especially true of most modern data driven companies.

    I believe we are in the midst of a realtime information revolution. No longer can we sit back and analyze what happened yesterday, we must focus on what is happening now or even what will happen tomorrow. Those companies who have the most efficient access to a realtime data stream will dominate and the CIO not the CTO will be the person who will have the most influence in bringing about this coming corporate information revolution.

    The new generation of cloud-development platforms

    Via The Wisdom of Clouds:

    Software development "in the cloud" has been one of the really interesting developments to come out of the cloud computing market so far. While many early players, such as Zimky and Coghead died on the vine, there is a pretty robust Platform as a Service (or "PaaS") market out there today, with Google App Engine taking the most visible lead, and a pretty solid stable of Ruby on Rails-based hosting providers telling a compelling story of their own.

    Such success is driving some new players to seek the spotlight, however. I wanted to highlight two that I found most interesting. They are very different from one another, but those differences highlight the breadth of opportunity that remains in the PaaS market.