Windows Server 8 and the private cloud

Windows Server 8 enabling the “private cloud”. I recently got some emails asking me to go into some detail about what the private cloud was so, let’s talk about it a little. Let’s start with what cloud computing is – it’s simply the use of any commercial service delivered over the Internet in real time, from Amazon’s EC2 to software as a service offered by the likes of Salesforce or Google. There is now demand for private clouds. This is basically where companies try cloud computing in a local “private” environment as opposed to the internet in order to retain full control over the data and the infrastructure. There are some really solid technologies underlying Private Clouds.

  • Virtualization
  • Data center automation
  • Charge-back metering (a way of measuring costs of use accurately)
  • Identity-based security (only authorized people get access to the infrastructure and application resources they need).
Typically private clouds are only part of a company’s infrastructure and not all of it. Companies typically use both private and public clouds. Some brave large companies are also creating partner clouds which are private clouds which are shared exclusively with one or more business partners. This is an interesting business scenario and we have to wait and see exactly how that new model plays out. Microsoft seem to be have identified Cloud Computing as a priority with Windows Sever 8, Windows Azure and SQL Server. It will be interesting to see how Windows Server 8 will enable businesses to more efficiently create clouds for businesses. We will learn more about this at the BUILD conference in September of this year. One thing’s for sure though – If Microsoft can provide better ways to create and manage clouds, the rewards will be well worth it. This is also potentially one way to distinguish Windows 8 tablets – i.e. provide secure hooks from tablets into clouds based on Windows to Windows authentication. That’s one way to make Enterprises take a second look before purchasing thousands of Ipads. For more information on Cloud Computing, check out the Cloud Computing Zone.]]>

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