Microsoft's cloud buzzword of 2011: Hybrid

Microsoft's cloud buzzword of 2011: Hybrid

Summary: The week of March 21 kicks off in earnest the annual Microsoft annual cycle of tradeshows -- and the commencement of the first of many coming mentions of a word I predict we'll hear a lot in 2011: Hybrid.

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The week of March 21 kicks off in earnest the annual Microsoft annual cycle of tradeshows -- and the commencement of the first of many coming mentions of a word I predict we'll hear a lot in 2011: Hybrid.

I'm not talking about Microsoft employees' Priuses (Prii?) here. Instead, I'm talking about Microsoft's cloud-strategy push, which I'm predicting will be long on mentions of hybrid public/private clouds.

At next week's Microsoft Management Summit 2011 in Las Vegas, Microsoft is expected to the wraps off its "Concero" product. Concero, if you need a refresher, is a new management tool in the System Center family that will allow customers to oversee both on-premises and cloud-based services.

Concero, from a description I found on the MMS site a couple months ago, was described this way:

“The move to cloud based deployment of services will result in deployments which are partly on private on-premise clouds based on VMM and Hyper-V and partly on Windows Azure. In this hybrid world, it is imperative to have a management tool that allows customers to deploy and manage their services across these environments. System Center codename “Concero” is a self-service portal targeted at this customer base.”

(Microsoft has removed all references of Concero and "hybrid" from the MMS session list, by the way.)

At the upcoming Microsoft TechEd North America conference in mid-May, the "hybrid" message will get even more play, as the session list makes clear. There's a session slated on "Combining Public and Private Clouds into Useful Hybrids." There's one on how to set up Exchange and Office 365 as a hybrid deployment. There's a "Public and Private Cloud: Better Together" session on the agenda, and another focused on bridging the public and private cloud.

I recently asked Microsoft Office Division President Kurt DelBene, who was on a press tour on the East Coast, about the hybrid messaging, and he said that Microsoft's focus on both private and public clouds reflected how customers are moving to the cloud. They're doing it in a staged way, typically, keeping some assets on their own servers and testing the cloud infrastructure with other less "mission critical" data.

Microsoft isn't the only company that increasingly is playing up the "H" word. Just recently, Microsoft archrival VMware also has begun talking up the importance of "hybrid cloud management." Its recently announced vCenter Operations product will allow both internal and external virtual machines to get system configuration, performance management, and capacity management functionality. The product will be available in standard, advanced, and enterprise editions, each  available at the end of March with pricing that starts at $50 per managed VM.

Amazon, another Microsoft cloud rival, announced this week an expansion of its Virtual Private Cloud technology. Amazon's VPC is "a secure bridge between your existing IT infrastructure and the AWS cloud using an encrypted VPN connection," and is something in which a number of IT managers considering Amazon have expressed interest.

Amazon released a number of new features for VPC this week, including a new wizard for streamlining the set-up process; the ability to control the full network topology; Internet access via an Internet gateway; elastic IP addresses for EC2 instances within a VPC; and an option to create a VPC that doesn't have a VPN connection. (Separately, Amazon also added support this week for Windows Server 2008 R2 instances on EC2 to its cloud lineup.)

Microsoft is working on its own networking bridge between on-premises servers and Windows Azure. (Another "hybrid" product.) That technology, Windows Azure Connect (codenamed "Project Sydney") is supposed to be available in the first half of 2011 in final form, last we heard.

Topics: Mobility, IT Employment, Software, Operating Systems, Networking, Amazon, Microsoft, Hardware, Collaboration, CXO, Windows

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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26 comments
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  • And, who will use the garbage besides MS. Of the very largest players, MS

    is the only one stupid enough to use Windows. Well, what choice do they have?
    DonnieBoy
    • RE: Microsoft's cloud buzzword of 2011: Hybrid

      @DonnieBoy

      What's the matter Donnie? You lost? This blog is Windows only, so I think you're the only non-Windows user here (and I think you use Windows anyway).
      tonymcs@...
      • Message has been deleted.

        DonnieBoy
      • Message has been deleted.

        SlithyTove
      • RE: Microsoft's cloud buzzword of 2011: Hybrid

        @DonnieBoy,<br>"And, what I said is true. Only smaller players that do not know what they are doing use Windows on servers."<br><br>I would guess that the majority of all fortune 500 companies have Windows Server running somewhere in their network. (Many of them it's the platform of choice). So you are saying the majority of fortune 500 companies don't know what they are doing? How arrogant.
        bmonsterman
    • RE: Microsoft's cloud buzzword of 2011: Hybrid

      @DonnieBoy Well I guess that would mean you since you seem to qualify for that intelligence group. Just humors me to no end how you keep yapping away all these years, and you're still wrong.

      We are 1.7 Billion dollare company, with 3000 employees world wide. We use Window Servers, Sun/Solaris, and a few (very few) Linux Servers, SalesForce.Com, Google Docs, Google Sites, Office 2007 and Office 2010. So you see you really DON'T know what your talking about.
      ItsTheBottomLine
  • RE: Microsoft's cloud buzzword of 2011: Hybrid

    I would really like to use my Outlook in the office and have it automatically connected to the phone and other cloud entities. It sort of works now, but still clunky.
    Zappykins
    • Ever heard of IMAP ?

      @Zappykins NT
      wackoae
      • RE: Microsoft's cloud buzzword of 2011: Hybrid

        @wackoae Doesn't work for contacts, calendar, todos etc.
        wright_is
  • RE: Microsoft's cloud buzzword of 2011: Hybrid

    The marketing departments of large companies like Microsoft have to push their own ?vision? statements and proprietary buzz words like ?hybrid? to try and sound different to their competitors. At the same time they are probably confusing people who are still trying to get their heads round the basic Cloud Computing concept?

    http://grahamsblog4444.blogspot.com/
    grahamc2
  • CLOSE!

    Not quite there my friend!
    nomoreds
  • RE: Microsoft's cloud buzzword of 2011: Hybrid

    i like windowns then :)
    www.awwgame.com
    lariosshow
  • This is a solid approach

    a well thought out mixture of on-premise and in-cloud hybridization is a winning strategy. Just as 10 years ago you did not cluster all of your SQL servers, today you do not have to have every reporting database in the cloud. Technologies that can work effectively across these environments, like Microsoft, will win in the long run because they understand the business need.
    Your Non Advocate
    • RE: Microsoft's cloud buzzword of 2011: Hybrid

      @facebook@... Agreed I've been saying for the last 5 years, that most companies will not buy into cloud as a 100% solution, a lot of data is too sensitive to let out into the cloud, companies want to keep that data on local servers, where they at least have the illusion of security.

      A lot of solutions also cannot guarantee where the data will be stores - for example, it is illegal to store personal information (address, age etc.) of customers, employees etc. outside of the European Union, for companies based in the EU. If their cloud partner cannot guarantee that the information won't be offshored (E.g. America or India), then they can't use the service. If they can seemlessly segregate and keep the "private" information within the region, in their own private cloud, with other data in the cloud, there may be a chance for it to succeed.
      wright_is
      • RE: Microsoft's cloud buzzword of 2011: Hybrid

        @wright_is,
        "Agreed I've been saying for the last 5 years, that most companies will not buy into cloud as a 100% solution, a lot of data is too sensitive to let out into the cloud, companies want to keep that data on local servers, where they at least have the illusion of security."

        Yea...not too mention the ones that do move most of their data into the cloud will want to do a phased approach.
        bmonsterman
    • Agreed...

      @facebook@... I attended one of Microsoft's early sessions on BPOS and Office 365...the room unanimously talked about a hybrid approach. For most companies 50-90 percent of their user base are non-mission critical email users and when lights go out senior management expect core services. The mobile sales force, remote offices, distribution centres, etc... for many companies work well with a cloud based service while corporate head office users may find on premise services better. The cloud is not a one shoe fits all solution so Microsoft's approach is the best one...let the customer decide how much or how little of the cloud they want to use but make it easy for them to manage either way they go.
      GeiselS
  • RE: Microsoft's cloud buzzword of 2011: Hybrid

    So this is scarcely original -- IBM starting supporting hybrid clouds with cross-cloud management schemes quite a while ago, but it is the way the market will be going. I think large enerprises with some Microsoft but other servers for their own data centers aren't likely to manage Unix servers and mainframes running private clouds with MS hybrid management software -- there are already products for this from vendors whose customers are accustomed to buying management software (IBM, Oracle, etc.)
    amywohl
  • All this talk of Clouds

    Many people I've spoken to recently are getting tired of hearing "Clouds". This is even more ridiculous when they speak of on-prem clouds! Isn't that FOG? Most non-tech folks are completely confused as to what this is. Why don't they just use a more scientific, computer oriented terminology?

    And I also think they should leave "Hybrid" to the Prii!
    greg_nw@...
    • RE: Microsoft's cloud buzzword of 2011: Hybrid

      @greg_nw@...

      The term "cloud" has annoyed me as well. Here we are in a technical field using a very vague, generic term. It sounds very out of place every time I hear somebody use the term.
      CobraA1
  • RE: Microsoft's cloud buzzword of 2011: Hybrid

    Basically clouds suck lol From a business angle it's just a very uncomfortable risk I don't think many will want to deal with anytime soon.
    Fletchguy