For those wondering what Microsoft has up its sleeve, in terms of its "private-cloud" strategy, there's a new resource worth tracking: The company's private-cloud blog.
The new blog -- which I discovered via another blog (Microsoft's increasingly prolific Nexus System Center blog) -- so far seems to be little more than a site for the Dynamic Data Alliance, a group for Microsoft hosting partners that are building around Microsoft's Dynamic Datacenter Toolkit for Hosters.
But here's how Jeff Wettlaufer, Senior Technical Product Manager for System Center, described the new blog:
"Hey everyone, I just had a chat with our friends over in the Private Cloud Computing Team, and they wanted to let all of you know they now have a team blog. Their blog is intended to be a hub to highlight their partners, customers and internal Microsoft personalities; as well as to promote announcements related to the Dynamic Data Center Toolkits for Hosters & Enterprises, and the Dynamic Data Center Alliance."
Microsoft has yet to describe any kind of comprehensive private-cloud strategy. So far, company officials have said that Microsoft will enable private-cloud hosting -- which, at least in the Microsoft world, so far sounds like not a whole lot more than on-premise datacenter computing to me -- via new enhancements the company is making to Windows Server, Hyper-V, System Center and its Dyanmic Data Center Toolkits. (The final release of the Dynamic Data Center Toolkit for Enterprises is slated to be available some time in the first half of 2010).
There is a high-level description of "The Microsoft Private Cloud" on Microsoft's Web site, however. According to that description Microsoft's Private Cloud will enable:
- Management of the datacenter fabric as a single pool of resources
- Delivery of scalable applications and workloads
- Focus on the management of the datacenter service and it’s dependencies
- Federation of services across the full cloud continuum
The Microsoft.com/Privatecloud URL currently doesn't offer up much more; it simply takes you to Microsoft's virtualization Web site.
Microsoft's foremost hosting competitor, Amazon.com, seems a lot further along on the private-cloud front. Amazon has in beta something it calls the Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC), which allows customers to use their private VPNs to access their Amazon Web Service Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) instances. Amazon's approach to the private cloud seems really different from what little we know so far about Microsoft's.
I am thinking Microsoft might have more to share about its private cloud plans at the Professional Developers Conference in mid-November, given that the PDC will be the launch pad for the first non-beta release of Azure, Microsoft's cloud platform. Guess we'll find out soon....