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Microsoft: Trust us to bridge the public-private cloud gap

The Server and Tools business at Microsoft is the division responsible for both Microsoft's public and private cloud platforms. Bob Muglia, the president of that division, is keynoting the Microsoft Management Summit (MMS) on April 20. A Cliff Notes version of Muglia's talking points already is posted on the System Center team blog

The Server and Tools business at Microsoft is the division responsible for both Microsoft's public and private cloud platforms. Bob Muglia, the president of that division, is keynoting the Microsoft Management Summit (MMS) on April 20.

A Cliff Notes version of Muglia's talking points already is posted on the System Center team blog. It sounds like Muglia will focus on Microsoft's Software + Services strategy -- a term which seems to have fallen out of favor with the Microsoft brass, even though the sentiment remains the same. The idea is customers who choose Microsoft will have to learn and buy into only one development platform and one management platform whether they want to run their apps on premises, in the cloud or in a hybrid of those two environments.

From the System Center blog:

"This bridging of the gap between on-premises IT and public clouds is something that only Microsoft can offer. For example, through customers’ upcoming ability to use System Center Operations Manager onsite to monitoring applications deployed within Windows Azure, there is a lot more to IT management than simply moving a VM to the cloud!"

Microsoft still officials have said very little about exactly what the "private cloud" encompasses beyond the usual set of Microsoft products. (I keep asking for more on that front, to no avail.) Some of my ZDNet colleagues think the whole "private cloud" concept is just datacenter computing with a new, fancy name -- something I've said, as well.

Update: Microsoft is going to announce a bit about one piece of its private-cloud infrastructure, officials just told me. Beta 2 of the company's Dynamic Infrastructure Toolkit for System Center is going to kick off soon, a spokesperson said. Last we heard, the final version of that tookit was due to ship in the first half of this year.

On Tuesday, Muglia is going to be offering a roadmap for some of the new on-premises and cloud systems-management wares in the pipeline from the company, however. According to the System Center blog post, System Center Virtual Machine Manager V-next and Operations Manager V-next are both due out in 2011. System Center Configuration Manager V-Next also is a 2011 deliverable, according to the blog post.

Yesterday, Microsoft took the wraps off the latest versions of other systems-management products: The RTM versions of Data Protection Manager 2010 and System Center Essentials 2010, as well as System Center online product now known as Windows Intune.

The Webcast of Muglia's Tuesday keynote at MMS can be viewed via Microsoft's Web site, starting at 11:30 ET.

Update 2: Here are a few of my take-aways from Muglia's keynote.

  • Microsoft is still plowing ahead with its 10-year Dynamic Systems Initiative. We're up to Year 7, Muglia said.  When Microsoft announced DSI in 2003, Microsoft officials talked more about autonomic computing, not  cloud computing. But all those lessons about automating datacenters are figuring into Microsoft's public and private cloud platforms and strategies he said.
  • Speaking of public cloud/private cloud, Muglia used the words"shared cloud" and "dedicated cloud" to make the distinction between the two during his keynote today. Where've we heard this nomenclature before? BPOS, Microsoft's Business Productivity Online Suite, comes in two flavors: Shared (multi-tenant) and Dedicated (single tenant). Microsoft will make shared and dedicated platforms available in Microsoft's own datacenters, in customer datacenters and partner datacenters, Muglia said.
  • Microsoft is no longer buying racks of servers; they're buying containers to reduce costs. As other Microsoft execs noted last fall, Redmond is working with OEMs to create smaller containers, with 100s of servers per unit, for customers who want ready-made dedicated datacenters, he said. Muglia didn't offer any guidance on when MIcrosoft and its partners might start shipping these dedicated containers.
  • Moving existing applications into the cloud involves a lot more than just moving a virtual machine, Muglia reiterated. That's why Microsoft is working on federated identity, service management, tools for managing service-level agreements, and other things beyond virtualization-focused solutions.