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Posts tagged IaaS
Many businesses are changing their perspective on cloud services. A lot of arguments that prohibit acceptance of the cloud slowly start to crumble. Internet connectivity is a common good, bandwidths are increasing and even the legal aspects are dealt with. Instead of a threat the cloud now empowers possibilities. Microsoft anticipated on this change years ago with numerous game changing developments. They have set the bar with their public cloud offerings like Office365.com, Outlook.com and Bing.com just to name a few worldwide deployed services. They have even raised the bar further with their cloud operating system Windows Azure. Providing these services to millions of people gave Microsoft great insight.
Leveraging the knowledge learned through their public cloud offerings, Microsoft has created a great platform for the private cloud with Windows Server 2012 and System Center 2012. This scalable solution provides businesses an elastic environment of pooled resources with self-service capabilities and usage based metering.
Microsoft now takes it to the next level by bringing Windows Azure to Windows Server. This solution mainly focusses on service providers but if you do not consider yourself one, please continue reading. The new service has also immense potential for enterprise organizations and might even trigger IT organization to think about providing hosted services.
Windows Azure for Windows Server consists of a Service Management Portal and a Service Management API. Microsoft has released a beta of Windows Azure for Windows Server with two services and will continue to add services over time. The first two services are high density website hosting and virtual machine provisioning and management. I will focus on the virtual machine provisioning service in this blog.
Microsoft provides an end to end solution enabling service providers to create an IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) offering. This end to end solution consists four layers.
- Windows Server 2012: The virtualization layer
- System Center VMM 2012 SP1: The management layer
- Service Provider Foundation for SCVMM: Multitenancy for SCVMM and a REST ODATA API
- Windows Azure For Windows Server (WA4WS): The Service Management Portal and API
Windows Server 2012 is the most cloud capable Operating System ever released. Combined with System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012 as the management tool, they form the building blocks of the modern private cloud, providing scalability and availability features to meet even the most critical environments. Service Providers running hundreds or even thousands of workloads for their customers have these requirements. Leveraging the power of the private cloud, Microsoft enables multitenancy with the Service Provider Foundation (SPF). SPF also creates an industry standard Restful ODATA web service that developers can use for programming to System Center VMM 2012. This means that service providers can retain their current portal solutions and still benefit from the private cloud provided by Microsoft.
Windows Azure runs tens of thousands of customers and hundreds are added to the platform each day. As you can imagine the management portal, the primary tool for this platform, is used heavily. Since the launch of Windows Azure on February 1, 2010 the management portal has evolved to fulfill a diversity of requirements, from browser independency to easy administrating, monitoring and diagnostics. Microsoft has taken these developments to complete their end to end offering for service providers and created a Service Management Portal combined with a Service Management API for Windows Server that are now available in Beta.
Bob Muglia at Professional Developers Conference 2010 about Infrastructure As A Service (IAAS):
We bring a VM role to Azure!
You can take Windows Server 2008 R2 image that you’ve built with Hyper-V environment and move that into the Windows Azure environment and run it as is with no changes. Glad to have that feature. Over the next year we will be bringing out Windows Server 2003 and we will be enabling also image creation within the cloud, so we are treating this as something that helps you take your existing applications forward. We again believe very strongly as the destination for an applications are inside Windows Azure roles, but we know that many of you have applications there that need some work in order to maintain or may not be worth taking that step as of having this Infrastructure as a Service feature as a helpful transition there.
Server Application Virtualization: Server App-V
If you are familiar with App-V on the Windows client Server App-V takes an existing Windows application that writes to the registry and does a whole lengthy complicated install process and it packages it into a file, which can essentially be xcopied onto a desktop. We’ve taken that technology and now built it for the server environment and for the Windows Azure cloud environment and what it does it lets you take an existing application and then deploy that app without going through its installation process into a Windows Azure worker role. We think it is a very exciting way to help you get compatibility with existing Windows Server applications in the cloud environment.
I wrote about this nearly one year ago:
In my November blog I talked about moving virtual machines to the cloud. More evidence of an upcoming Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) can be found on MSDN, which describes virtual machine sizing, ranging from 1-core (Small) to 8-core (ExtraLarge) virtual machines with memory up to 15GB of memory and 2TB of disk space.
Another service described is the ability to mount Windows Azure drives, which act as a local NTFS drive, mounted on the server’s file system, accessible to code running in a role. This was previously referred to as an X-drive. Mounting a so called CloudDrive requires Windows Azure Guest OS 1.1 (release 201001-01).
Will we really be able to migrate a virtual machine from our private cloud to the Azure public cloud? I don’t think we have to wait much longer before hybrid clouds become a reality.
Will we be able to move a VMware VM to Azure? I think you can answer that for yourself.