Welcome!

@CloudExpo Authors: Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Peter Galvin, Sanjay Zalavadia, Pat Romanski

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Microsoft Cloud

@CloudExpo: Article

Ballmer's Memo on Microsoft's New Cloud Computing Platform

"The Azure Services Platform will provide fundamentally new ways to deploy services and capabilities"

"Windows Azure is not software that companies will run on their own servers," writes Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer in an executive memo circulated today to Microsoft's partners and customers. Ballmer continues: "It's something new: a service that runs in Microsoft's growing network of datacenters and provides the platform that helps companies respond to the realities of today's business environment, and tomorrow's ... enabling organizations and Microsoft partners to create their own cloud infrastructure." SYS-CON's Cloud Computing Journal brings you here the Ballmer memo in full:


"From: "Steve Ballmer" <[email protected]>
To: [redacted]
Subject: A Platform for the Next Technology Revolution
Date: Tue, 28 Oct 2008 14:38:36 -0700

During the past decade, a dramatic transformation in the world of information technology has been taking shape. It's a transformation that will change the way we experience the world and share our experiences with others. It's a transformation in which the barriers between technologies will fall away so we can connect to people and information no matter where we are. It's a transformation where new innovations will shorten the path from inspiration to accomplishment.

Many of the components of this transformation are already in place. Some have received a great deal of attention. "Cloud computing" that connects people to vast amounts of storage and computing power in massive datacenters is one example. Social networking sites that have changed the way people connect with family and friends is another.

Other components are so much a part of the inevitable march of progress that we take them for granted as soon as we start to use them: cell phones that double as digital cameras, large flat-screen PC monitors and HD TV screens, and hands-free digital car entertainment and navigation systems, to name just a few.

What's missing is the ability to connect these components in a seamless continuum of information, communication, and computing that isn't bounded by device or location. Today, some things that our intuition says should be simple still remain difficult, if not impossible. Why can't we easily access the documents we create at work on our home PCs? Why isn't all of the information that customers share with us available instantly in a single application? Why can't we create calendars that automatically merge our schedules at work and home?

This week at the Professional Developers Conference (PDC) in Los Angeles, we shared news with software developers about a new set of platform technologies that will help transcend these limits. Because you are a subscriber to Executive Emails from Microsoft, I wanted to share my thoughts about the impact that these technologies will have as developers begin to use them to create a new generation of experiences that extend uninterrupted from the desktop to the mobile phone, media player, car, and beyond-to places where we never thought information and communications would be available to us.

A New Platform for Cloud Computing

At PDC, we announced the availability of an early preview release of a new technology called Windows Azure. Windows Azure will enable developers to build applications that extend from the cloud to the enterprise datacenter and span the PC, the Web, and the mobile phone. For the first time, we shared pre-beta code for Windows 7 and for Windows Server 2008 R2. Windows 7, which is the next version of the Windows desktop operating system, will take advantage of software and hardware advances to help eliminate the boundaries between information, people, and devices.

We also previewed Office Web applications, which are light-weight versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote that are designed to be accessed through a browser. Office Web applications will be part of the next version of Office and will enable people to view, edit, and share information and collaborate on documents on the desktop, the phone, and in a Web browser in a way that is consistent and familiar.

Windows Azure is part of the Azure Services Platform, a comprehensive set of storage, computing, and networking infrastructure services that reside in Microsoft's network of datacenters. Using the Azure Services Platform, developers will be able to build applications that run in the cloud and extend existing applications to take advantage of cloud-based capabilities. The Azure Services Platform provides the foundation for business and consumer applications that deliver a consistent way for people to store and share information easily and securely in the cloud, and access it on any device from any location.

Windows Azure is not software that companies will run on their own servers. It's something new: a service that runs in Microsoft's growing network of datacenters and provides the platform that helps companies respond to the realities of today's business environment, and tomorrow's. Windows Azure technologies are already finding their way into products such as Windows Server 2008 and System Center Virtual Machine Manager, enabling organizations and Microsoft partners to create their own cloud infrastructure.

Windows Azure will enable organizations to respond to realities such as the need to use the Web to provide customers with comprehensive information and to interact with an audience that has the potential to expand exponentially overnight; to integrate operations with partners-and sometimes even competitors-to meet customer needs; to add new capabilities quickly to respond to new opportunities; and to enable employees to work efficiently and effectively no matter where they are. These realities apply not just to businesses, but to organizations of all kinds: schools, governments, community groups, and more.

Traditional approaches to building technology infrastructure and delivering computing capabilities make it difficult and expensive to adjust to these realities. You need systems with enough capacity to meet the highest possible demand-capacity that includes servers and buildings to house them, the power to run them, and the people to manage them. You have to spread that capacity across locations so there's a backup if one part fails. You have to solve issues like access for different types of users and compliance with tax regulations in all countries where your customers reside.

Designed specifically to meet the global scale that today's organizations require, the Azure Services Platform will provide fundamentally new ways to deploy services and capabilities. It gives businesses the option to take advantage of the capacity available in the cloud as it is needed, reducing the need to make large upfront investments in infrastructure simply to be ready when demand spikes. It will enable developers to create applications that run in the cloud and provide the features, information, and interactivity that employees, partners, and customers expect-no matter how many of them there are, where they are in the world, or what device they have at hand.

Software Plus Services and the Power of Choice

The Azure Services Platform reflects our belief that choice is critical for developers, companies, and consumers. It is also based on our belief that the key to delivering value today and in the future lies in combining the best aspects of software running on PCs, servers, and devices with the best aspects of services running on the Web-an approach we call "software plus services."

Our software plus services approach lets people take full advantage of the incredible power of today's devices. While there are undeniable benefits to being able to tap into the wealth of information and services that can be accessed over the Web through a browser, the interactive experiences that people expect on their PC, mobile phone, and media player depend on sophisticated software running on powerful processors.

The richness of these experiences will only increase as multicore processors expand the computing capabilities of our devices and new programming languages open the door to a new generation of applications that let us use more natural ways to interact with digital technology such as voice, touch, and gestures.

Software plus services also recognizes that for most companies, the ideal way to build IT infrastructure is to find the right balance of applications that are run and managed within the organization and applications that are run and managed in the cloud.

This balance varies by company. A financial services company may choose to maintain customer records within its own datacenter to provide the extra layers of protection that it feels are needed to safeguard the privacy of personal information. It may outsource IT systems that provide basic capabilities such as email.

This balance will change over time within an organization, as well. A company may run its own online transaction system most of the year, but outsource for added capacity to meet extra demand during the holiday season. With software plus services, an organization can move applications back and forth between its own servers and the cloud quickly and smoothly.

Today, companies around the world are implementing Microsoft technologies to take advantage of the best combination of on-premise software and cloud-based services. Using Microsoft Online Services, businesses including Coca-Cola Enterprises, Blockbuster, and Energizer access and manage Microsoft Exchange, SharePoint, Office Communications Server, and Live Meeting over the Web through a single, secure infrastructure. In addition, 1 million people rely on Office Live Workspace for sharing and collaborating with friends, family, and colleagues.

Expanding the Definition of Personal Computing

Ultimately, the reason to create a cloud services platform is to continue to enhance the value that computing delivers, whether it's by improving productivity, making it easier to communicate with colleagues, or simplifying the way we access information and respond to changing business conditions.

In the world of software plus services and cloud computing, this means extending the definition of personal computing beyond the PC to include the Web and an ever-growing array of devices. Our goal is to make the combination of PCs, mobile devices, and the Web something that is significantly than more the sum of its parts.

The starting point is to recognize the unique value of each part. The value of the PC lies in its computing power, its storage capacity, and its ability to help us be more productive and create and consume rich and complex documents and content.

For the Web, it's the ability to bring together people, information, and services so we can connect, communicate, share, and transact with anyone, anywhere, at any time.

With the mobile phone and other devices, it's the ability to take action spontaneously-to make a call, take a picture, or send a text message in the flow of our activities.

Through Live Mesh-a service from Microsoft that we announced earlier this year and about which we shared new information week-we're beginning to bridge the PC, phone, and Web and create this next generation of connected experiences. Built on the Azure Services Platform, Live Mesh enables you to use programs and information stored on your work computer from your home PC, and vice versa. With Live Mesh, you can share folders and ensure that the information is automatically synchronized across your devices.

Live Mesh hints at how our lives will be transformed as the barriers between devices disappear and the option to connect instantly to people, devices, programs, and information becomes a reality.

We're not quite there yet. Today, the Azure Services Platform is available only as a limited technology preview release. But as developers begin to combine the capabilities of this new platform with the amazing ongoing hardware and software innovations that we are seeing from companies across the industry, it will bring us significantly closer to the time when information, communication, and computing flows along with us seamlessly as we move through our day-to-day activities.

You can learn more about these technologies and the progress we are making by visiting the Microsoft Software + Services Web site.

I look forward to sharing more information with you about these new technologies in the near future.

Steve Ballmer"

 

More Stories By Cloud News Desk

Cloud Computing News Desk brings the latest industry news related to the Cloud paradigm of massively scalable IT resources and capabilities delivered as a service using Internet technologies. For up to date news on the International Cloud Computing Conference & Expo series, the easiest way is to follow it on Twitter.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@CloudExpo Stories
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life sett...
There are several IoTs: the Industrial Internet, Consumer Wearables, Wearables and Healthcare, Supply Chains, and the movement toward Smart Grids, Cities, Regions, and Nations. There are competing communications standards every step of the way, a bewildering array of sensors and devices, and an entire world of competing data analytics platforms. To some this appears to be chaos. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, Bradley Holt, Developer Advocate a...
The pace of innovation, vendor lock-in, production sustainability, cost-effectiveness, and managing risk… In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Dan Choquette, Founder of RackN, discussed how CIOs are challenged finding the balance of finding the right tools, technology and operational model that serves the business the best. He also discussed how clouds, open source software and infrastructure solutions have benefits but also drawbacks and how workload and operational portability between vendors ...
Digital Initiatives create new ways of conducting business, which drive the need for increasingly advanced security and regulatory compliance challenges with exponentially more damaging consequences. In the BMC and Forbes Insights Survey in 2016, 97% of executives said they expect a rise in data breach attempts in the next 12 months. Sixty percent said operations and security teams have only a general understanding of each other’s requirements, resulting in a “SecOps gap” leaving organizations u...
Cognitive Computing is becoming the foundation for a new generation of solutions that have the potential to transform business. Unlike traditional approaches to building solutions, a cognitive computing approach allows the data to help determine the way applications are designed. This contrasts with conventional software development that begins with defining logic based on the current way a business operates. In her session at 18th Cloud Expo, Judith S. Hurwitz, President and CEO of Hurwitz & ...
In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Lee Atchison, Principal Cloud Architect and Advocate at New Relic, discussed cloud as a ‘better data center’ and how it adds new capacity (faster) and improves application availability (redundancy). The cloud is a ‘Dynamic Tool for Dynamic Apps’ and resource allocation is an integral part of your application architecture, so use only the resources you need and allocate /de-allocate resources on the fly.
"A lot of times people will come to us and have a very diverse set of requirements or very customized need and we'll help them to implement it in a fashion that you can't just buy off of the shelf," explained Nick Rose, CTO of Enzu, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, wh...
It's easy to assume that your app will run on a fast and reliable network. The reality for your app's users, though, is often a slow, unreliable network with spotty coverage. What happens when the network doesn't work, or when the device is in airplane mode? You get unhappy, frustrated users. An offline-first app is an app that works, without error, when there is no network connection. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Bradley Holt, a Developer Advocate with IBM Cloud Data Services, discussed...
19th Cloud Expo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterpri...
What does it look like when you have access to cloud infrastructure and platform under the same roof? Let’s talk about the different layers of Technology as a Service: who cares, what runs where, and how does it all fit together. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Phil Jackson, Lead Technology Evangelist at SoftLayer, an IBM company, spoke about the picture being painted by IBM Cloud and how the tools being crafted can help fill the gaps in your IT infrastructure.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Bsquare has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For more than two decades, Bsquare has helped its customers extract business value from a broad array of physical assets by making them intelligent, connecting them, and using the data they generate to optimize business processes.
"SpeedyCloud's specialty lies in providing cloud services - we provide IaaS for Internet and enterprises companies," explained Hao Yu, CEO and co-founder of SpeedyCloud, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 19th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - comp...
Machine Learning helps make complex systems more efficient. By applying advanced Machine Learning techniques such as Cognitive Fingerprinting, wind project operators can utilize these tools to learn from collected data, detect regular patterns, and optimize their own operations. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Stuart Gillen, Director of Business Development at SparkCognition, discussed how research has demonstrated the value of Machine Learning in delivering next generation analytics to imp...
There is little doubt that Big Data solutions will have an increasing role in the Enterprise IT mainstream over time. Big Data at Cloud Expo - to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA - has announced its Call for Papers is open. Cloud computing is being adopted in one form or another by 94% of enterprises today. Tens of billions of new devices are being connected to The Internet of Things. And Big Data is driving this bus. An exponential increase is...
The 19th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Digital Transformation, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportuni...
Creating replica copies to tolerate a certain number of failures is easy, but very expensive at cloud-scale. Conventional RAID has lower overhead, but it is limited in the number of failures it can tolerate. And the management is like herding cats (overseeing capacity, rebuilds, migrations, and degraded performance). Download Slide Deck: ▸ Here In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Scott Cleland, Senior Director of Product Marketing for the HGST Cloud Infrastructure Business Unit, discusse...
Cloud computing is being adopted in one form or another by 94% of enterprises today. Tens of billions of new devices are being connected to The Internet of Things. And Big Data is driving this bus. An exponential increase is expected in the amount of information being processed, managed, analyzed, and acted upon by enterprise IT. This amazing is not part of some distant future - it is happening today. One report shows a 650% increase in enterprise data by 2020. Other estimates are even higher....
The cloud market growth today is largely in public clouds. While there is a lot of spend in IT departments in virtualization, these aren’t yet translating into a true “cloud” experience within the enterprise. What is stopping the growth of the “private cloud” market? In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Nara Rajagopalan, CEO of Accelerite, explored the challenges in deploying, managing, and getting adoption for a private cloud within an enterprise. What are the key differences between wh...