Welcome!

@CloudExpo Authors: Liz McMillan, Lori MacVittie, Elizabeth White, Kevin Benedict, 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
Enterprise IT has been in the era of Hybrid Cloud for some time now. But it seems most conversations about Hybrid are focused on integrating AWS, Microsoft Azure, or Google ECM into existing on-premises systems. Where is all the Private Cloud? What do technology providers need to do to make their offerings more compelling? How should enterprise IT executives and buyers define their focus, needs, and roadmap, and communicate that clearly to the providers?
SYS-CON Events announced today that Commvault, a global leader in enterprise data protection and information management, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Commvault is a leading provider of data protection and information management solutions, helping companies worldwide activate their data to drive more value and business insight and to transform moder...
Fifty billion connected devices and still no winning protocols standards. HTTP, WebSockets, MQTT, and CoAP seem to be leading in the IoT protocol race at the moment but many more protocols are getting introduced on a regular basis. Each protocol has its pros and cons depending on the nature of the communications. Does there really need to be only one protocol to rule them all? Of course not. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, walk you through how Oct...
The Internet of Things can drive efficiency for airlines and airports. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect with GE, and Sudip Majumder, senior director of development at Oracle, will discuss the technical details of the connected airline baggage and related social media solutions. These IoT applications will enhance travelers' journey experience and drive efficiency for the airlines and the airports. The session will include a working demo and a technical d...
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...
Digital innovation is the next big wave of business transformation based on digital technologies of which IoT and Big Data are key components, For example: Business boundary innovation is a challenge to excavate third-party business value using IoT and BigData, like Nest Business structure innovation may propose re-building business structure from scratch, as Uber does in the taxicab industry The social model innovation is also a big challenge to the new social architecture with the design fr...
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...
The many IoT deployments around the world are busy integrating smart devices and sensors into their enterprise IT infrastructures. Yet all of this technology – and there are an amazing number of choices – is of no use without the software to gather, communicate, and analyze the new data flows. Without software, there is no IT. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists will look at the protocols that communicate data and the emerging data analy...
SYS-CON Events announced today that China Unicom will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. China United Network Communications Group Co. Ltd ("China Unicom") was officially established in 2009 on the basis of the merger of former China Netcom and former China Unicom. China Unicom mainly operates a full range of telecommunications services including mobile broadband (GSM, WCDMA, LTE F...
DevOps at Cloud Expo, taking place Nov 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 widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long dev...
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...
Data is an unusual currency; it is not restricted by the same transactional limitations as money or people. In fact, the more that you leverage your data across multiple business use cases, the more valuable it becomes to the organization. And the same can be said about the organization’s analytics. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Bill Schmarzo, CTO for the Big Data Practice at EMC, will introduce a methodology for capturing, enriching and sharing data (and analytics) across the organizati...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Tintri Inc., a leading producer of VM-aware storage (VAS) for virtualization and cloud environments, will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Tintri VM-aware storage is the simplest for virtualized applications and cloud. Organizations including GE, Toyota, United Healthcare, NASA and 6 of the Fortune 15 have said “No to LUNs.” With Tintri they mana...
SYS-CON Events announced today that ReadyTalk, a leading provider of online conferencing and webinar services, has been named Vendor Presentation Sponsor at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. ReadyTalk delivers audio and web conferencing services that inspire collaboration and enable the Future of Work for today’s increasingly digital and mobile workforce. By combining intuitive, innovative tec...
All clouds are not equal. To succeed in a DevOps context, organizations should plan to develop/deploy apps across a choice of on-premise and public clouds simultaneously depending on the business needs. This is where the concept of the Lean Cloud comes in - resting on the idea that you often need to relocate your app modules over their life cycles for both innovation and operational efficiency in the cloud. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at19th Cloud Expo, Valentin (Val) Bercovici, CTO of So...
The Transparent Cloud-computing Consortium (abbreviation: T-Cloud Consortium) will conduct research activities into changes in the computing model as a result of collaboration between "device" and "cloud" and the creation of new value and markets through organic data processing High speed and high quality networks, and dramatic improvements in computer processing capabilities, have greatly changed the nature of applications and made the storing and processing of data on the network commonplace.
SYS-CON Events announced today the Enterprise IoT Bootcamp, being held November 1-2, 2016, in conjunction with 19th Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Combined with real-world scenarios and use cases, the Enterprise IoT Bootcamp is not just based on presentations but with hands-on demos and detailed walkthroughs. We will introduce you to a variety of real world use cases prototyped using Arduino, Raspberry Pi, BeagleBone, Spark, and Intel Edison. Y...
Major trends and emerging technologies – from virtual reality and IoT, to Big Data and algorithms – are helping organizations innovate in the digital era. However, to create real business value, IT must think beyond the ‘what’ of digital transformation to the ‘how’ to harness emerging trends, innovation and disruption. Architecture is the key that underpins and ties all these efforts together. In the digital age, it’s important to invest in architecture, extend the enterprise footprint to the cl...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftLayer, an IBM Company, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. SoftLayer, an IBM Company, provides cloud infrastructure as a service from a growing number of data centers and network points of presence around the world. SoftLayer’s customers range from Web startups to global enterprises.
DevOps at Cloud Expo – being held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA – announces that its Call for Papers is open. Born out of proven success in agile development, cloud computing, and process automation, DevOps is a macro trend you cannot afford to miss. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the world's largest enterprises – and delivering real results. Am...