Welcome!

Cloud Expo Authors: Trevor Parsons, Carmen Gonzalez, Jason Bloomberg, Glenn Rossman, Harry Trott

Related Topics: Cloud Expo, .NET

Cloud Expo: Article

When Are We Going To Have an SLA for Microsoft Azure?

Microsoft should clarify better whether Windows Azure platform is a .NET platform or a “mixed” platform

Alin Irimie's Azure Blog

After more than two “azure” months, with lots of new stuff to learn, a whole new alphabet soup to digest and a dozen or so Microsoft evangelists trying to navigate us through the plethora of “cloud services” that seem to pop up every day from Microsoft’s software-making machine, I believe something is not right with with the way the information is presented to the public or with the overall Microsoft strategy. Let me explain.

First of all, everybody is using nowadays “cloud” to describe anything that runs on the web. Cloud is the new buzzword, and Microsoft jumping on the bandwagon doesn’t make things any better. Before Windows Azure release, it was simple to explain “the cloud” to any CEO - we had Amazon with storage and computing power, we had Google with their app engine and some other smaller “cloud computing” offerings. Everything else was SaaS - Software as a Service. After Windows Azure release, looks like everything Microsoft releases is a “cloud service” - Exchange, Sharepoint, Office, Live Services etc. - just adding to the confusion about what “cloud computing” actually is. I believe Microsoft should have come up with a different buzzword to describe their Software as a Service/Software + Services offerings, one word, not many.

Second, Microsoft should clarify better whether Windows Azure platform is a .NET platform or a “mixed” platform where legacy application can run. Also, when they advertise “Windows Azure is an open platform that will support both Microsoft and non-Microsoft languages and environments“, they should explain better what exactly it means - can I write Erlang code, deploy and run it in the “cloud” or it means that I can access the services from outside the azure cloud? Every time I’m asked to recommend a “cloud” solution for a software application, I struggle with finding the answers to basic questions. Before scalability, reliability, and security, there are more basic questions that need to be answered and Microsoft doesn’t make it any easier. See, it is much easier to pitch an Amazon solution and easier for a CIO/CEO to understand.

Third, Microsoft needs to let us know at least the year Windows Azure will be released. When are we going to have an SLA. Also, please update the case studies on the windows azure website, because believe it or not, people look at them. It will be interesting to see the evolution of the showcased services, because without any updates they are just proof of concepts, evangelism material Microsoft created. And most important thing is - let us know which Microsoft products are using Windows Azure as a platform and how is it used - because unless Microsoft is using their own services, I cannot recommend the platform to anybody (lessons learned from .NET 1.1 release).

As I said, I have a bad feeling about Windows Azure. I’m not sure what it is but there’s something missing, something is not going right with it. Hopefully this new year will bring us some clarity in the clouds.

More Stories By Alin Irimie

Alin Irimie is a software engineer - architect, designer, and developer with over 10 years experience in various languages and technologies. Currently he is Messaging Security Manager at Sunbelt Software, a security company. He is also the CTO of RADSense Software, a software consulting company. He has expertise in Microsoft technologies such as .NET Framework, ASP.NET, AJAX, SQL Server, C#, C++, Ruby On Rails, Cloud computing (Amazon and Windows Azure),and he also blogs about cloud technologies here.

Comments (1) View Comments

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.


Most Recent Comments
Matt Rogers at MSFT 04/29/09 10:18:40 AM EDT

Alin, the points you are making are very reasonable, and are largely due to being a service in Community Technology Preview (CTP) rather than a launched service. Unfortunately some of your questions we are not able to answer while still in this mode, but will be resolved as we reach commercial availability later this year.

1) Is Windows Azure a .NET only platform? No, we have committed to opening the platform to most programming languages over time, meaning you will be able to deploy it and run it in our cloud, and also access the services from outside the cloud as you describe above. We took initial steps on this last month with the implementation of FastCGI and support for PHP. This was a step forward, but not the end. More on this later in the year. You can read a recap of where we are now on programming language interoperability in Windows Azure from Steve Marx at http://blog.smarx.com/

2) What year will Windows Azure release? 2009, late in the year. We have not backed down on this, no hedging...we will be commercially available by the end of this year.

3) When are we going to have an SLA? In just a couple months, we have said it will be "this Summer" and we are standing by that.

4) When will we update the case studies on the Windows Azure website? By commercial launch this year, probably much sooner. We are focused on building guidance around the service with the full features and capabilities that will be released later this year rather than the more limited CTP functionality.

5) Which Microsoft services are running on Windows Azure? All online services from Microsoft will move to Windows Azure, and the migration process is underway. We started this project for our own internal services, then added another dimension of making the service available commercially. We will talk about which services have moved later in the year and use our own learnings as case studies including the challenges and benefits we derive.

Matt Rogers
Windows Azure Product Marketing
twitter.com/mattrogerstx

@CloudExpo Stories
Performance is the intersection of power, agility, control, and choice. If you value performance, and more specifically consistent performance, you need to look beyond simple virtualized compute. Many factors need to be considered to create a truly performant environment. In their General Session at 15th Cloud Expo, Phil Jackson, Development Community Advocate at SoftLayer, and Harold Hannon, Sr. Software Architect at SoftLayer, to discuss how to take advantage of a multitude of compute option...
Come learn about what you need to consider when moving your data to the cloud. In her session at 15th Cloud Expo, Skyla Loomis, a Program Director of Cloudant Development at Cloudant, will discuss the security, performance, and operational implications of keeping your data on premise, moving it to the cloud, or taking a hybrid approach. She will use real customer examples to illustrate the tradeoffs, key decision points, and how to be successful with a cloud or hybrid cloud solution.
In today's application economy, enterprise organizations realize that it's their applications that are the heart and soul of their business. If their application users have a bad experience, their revenue and reputation are at stake. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Anand Akela, Senior Director of Product Marketing for Application Performance Management at CA Technologies, will discuss how a user-centric Application Performance Management solution can help inspire your users with every appli...
With the explosion of the cloud, more businesses are transitioning to a recurring revenue model to generate reliable sales, grow profits, and open new markets. This opportunity requires businesses to get to market quickly with the pricing and packaging options customers want. In addition, you will want to take advantage of the ensuing tidal wave of data to more effectively upsell, cross-sell and manage your customers. All of this is possible, but only with the right approach. At 15th Cloud Exp...
Planning scalable environments isn't terribly difficult, but it does require a change of perspective. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Phil Jackson, Development Community Advocate for SoftLayer, will broaden your views to think on an Internet scale by dissecting a video publishing application built with The SoftLayer Platform, Message Queuing, Object Storage, and Drupal. By examining a scalable modular application build that can handle unpredictable traffic, attendees will able to grow your de...
The cloud provides an easy onramp to building and deploying Big Data solutions. Transitioning from initial deployment to large-scale, highly performant operations may not be as easy. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Sr. Software Architect at SoftLayer, will discuss the benefits, weaknesses, and performance characteristics of public and bare metal cloud deployments that can help you make the right decisions.
Over the last few years the healthcare ecosystem has revolved around innovations in Electronic Health Record (HER) based systems. This evolution has helped us achieve much desired interoperability. Now the focus is shifting to other equally important aspects – scalability and performance. While applying cloud computing environments to the EHR systems, a special consideration needs to be given to the cloud enablement of Veterans Health Information Systems and Technology Architecture (VistA), i.e....
Cloud and Big Data present unique dilemmas: embracing the benefits of these new technologies while maintaining the security of your organization’s assets. When an outside party owns, controls and manages your infrastructure and computational resources, how can you be assured that sensitive data remains private and secure? How do you best protect data in mixed use cloud and big data infrastructure sets? Can you still satisfy the full range of reporting, compliance and regulatory requirements? I...
Scott Jenson leads a project called The Physical Web within the Chrome team at Google. Project members are working to take the scalability and openness of the web and use it to talk to the exponentially exploding range of smart devices. Nearly every company today working on the IoT comes up with the same basic solution: use my server and you'll be fine. But if we really believe there will be trillions of these devices, that just can't scale. We need a system that is open a scalable and by using...
Is your organization struggling to deal with skyrocketing volumes of digital assets? The amount of data is growing exponentially and organizations are having a hard time managing this growth. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Amar Kapadia, Senior Director of Open Cloud Strategy at Seagate, will walk through the essential considerations when developing a cloud storage strategy. In this discussion, you will understand the challenges IT is facing, why companies need to move to cloud, and how the...
If cloud computing benefits are so clear, why have so few enterprises migrated their mission-critical apps? The answer is often inertia and FUD. No one ever got fired for not moving to the cloud – not yet. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Michael Hoch, SVP, Cloud Advisory Service at Virtustream, will discuss the six key steps to justify and execute your MCA cloud migration.
The 16th International Cloud Expo announces that its Call for Papers is now open. 16th International Cloud Expo, to be held June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City brings together Cloud Computing, APM, APIs, Security, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps 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 opportunity. Submit your speak...
Most of today’s hardware manufacturers are building servers with at least one SATA Port, but not every systems engineer utilizes them. This is considered a loss in the game of maximizing potential storage space in a fixed unit. The SATADOM Series was created by Innodisk as a high-performance, small form factor boot drive with low power consumption to be plugged into the unused SATA port on your server board as an alternative to hard drive or USB boot-up. Built for 1U systems, this powerful devic...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Gridstore™, the leader in software-defined storage (SDS) purpose-built for Windows Servers and Hyper-V, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Gridstore™ is the leader in software-defined storage purpose built for virtualization that is designed to accelerate applications in virtualized environments. Using its patented Server-Side Virtual C...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloudian, Inc., the leading provider of hybrid cloud storage solutions, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Cloudian is a Foster City, Calif.-based software company specializing in cloud storage. Cloudian HyperStore® is an S3-compatible cloud object storage platform that enables service providers and enterprises to bui...
SYS-CON Events announced today that TechXtend (formerly Programmer’s Paradise), a leading value-added provider of server and storage virtualization, and r-evolution will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. TechXtend (formerly Programmer’s Paradise) is a leading value-added provider of software, systems and solutions for corporations, government organizations, and academic instit...
Every healthy ecosystem is diverse. This is especially true in cloud ecosystems, where portability and interoperability are more important than old enterprise models of proprietary ownership. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Mark Baker, Server Product Manager at Canonical/Ubuntu, will discuss how single vendors used to take the lead in creating and delivering technology, but in a cloud economy, where users want tools of their preference, when and where they need them, it makes no sense.
The consumption economy is here and so are cloud applications and solutions that offer more than subscription and flat fee models and at the same time are available on a pure consumption model, which not only reduces IT spend but also lowers infrastructure costs, and offers ease of use and availability. In their session at 15th Cloud Expo, Ermanno Bonifazi, CEO & Founder of Solgenia, and Ian Khan, Global Strategic Positioning & Brand Manager at Solgenia, will discuss this shifting dynamic with ...
The emergence of cloud computing and Big Data warrants a greater role for the PMO to successfully manage enterprise transformation driven by these powerful trends. As the adoption of cloud-based services continues to grow, a governance model is needed to orchestrate enterprise cloud implementations and harness the power of Big Data analytics. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Mahesh Singh, President of BigData, Inc., to discuss how the Enterprise PMO takes center stage not only in developing th...
Cloud computing started a technology revolution; now DevOps is driving that revolution forward. By enabling new approaches to service delivery, cloud and DevOps together are delivering even greater speed, agility, and efficiency. No wonder leading innovators are adopting DevOps and cloud together! In his session at DevOps Summit, Andi Mann, Vice President of Strategic Solutions at CA Technologies, will explore the synergies in these two approaches, with practical tips, techniques, research dat...