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Microsoft jumps into cloud computing, competing with Amazon AWS and Google AppsSubmitted by Morad on Mon, 01/04/2010 - 11:29
This is getting interesting, but definitely might be a little late
for Microsoft as it seems like the “company” is just chasing its
competitors tails of success.
Ray Ozzie, chief software architect @ Microsoft, has promised “2
years ago” that the next new service “Azure” will steal the spotlight
away from Google and other competitors. Basically, he was betting on
cloud computing which will bring Microsoft back to the edge. But too
late for that as Google and Amazon did beat it with “Google Apps” and
So, since Ray has lost his first bet, he made a new bet which is
“lead the marketplace as the best platform for rapid development,
deployment, and maintenance of internet services and applications.” I
doubt he will win this bet, as most of developers are not willing to
work .Net framework. There, they just lost 80% or more of marketplace.
– Getting technical now –>
Well, here is what Microsoft’s cloud looks like, from an architectural diagram standpoint:
Let me try to summarize what each layer represents here:
Layer zero: (which is not on this slide) is Microsoft’s Global
Foundational Services. GFS is like the hardware abstractionlayer (HAL)
in Windows. It is the lowest level of the software that interfaces
directly with the servers.
Layer one: is the base Azure operating system. This is what used to be codenamed Red dog.
Red Dog is what networks and manages the set of Windows Server 2008
machines that comprise the Microsoft-hosted cloud. At the highest
level, Red Dog consists of four “pillars”:
2. the “fabric controller,” which is a management system for modeling/deploying and provisioning
3. virtualized computation
4. development environment, which allows developers to emulate Red
Dog on their desktop and plug in Visual Studio, Eclipse or other tools
to write cloud apps against it. The way Red Dog is architected is
Microsoft only has to deploy Red Dog on a single machine and then
multiple instances of it can be duplicated on the rest of the servers
in the cloud using virtualization technology, Srivastava said.
Layer two: is the set of building block services that run on top of
Azure. Apparently, developers don’t have to use these services, but
then it is not clear of what is permitted. ~ Just wait and see.
Layer three: are the Azure-hosted applications. Some of these are
from Microsoft and include SharePoint Online, Exchange Online, Dynamics
CRM Online. Others will be authored by third-party developers.
That is it. So do you think Microsoft has a chance to compete with
Google Apps and Amazon AWS? Well, in my perspective, only in enterprise
level and that is if they play the cards right. And most probably I
will not use it as I despise .Net framework.
By the way, here’s a quick feature-by-feature analysis of how
Microsoft stack up against Amazon Web Services, Google App Engine, and