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Microsoft Makes It Harder To Avoid Azure

timothy posted about 9 months ago | from the psst-that-shade-of-blue-is-following-you dept.

Microsoft 164

itwbennett writes "Earlier this week, Microsoft rolled out a handful of hybrid cloud services that make it easy for businesses to start using Azure in a small way. What struck blogger Nancy Gohring about the announcement was 'how deeply Microsoft is integrating Azure into other products,' with the intention of moving long-time customers onto Azure in ways that are hardly perceptible to them."

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What is old is new (5, Interesting)

nurb432 (527695) | about 9 months ago | (#45229051)

Everyone leasing time to run their applications and access their data. Like it or not, welcome back to the mainframe age folks, just with more shine and color.

Re:What is old is new (3, Funny)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about 9 months ago | (#45229369)

"Hey. Let's copy this iCloud thing. Copying SalesForce and Amazon aren't driving Microsoft into a leadership position, as we'd hoped..."

Re:What is old is new (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45229757)

If you think Azure is like iCloud then you're a moron.

Re:What is old is new (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45229929)

"Hey, lets copy that Live Mesh thing that no one has heard of" -Apple, designing iCloud.

icloud runs on Azure.. (3, Interesting)

cybrthng (22291) | about 9 months ago | (#45230987)

Last i checked Apple actually uses azure for some of its cloud offering. It's been that way since 2011.. or maybe longer..

Re:What is old is new (1, Informative)

couchslug (175151) | about 9 months ago | (#45230569)

Welcome to Vendor Lock.

Enjoy your stay.

Re:What is old is new (2)

cybrthng (22291) | about 9 months ago | (#45230993)

It's not very locked in at all. Anyone moving to the cloud will use SCCM, Chef, Ansible, Puppet or whatever desired state config system and provisioning platform they want and provision & deploy environments on demand. You simply run your Windows / Linux VM's or deploy your apps to the app services and scale out as needed. If you get tired of azure or find something cheaper, you edit your provisioning & deployment to deploy elsewhere.

Re:What is old is new (2)

Tablizer (95088) | about 9 months ago | (#45230683)

welcome back to the mainframe age

First it was big bloated servers; then big bloated clients, and now it's big bloated servers, clients, and users.

Re:What is old is new (3, Funny)

Nerdfest (867930) | about 9 months ago | (#45230837)

... and CEOs.

Re:What is old is new (2)

theshowmecanuck (703852) | about 9 months ago | (#45230951)

That's blow hard, not blow-ted.

WTF is Azure? (3, Interesting)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 9 months ago | (#45229057)

Seriously, I don't use any Microsoft products so I have no idea what Azure is supposed to be. A small description or at the very least a link to Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] should have been at the beginning of your text, itwbennett.

Re:WTF is Azure? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45229197)

It's Microsoft's implementation of MobileMe, only it doesn't work as well.

Re:WTF is Azure? (1)

Gilmoure (18428) | about 9 months ago | (#45229457)

Damn, that's cold!

Re:WTF is Azure? (4, Funny)

Scarletdown (886459) | about 9 months ago | (#45229779)

It's Microsoft's implementation of MobileMe, only it doesn't work as well.

You probably should have included a link to the Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] entry on MobileMe.

Re:WTF is Azure? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45230051)

Ha Ha .. What is MobileMe ?

Bing (5, Funny)

Frankie70 (803801) | about 9 months ago | (#45229245)

http://letmebingthatforyou.com/?q=azure [letmebingthatforyou.com]

Re:Bing (5, Funny)

QilessQi (2044624) | about 9 months ago | (#45229781)

Very informative, thanks... but what's "bing"?

Re:Bing (4, Funny)

sconeu (64226) | about 9 months ago | (#45229823)

Duh... it's what EVERYONE uses.... Don't you watch Hawaii Five-0?

Re:Bing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45230109)

Yes, but what do they use it FOR?!

Re: Bing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45230215)

Nothing. It stands for "Ballmer Is Not Good".

Ballmer has been fired from Microsoft, but given time to leave while the Microsoft board of directors looks for someone equally incompetent. The punishment for being incompetent? [forbes.com] Read this article: Ballmer Quits, Instantly Makes (Almost) $1 Billion. [forbes.com] Investors are so happy he is leaving, the stock has gone up, so Ballmer profits.

Re:Bing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45230019)

Very informative, thanks... but what's "bing"?

He had a hit with "White Christmas" a long time ago. But, that's not important now....

(ducks)

Re:Bing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45230069)

Very informative, thanks... but what's "bing"?

Wasn't Bing that guy [wikipedia.org] on "Friends" [wikipedia.org] ?

Re:Bing (2)

theshowmecanuck (703852) | about 9 months ago | (#45230977)

Bing [wikipedia.org]

Re:WTF is Azure? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45229321)

Seriously, I don't use any Microsoft products so I have no idea what Azure is supposed to be.

It's like Juju.

Re:WTF is Azure? (-1, Offtopic)

FudRucker (866063) | about 9 months ago | (#45229341)

same here, i have not used microsoft since windows 2000 pro, and never bought any Apple products, if you seen the beat up old 686 i use you would laugh, but it keeps chugging along on Linux just fine

Re:WTF is Azure? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45229399)

WinXP would too.

Re:WTF is Azure? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45229705)

If it's not connected to the Internet, that is.

Re:WTF is Azure? (4, Insightful)

icebike (68054) | about 9 months ago | (#45229459)

same here, i have not used microsoft since windows 2000 pro, and never bought any Apple products, if you seen the beat up old 686 i use you would laugh, but it keeps chugging along on Linux just fine

Then clearly this story is not for you.
Move on. No need to weigh in with yet another "me neither" post.

Re:WTF is Azure? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45231273)

I have a 1927 typewriter. If you hit the keys hard enough you can make up to 3 carbon copies. I sense that it too wil not be Azure-ready?

Re:WTF is Azure? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45229495)

Wow. You're so cool. How can I be just like you?
 
I guess by not being on topic in a sad attempt to flex my geek muscle, huh?
 
BTW, I have a working C=VIC20.
 
SUCK IT, N00B!!!

Re:WTF is Azure? (1)

Dishevel (1105119) | about 9 months ago | (#45229645)

I have a TI-994A. Working. With an Extended Basic cartridge too!

Re:WTF is Azure? (1)

Scarletdown (886459) | about 9 months ago | (#45229805)

I have a TI-994A. Working. With an Extended Basic cartridge too!

As do I, but also with the Expansion Box, disk drive, memory expansion card, and RS-232 card.

However, in the words of Topper, from Dilbert, "That's nothing! I also have a lovely 48KB dual Disk drive TRS-80 Model III..."

Ain't she a beauty? [photobucket.com]

Re:WTF is Azure? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45230083)

I'd kill you for that cardrige

Re:WTF is Azure? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45229803)

same here, i have not used microsoft since windows 2000 pro, and never bought any Apple products, if you seen the beat up old 686 i use you would laugh, but it keeps chugging along on Linux just fine

Then you cannot say much about modern Microsoft products either, as you have not tried them.

Re:WTF is Azure? (0)

FudRucker (866063) | about 9 months ago | (#45229821)

i seen plenty of microsoft's products on other people's PCs and laptops, and i am not impressed with what microsoft has = closed source mystery meat that might be full of NSA backdoors

Re:WTF is Azure? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45230505)

When it comes to spying on others? Only dipshits and script kiddies think of doing it client side first.
 
But I've read your other shit and you're a total fucking asshole.

Re:WTF is Azure? (1)

FudRucker (866063) | about 9 months ago | (#45231247)

you think i live in a vacuum? i have family and friends that have desktops & laptops that have ms-windows on them and they let me use them and sometimes i help them with various things from graphics editing to documents to fixing their screwed up piece of crap microsoft operating system...

and i do not care what you think of me, you can go eat shit and die for all i care, now you can go play a game of hide and go fuckyourself anonymous coward

Re:WTF is Azure? (1)

Actually, I do RTFA (1058596) | about 9 months ago | (#45230157)

if you seen the beat up old 686 i use you would laugh, but it keeps chugging along on Linux just fine

You mean a Pentium II? Cause Intel discontinued that numbering system before it would have hit 686.

But, I would miss the video streaming with a machine that old. To say nothing of decent compile times.

Re:WTF is Azure? (1)

rnturn (11092) | about 9 months ago | (#45230289)

``Intel discontinued that numbering system before it would have hit 686.''

Well somebody decided to keep using it. Most of the systems here at home return `i686' in response to `uname -m'.

Re:WTF is Azure? (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 9 months ago | (#45230471)

They could trademark "i686" because it's not a number.

Re:WTF is Azure? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45231175)

686 on the imaginary axis. Totally a number.

Re:WTF is Azure? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45229517)

Seriously, I don't use any Microsoft products so I have no idea what Azure is supposed to be. A small description or at the very least a link to Wikipedia should have been at the beginning of your text, itwbennett.

I'm sitting at a Windows 7 machine and I had no idea Azure was Microsoft's clouds service. Why didn't they call it Microsoft Cloud and trademark another common word like they usually do?

Re:WTF is Azure? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45230005)

WTF is Azure? Azure is a variation of blue that is often described as the color of the sky on a clear summer's day. Its dominant wavelength is about 488 nm. On the RGB color wheel... (from wiki)

I thought everyone knew this! ;)

Re:WTF is Azure? (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 9 months ago | (#45230483)

Well, you're a girl [bagofnothing.com] .

Re: WTF is Azure? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45230519)

Gfgi.

Re: WTF is Azure? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45230553)

I agree, should have a link to wikipedia explaining what Microsoft is. Just like my professors in College should have done the research of any and all of my research essays.

Cloud OS (1)

ozgood (873183) | about 9 months ago | (#45229141)

Well yeah... They are calling server 2012 r2, the Cloud OS, : http://blogs.technet.com/b/in_the_cloud/archive/2013/10/18/today-is-the-ga-for-the-cloud-os.aspx [technet.com]

Re:Cloud OS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45229171)

I have a "Cloud OS " T-Shirt from the original server 2012 launch. Nothin' new with the naming!

Re:Cloud OS (3, Insightful)

icebike (68054) | about 9 months ago | (#45229231)

The big item in today's announcement is the automated backup to the cloud of "data" on your in house server.

There are a lot of small businesses that are running naked with minimal or haphazard backup. If they can get this
widely accepted they will be doing those people a favor.

But then there is this:

Microsoft makes a point of noting that the data is encrypted on site at the customer’s premise before it is sent to Azure and the customer retains and manages the encryption key.

One has to assume the "Customer retains and manages one copy of the many encryption keys" that can decrypt their data.
Microsoft's crypt APIs are all back-doored to the NSA.

True, most small businesses probably don't care all that much, as long as they can get their data back.
But I would still opt for local and off site storage in physical media before trusting a company with Microsoft's
track record.

Re:Cloud OS (2)

onyxruby (118189) | about 9 months ago | (#45230039)

Microsoft's crypt APIs are all back-doored to the NSA.

Citation please

Re:Cloud OS (0, Troll)

icebike (68054) | about 9 months ago | (#45230231)

Microsoft's crypt APIs are all back-doored to the NSA.

Citation please

O come on, do you really expect to find a Microsoft page with such a statement, or an NSA page?
You are trying to send me on a fool's errand, because you are too lazy to try a bing or google search.
You know you can't lose, because no mater what source I post, you will simply declare it non authoritative.

So do your own homework son.
key three words into Google: nsa microsoft encryption, hit enter and start reading. You've got a lot of catching up to do.
There is a world at your fingertips. Use it.

Re:Cloud OS (4, Interesting)

onyxruby (118189) | about 9 months ago | (#45230773)

Put down the tinfoil hat and join the real world. You haven't got a citation because it's only something you want to believe and has no basis in reality. What's next, claiming that Linux has a backdoor for the NSA and that Linus Torvalds is on their payroll?

If something like what you claim existed Snowden would have dumped it along with the rest. It would have been revealed and Microsoft stock would have taken a massive multi-billion dollar hit from the news. All that kind of talk does it make you sound like a crazy conspiracy theory nut.

Re:Cloud OS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45230923)

Shhhh hear that TING TING TING noise? That is the nail for MS's coffin being driven further and further shut. I didn't read the article but I would imagine the blogger left out the monthly fess, or they added them to the story. THis is just going to force businesses and people to switch to Linux or open software, it will save money and time.

I do think businesses care and your seeing more businesses trying to cut costs and become more efficient with the IT part of there businesses. And with the wide open unknown cloud being hackable among other things, not so sure businesses have a "we don't care attitude" anymore.

Re:Cloud OS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45231003)

the customer retains and manages the encryption key

I'd be worried about this part already.

Re:Cloud OS (1)

cybrthng (22291) | about 9 months ago | (#45231013)

You should always use your own client controlled encryption to protect yourself regardless of which offsite backup solution you choose. Even with amazon glacier i encrypt locally.

They should have named it Mint (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45229215)

Because it prints money, geddit?

Re:They should have named it Mint (1)

syockit (1480393) | about 9 months ago | (#45230541)

Is that why everybody's moving away from Ubuntu these days?

Options are good but... (2)

WaffleMonster (969671) | about 9 months ago | (#45229219)

Who in their right mind would throw down that kind of recurring cash for Azure?

Modern hardware is insanely capable, reliable and cheap. Our Internet pipes are as cheap and fat as ever... This leaves me to scratch my head on justification for this.

You still need "IT" people to manage clients and access environment even if servers are hosted elsewhere. We have four racks of Windows and Linux systems running for years with only minimal maintenance. If you don't buy complete crap shit just runs.

If people see value in this so be it good for them... Just hope there are options to "export" accounts back "on premise" once your source of limitless funding dries up.

Re:Options are good but... (1)

nurb432 (527695) | about 9 months ago | (#45229317)

The same people that have a MOLP and pay every year too keep it up... ( hint, a lot of large companies )

Re:Options are good but... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45229339)

We have four racks of Windows and Linux systems running for years with only minimal maintenance. If you don't buy complete crap shit just runs.

It's certainly possible to run a data center like a well-oiled machine. You do need to make the right investments, and also invest in the right people to run it.

On the other hand, a lot of companies want to concentrate on their actual business and leave the running of the data center to the people that are experts at it -- especially if it can be done on the cheap. Some companies start small on a single idea and are unprepared for how popular their idea or service might be and unable to scale to match demand. These are very legit reasons to turn to Azure (and competitors).

Who in their right mind would throw down that kind of recurring cash for Azure?

Actually on the cost front is where Azure (and other cloud competitors) beat the pants off running your own DC. Remember those machines actually cost money, which is amortized and shows up on the balance sheet. You need to spec for your max traffic -- you can't load-balance capacity spikes at will like you can in the cloud. You need to pay staff to run the data center. So you see, recurring costs are common to both cloud and on-premise solutions.

Control of your own data, and lock-in to a single solution is a different matter. That's where some companies are either avoiding the cloud or going for hybrid approaches. But that's a whole other conversation. On the cost front your comment misses the mark completely.

Re:Options are good but... (3, Interesting)

PPH (736903) | about 9 months ago | (#45229525)

Control of your own data, and lock-in to a single solution is a different matter.

Actually, I think this is what TFA is about. Buy part of your infrastructure from Microsoft and you'll find yourself sliding towards Azure. The people who have a good handle on their IT operations might be able to avoid this. But it appears that the target is those who just trust the Microsoft brand without a plan in place. Microsoft products are a lot like roach motels. Once the data goes in, it never comes out again. 'Out' being to a non Microsoft platform.

On the cost front your comment misses the mark completely.

Maybe, maybe not. This is how drug dealers work. The stuff they sell to the school kids is cheap. Once they are hooked, the price goes up.

Re:Options are good but... (1)

icebike (68054) | about 9 months ago | (#45229591)

On the cost front your comment misses the mark completely.

You haven't made that case any more they the GP did.

Having something on the balance sheet is not a big deal. Every company has that, and the equipment works its way off the balance (depreciates) sheet fairly quickly, but often runs way longer than that. Depreciation is a tax write off. Smaller companies can expense things in the first year.

When the economy is tight, all you need is power and your own staff to keep your own servers operational. But putting all your operations in Azure means you have those bills too. You won't get buy with less staff using Azure. It takes people to manage it.

All it saves you is hardware purchase, and a small portion of the setup time. (Certainly not ALL the setup time).

Power, air conditioning, physical space, disk space, maintenance, and data transmission costs are all going to still be there, in your Azure bill.

There are a few people who believe the whole "I don't want a data center and IT staff" mantra, who go whole hog into services like Azure and Amazon. They pay. Dearly.

Re:Options are good but... (1)

WaffleMonster (969671) | about 9 months ago | (#45229719)

On the other hand, a lot of companies want to concentrate on their actual business and leave the running of the data center to the people that are experts at it -- especially if it can be done on the cheap. Some companies start small on a

I always hear the general economies of scale and specialization meme but I don't understand what prevents the knowledge and expertise from being bottled and applicable to physical hardware?

Why can't physical hardware be easy to manage? I mean if part x in an array of z breaks just throw out the module with the red blinking light when you have time and replace it with a new one. What part of mitigation of management overhead (leveraging expertise and economies of scale) necessarily requires offloading the physical environment vs the fruits of the "dead labor" expressed in the form of easier to manage physical systems?

Besides from my experience the real costs are not the hardware.. not even close.. it is almost all software issues and management. I don't see punting virtual machines or external SQL servers moving the bar. Offloading hardware alone and leaving the remaining portions to be resolved by "IT" solves very little in the real world.

I also happen to think there are quite a number of things which individually make a lot of sense to offload as a service. For example if you don't want to deal with an email server in-house farm it out to someone else. That makes sense to me.

Single idea and are unprepared for how popular their idea or service might be and unable to scale to match demand. These are very legit reasons to turn to Azure (and competitors).

The "elastic" meme I've heard before and I am not buying it.

All problems solvable by throwing more hardware at the problem are by definition easy problems to solve. Your web site can't take the heat well then just throw up a few reverse proxies or hire Akamai to do it for you during the holiday season.

The problems in the real world people tend to have are sometimes not so simple. There is a point where systems must be **designed** to scale where you can no longer get any meaningful return by throwing hardware at the problem.. virtual or otherwise.

These "elastic" use cases smell like marketing examples more than things which actually happen with normal regularity in the real world. It is a nice option to have I'm sure.

Re:Options are good but... (1)

dhavleak (912889) | about 9 months ago | (#45230163)

AC here. I think you've started a new meme in your comment by calling things memes to discredit them :)

I always hear the general economies of scale and specialization meme but I don't understand what prevents the knowledge and expertise from being bottled and applicable to physical hardware?

The cloud guys (Amazon, Microsoft, VMware, others) employ the top talent in the world to work on this around the clock and will never stop. Company X selling widgets (lets say golf clubs) will just buy machines, and employ people to run the data center as efficiently as possible. How far do you think they will go in terms of maxing out the power efficiency of their data center to name just one metric on which individual data centers simply cannot compete. How do they even build the expertise in that? How can they afford to revamp that when progress renders their once-awesome data center obsolete in just 5 years or so?

Besides from my experience the real costs are not the hardware.. not even close..

Correct. And that's one of the other sources of cost efficiency for the cloud guys. Their data centers are humongously vast arrays of machines managed by very few humans.

The "elastic" meme I've heard before and I am not buying it. All problems solvable by throwing more hardware at the problem are by definition easy problems to solve.

Spikes can happen when you don't expect them. Hardware purchases don't happen automatically as your traffic spikes. 'Elastic' can do that. Even if you buy hardware ahead of time -- you now have to own and maintain that hardware. There's even scope for handling daily spikes -- prime time traffic spikes across time zones can be balanced in the cloud so you have less infrastructure serving more clients than would be the case if each client owned their own datacenters. It's actually weird that you question these concepts and disparagingly call them memes. A wait-and-see approach is certainly warranted. Questions regarding portability, and trust issues with the providers are warranted. Questioning the cost-effectiveness of cloud vs. on-premise is a little silly IMO.

Re:Options are good but... (1)

zippthorne (748122) | about 9 months ago | (#45230859)

There's even scope for handling daily spikes -- prime time traffic spikes across time zones can be balanced in the cloud

If there were enough backbone for that, we wouldn't need CDNs...

Trainwreck waiting to happen (3, Interesting)

Tough Love (215404) | about 9 months ago | (#45229521)

Who in their right mind would throw down that kind of recurring cash for Azure?

Modern hardware is insanely capable, reliable and cheap.

More to the point, who would bet that kind of cash, and their corporate health and/or reputation, on Microsoft? Case in point, the 7 hour outage [wikipedia.org] on the London Stock Exchange, blamed on Microsoft's Tradelect electronic trading platform. Microsoft was trying to ramp the system up to 10,000 messages/second at that point, a pitifully small number compared to contemporary platforms based on Linux. Not only was Microsoft unable to achieve even remotely respectable performance, they were unable to design and implement a system that could resist catastrophic failure, or when it did fail, bring it back up in less than a day. One can reasonably ask, did Microsoft ever test the failure modes of this system, even once? And what does this say about the efficacy of the .NET + MSQL database platform this was built on?

As a direct result of this incident, LSE decided to replace the Microsoft system with a Linux-based platform developed in Sri-Lanka, presumably by competent engineers not harrassed by the likes of Steve Ballmer.

What are the chances of the Tradelect fiasco playing out again on Microsoft's cloud platform? I would say, virtually 100%. Everybody who wants the equivalent of having their business model towed back to shore after suffering the Microsoft effect [wikipedia.org] , please raise your hand and repeat: please, can I have some more of that!

Re:Trainwreck waiting to happen (1)

recoiledsnake (879048) | about 9 months ago | (#45230301)

>Microsoft's Tradelect electronic trading platform

What? Accenture built Tradelect. Not Microsoft.
This is like blaming Linux for OpenOffice's bloat.
Stop the silly FUD.

Re:Trainwreck waiting to happen (3, Informative)

Tough Love (215404) | about 9 months ago | (#45230613)

Don't kid yourself, TradElect was a poster child for Microsoft's server and tools strategy. The project was swarming with Microsoft engineers. But you don't have to believe me, the financial industry rightly perceived Accenture as Microsoft's sock puppet. [thefinanser.co.uk]

Actually, this was an all too rare case of the industry dumping the blame where it belonged: squarely in Microsoft's lap. Not that Accenture deserves any praise mind you.

What makes this whole story especially sweet is the way Microsoft crowed about its LSE win [zdnet.com] . Not surprisingly, Microsoft pulled down http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver/facts/default.mspx [microsoft.com] long ago, but the net remembers it.

Since that fiasco, Microsoft's presence in financial platforms immediately dropped to zero. We can be thankful for that, and it demonstrates clearly where the industry thinks the blame lies.

Re:Trainwreck waiting to happen (1)

cybrthng (22291) | about 9 months ago | (#45231065)

You guys hold some weird grudges.. There have been billions lost on companies running every OS under the sun out there.. lots of people lost great fortunes for many an absurd cock up or failed IT project.

The trading company that recently lost half a billion dollars because they couldn't code right ran linux.. is that a fault of linux? nope.. so not sure what your case has any bearing or relevency of.

Microsoft's Bing, Xbox Live and Cloud services already host something like a million servers across its datacenters.. they had some growing pains over the years and they finally dogfooded everything they use so windows is maturing much more in line with the market than ever before.

Nope.. don't work for Microsoft.. nope, don't run many Microsoft servers.. I have tons of linux vms running on vmware internally but i know lots of people having great success with azure and i know people working at Microsoft doing some great things that would make any IT nerd jealous.

Time to grow up and move on.

Re:Trainwreck waiting to happen (1)

thoth (7907) | about 9 months ago | (#45230537)

More to the point, who would bet that kind of cash, and their corporate health and/or reputation, on Microsoft?

Heck, Azure itself was down for hours last leap day:
http://blogs.msdn.com/b/windowsazure/archive/2012/03/09/summary-of-windows-azure-service-disruption-on-feb-29th-2012.aspx [msdn.com]

Re:Options are good but... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45230053)

my company spends ~$30m a year on maintaining their own datacenter (not a "huge" company by any means). we priced amazon wares and doing the same thing we're doing would cost us ~$2m a year. with numbers like that, it's hard to ignore cloud stuff (no matter how inconvenient it gets for *some* things).

and yes, a lot of the expense is due to bloat and stupidity, but what big company doesn't have that?

Re:Options are good but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45230103)

Depends. The storage costs blow most large scale data stuff, including backups, away. Hard drives are cheep.

I run secondary copies of a bunch of public websites out in Azure. And primary copies of a few. Easy to provision. No VM setup required. But, that's for public facing stuff. I can understand Exchange and Lync for small companies. 15 employees? Maybe only a couple gigs of actual email? That could work. Exchange licenses cost a lot. As do Lync licenses.

For corporate facing stuff.... not really. Getting AD working with it is obnoxious, unless you start putting VMs into the cloud instead of just managed web sites.

One of the things you have to consider is, though Azure services might cost a bunch.... Windows server licenses cost a bunch too. If you actually care about keeping up to date with that stuff, Azure can come out even in some cases. Even, plus the ability to push a button and scale a site across a dozen more hosts.

One of the sites I'm working on now is sort of a company side project. Single web page to sell a product embedded into somebody else's page as an iframe. They SAY they get 5000 enrollments a day! Our current stuff internally only does like, 50. They also might be lying or faking numbers. So, pop it onto Azure. If it goes well? Great. Azure charges us a bunch. But we make a lot of money. Alternative? We get fucked when the business partner was telling the truth and we have to scale internally a lot. Which takes time, money, servers, physical work, etc.

The stuffs useful for what it's useful for. It's not idiotic in all circumstances.

Re:Options are good but... (1)

cybrthng (22291) | about 9 months ago | (#45231029)

Who in their right mind would buy hardware today if their apps are so easily hosted? Why have the headache of data center cooling, data center security, data center facility maintenance, data center redundancy, data center capacity and everything else that goes along with it? The cost of the servers have really little to do with the overall cost. Electricity, support, maintenance & everything else add up.

With azure and services like azure i can scale in many ways much more easily too. I can scale up load balancers, i can scale out mirroring and regional file access (content delivery) and i can do everything through an API so i can spinup/shutdown services dynamically..

If you're the owner of a line of business app that you can host on azure, isn't a 110 bucks a month a bit easier to budget than say trying to get capital approval on a server, server support, server installation, provisioning and bandwidth and capacity/power/cooling research done? Also, if you want to scale up on demand where only 10 days a year you need a second server, that is easily done without having to deploy your own infrastructure.

If you have your own local virtualized infrastructure and services, i'm sure your local costs are still probably as high or higher than the costs outsourced to azure, amazon, google, ibm or whomever you choose simply because they have economies of scale most could never dream to achieve internally without spending hundreds of millions to mimmic..

Horizontal Scaling At Variable Times (1)

theshowmecanuck (703852) | about 9 months ago | (#45231031)

The cloud is good if you have to spin up servers to horizontally scale if you have a user load spike on (frequent) occasion. Rather than have a bunch of servers really doing nothing most of the time you can have a one or a small number most of the time which is relatively cheap, and then spin up 100 or whatever when needed then shut them down again. You only pay for them when they are running.

However you do need to look at it critically, like all things. If for example, you only ever spin up at most say five servers, and the cost of the one or two you always have running eventually exceeds the cost of owning and operating five boxes, then you might as well just run them yourself. However if the price of renting them (errrrrrr running them) on the cloud is cheaper or more convenient (which can be worth something monetarily), then run them there.

There are also some other reasons you might want to use the cloud instead of your servers. For example, in the case of Amazon S3, or Azure Blob Storage, etc. sometimes it is the delivery time of static content (like images or other files) that might be what you are gaining. Running things on your own server you might not have the response times you want, creating too much latency for your customers. By response time I mean the length of time your servers can locate the image on disk, marshal it into whatever stream/protocol it needs to be in, and serve over the internet to some client on the other side of the world. Services like S3 are highly optimized for serving static content like that (from my understanding from when they were first building it, often storing it optimized to go directly on the wire... kind of like pre-marshalling the files), and additionally you can associate the static content (stored on S3 or blob storage) with a content deliver network that will cache your content on servers around the globe to further improve performance.

There are a lot of good reasons for using the cloud. And there are a lot of bad reasons. If you use the cloud, make sure you are using the good ones. :)

Re:Options are good but... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45231245)

"Hey everybody, i've worked at a small company where I'm the only IT guy for years, and as long as I keep reinventing the wheel, they keep paying me. Why wouldn't everybody just do things the way I do. It seems silly to waste your money on something like this when you can just pay my salary every month instead!"

Two simple steps to avoid being locked into Azure (2, Interesting)

Gravis Zero (934156) | about 9 months ago | (#45229281)

1) Do not use Microsoft products
2) Rinse and repeat

Don't tell me it's unavoidable because that's bullshit. There is always a choice, you are just too comfortable and/or inflexible to use an alternative.

Re:Two simple steps to avoid being locked into Azu (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45229335)

But then you would be locked to something else.

Re:Two simple steps to avoid being locked into Azu (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45229411)

There is no lock-in in Linux. You have the source. You are free to spend millions of dollars migrating your systems and managing your broken desktops later on. Don't complain.

Re:Two simple steps to avoid being locked into Azu (1)

recoiledsnake (879048) | about 9 months ago | (#45230307)

You can run Linux on Azure.

Re:Two simple steps to avoid being locked into Azu (1)

Gravis Zero (934156) | about 9 months ago | (#45229435)

But then you would be locked to something else.

not if you use open standards.

Re:Two simple steps to avoid being locked into Azu (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45229519)

But then you would be locked to something else.

not if you use open standards.

That's the theory. In practice few open standards compliant product comply in a meaningful way, and there are a lot of open standards that make no sense. It's still better than nothing by a wide margin, but "use open standards" is no silver bullet.

Re:Two simple steps to avoid being locked into Azu (1)

Tough Love (215404) | about 9 months ago | (#45229679)

1) Do not use Microsoft products 2) Rinse and repeat. Don't tell me it's unavoidable because that's bullshit. There is always a choice, you are just too comfortable and/or inflexible to use an alternative.

These days Microsoft is the "alternative" and Linux is the incumbent. A vast majority of large data centers run on Linux. Microsoft is the outsider trying to break in, but without any compelling story beyond pure spin and with a chronically horrible brand reputation. I sense that a few diehard Microsoft-addled PHBs will go the Azure way nonetheless, and hilarity will ensue for everyone except the victims.

Re:Two simple steps to avoid being locked into Azu (1)

recoiledsnake (879048) | about 9 months ago | (#45230325)

1) Do not use Microsoft products 2) Rinse and repeat. Don't tell me it's unavoidable because that's bullshit. There is always a choice, you are just too comfortable and/or inflexible to use an alternative.

These days Microsoft is the "alternative" and Linux is the incumbent. A vast majority of large data centers run on Linux. Microsoft is the outsider trying to break in, but without any compelling story beyond pure spin and with a chronically horrible brand reputation. I sense that a few diehard Microsoft-addled PHBs will go the Azure way nonetheless, and hilarity will ensue for everyone except the victims.

Operating systems run on data centers, not vice versa.

You can run Linux on Azure.
http://www.windowsazure.com/en-us/manage/linux/tutorials/virtual-machine-from-gallery/ [windowsazure.com]
Stop the lame FUD, it only makes you look stupid and uninformed.

Shame on them (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45229407)

Shame on them for making a good product and trying to push it to their users.

Automatic backups with client side encryption? Oh I bet that crypt algorithm is something they can break! It just has to be, Microsoft is pure evil, after all.
Windows servers come with Active Directory enabled? Ohh this Active Directory thingy is a terrible thing! I bet they are pushing it into their clients just to get them dependant on this old time Microsoft only service, I bet ya.

Re:Shame on them (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45229811)

You are obviously trying to be facetious, but the fact is that MS has acquired a reputation as a nasty, ruthless company that it won't be able to brush off for a long, long time.

Cloud Backup and Single Sign-In Services (4, Insightful)

adisakp (705706) | about 9 months ago | (#45229427)

The are using Azure to provide cloud backup (and Azure active directory syncing) and Single Sign-In Services. It's not so much making Azure hard to avoid but actually providing useful utility near seamlessly in Azure.

Re:Cloud Backup and Single Sign-In Services (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45229867)

as long as you have some one else managing your FS and sync infrastructure on top of your azure infrastructure and not to mention your DC because certain people still have apps that require local connectivity.... sounds simple.

Perhaps when it's out of beta... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45229443)

Hearing Microsoft's own technicians being honest and saying it perhaps isn't out of the "beta" stage yet tells a lot of it.

Azure is marketing hype for the Cloud (3, Insightful)

onyxruby (118189) | about 9 months ago | (#45229445)

The cloud is the most hyped word that IT has ever come endured. It is nothing more than the old concept of the mainframe to centralize resources to a given location. People replaced that with thin clients and again it was nothing more than a way to centralize resources to a given location. Now we have the cloud and we are centralizing resources to a given location.

If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck and swims like duck it must be a duck. Azure and other cloud variants are nothing more than attempts to move everyone to the cloud (and encourage outsourcing of services). However the cloud doesn't even mean a third party provider anymore. You can get a cloud provider to put their cloud services in your own facilities (Amazon and Microsoft Azure both support doing this). It's really nothing more than the old architecture diagram model for saying "the network" that got hijacked by marketing departments.

All your doing with the cloud is putting resources in a given location. It might be your location, Amazon's, Rack Spaces or any other providers. That's it, there's nothing magical about it. Therefore all Azure is doing is making it easy to put resources in another location. This is something that IT professionals have been doing for over 40 years, changing the name make it special.

Re:Azure is marketing hype for the Cloud (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45229871)

If you look at their materials, they clearly identify the different Azure services that are IaaS, SaaS, and PaaS. However, those terms don't mean anything to most people, but they hear Cloud OS and while they still don't know what it is, they think 'Oh, how modern.' The people building these things know that 'cloud' is a bullshit term, but the people buying don't.

Same tactics for lots of businesses (3, Interesting)

Virtucon (127420) | about 9 months ago | (#45229615)

As they say, if you're not leading you're following. By doing these kinds of tie-ins, MSFT is trying to position themselves as innovative but Azure, while good isn't on par with other Cloud services that cost less and deliver more. What'll be really sad is when customers realize that MSFT will start locking them out of using other Cloud solutions because they "cause problems with Windows Server" or "We don't support the use of product x on an untested Cloud solution." That is the way this usually pans out and eventually if you want to use MSFT Server products with "Cloud" that will mean Azure. Usually after that the anti-trust hawks start suing, so I have 2015 in the pool when Amazon, Rackspace and a couple of other Cloud providers sue MSFT for anti-competitive practices.

Re:Same tactics for lots of businesses (1)

cybrthng (22291) | about 9 months ago | (#45231077)

That is not the way it pans out.. You can run Windows on almost every cloud provider there is out there and you can run Linux on Azure too. In fact, Microsoft's licensing is fairly well priced that its either included in your pre-pay budget or billed so cheap its the same price as getting an RHEL license or any OS with support.

Rackspace and Amazon have millions in revenue from Windows customers, if not billions.

All hell froze over when Oracle certified its entire app stack and database system on azure.. i think HyperV is the only non oracle platform certified to be virtualized on.. Microsoft isn't the same company you

You can get a 120 day free account and try out azure for yourself.. I'm running a few debian boxes on there, but there are some pre-built Centos and other linux systems as well. It's pretty easy to build a VM on windows 8 as well and publish your own VHD/image (pro includes hyperv..)

mohmmed.697aiseed5 (0)

Mohmmed Ali Alseed (3408649) | about 9 months ago | (#45229837)

555556666677777

Confirmed (5, Funny)

Azure Flash (2440904) | about 9 months ago | (#45230515)

I can confirm that I am now much more difficult to avoid.

Microsoft makes it easier to avoid Microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45230959)

Fixed the headline for you. Come on into my cloud said the spider to the fly.............

Oh sorry, just confused the cloud with the web....

Use Linux (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45231329)

Problem solved.

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