Welcome!

Containers Expo Blog Authors: Elizabeth White, APM Blog, Liz McMillan, Flint Brenton, Pat Romanski

Related Topics: Containers Expo Blog, Microservices Expo, Microsoft Cloud, Open Source Cloud, Silverlight, @CloudExpo

Containers Expo Blog: Article

Here Comes Microsoft’s Cloud OS & Trouble for VMware

Server 2012 has its own gussied-up virtualization, networking, storage, automation and end-user access

Microsoft said it would push Windows Server 2012 out the door in early September and it did on Tuesday, after a year of public test builds. It positioned it as the "cornerstone" of its cloud strategy, its "Cloud OS" for private and hosted clouds and a building block for Windows Azure.

It said "the Cloud OS does what operating systems have always done: manage hardware and provide a platform for applications. But it also expands to include services and technologies that have not previously been considered part of an operating system."

In the case of Windows Server, the 2012 model works independently and connects to 200 or so online services available through Azure, stuff like bursting or analytics.

Microsoft says the widgetry is "built from the cloud up."

Satya Nadella, president of Microsoft's Server and Tools Business, blogged that the company focused on four key things in building the Cloud OS:

"First is the transformation of the data center. We want to bring together all of the resources provided by a traditional data center - storage, networking and computing - into one platform that scales elastically with an organization's needs.

"Second is offering the APIs and runtimes to enable developers to create modern applications - for mobile, social and Big Data. A third important aspect is ensuring personalized services and experiences, so that any user on any device can access all of their data and applications.

"Lastly, data of any size or type, stored anywhere and processed in any style must be a first-class citizen of the Cloud OS."

Since Azure and Windows Server share basic technology, Microsoft gets to try out a new buzzword out of the RAS school - namely consistency - as in "only Microsoft is able to offer the consistent platform that the cloud demands" and customers can "use common virtualization, application development, systems management, data and identity frameworks across all of their clouds."

Nadella explained: "As companies find more and more ways to take advantage of cloud benefits, this consistency will be required in how the cloud behaves, whether on-premise or through service providers. To be clear, that consistency is not a statement about packaging or offers, but rather about the underlying technology designs in which virtuous cycles of development drive both Windows Server and Windows Azure and the key technologies that span both. We've built the Cloud OS components in concert - not acquired them as piece parts - which provides a further level of consistency and cohesion across deployment scenarios."

Server 2012 has its own gussied-up virtualization, networking, storage, automation and end-user access. CPU, storage and networking systems are virtualized and cloud-enabled. It's also supposed to support the exponential growth of data and devices.

It can handle clustered file servers of 64 nodes, up from 16, with larger storage to accommodate mushrooming corporate data and storage racks that offer continuous availability not just high availability.

The server's updates include a new version of Microsoft's Hyper-V hypervisor - apparently a hot number judging from the early reviews - that adds network virtualization capabilities so multiple network configurations can co-exist on the same physical LAN, an essential foundation of multi-tenant data centers.

Microsoft says it will support any application on any cloud and that other people's VMs will break when they change their IP address. With Windows Server 2012 and its network virtualization, the IP address moves around with the VM.

A new ZFS-like Resilient File System (ReFS) is supposed to introduce greater reliability features such as an allocation-on-write policy for metadata to reduce the threat of data being corrupted.

Windows Server 2012 is supposed to leapfrog Microsoft over VMware. It can reportedly handle bigger workloads per server than VMware, whose customers are being wooed to swap out its rival widgetry.

Microsoft can dangle cheaper prices in front of them. For instance, the deduplication features in Server 2012 can supposedly save users 40% or 50% on storage. VMware admitted last week at VMworld that it can't compete with Microsoft on price.

There are four editions of Windows Server 2012 starting at $425 and running up to $4,800, both for up to two processors.

The high-end Datacenter edition supports unlimited virtualization rights for cloud environments while the $880 Standard edition is for small virtualized environments and only supports two Windows Server VMs per license.

The Essentials edition, which replaces the old Small Business Server (SBS) and has a 25-user limit, will cost $425 a server. VARs and solution providers might use it to chase SMB opportunities. It's still in the release candidate stage.

Windows Server 2012 Foundation is a general-purpose server platform with no virtualization and only comes pre-installed on OEM server hardware.

The operating system is available for download and evaluation.

To make everything really work a user needs Microsoft's System Center 2012 management platform. It can do the bare-metal provisioning, couple servers into resource pools to build a private cloud and automate the resources that deliver services from the cloud.

Apple surprised people when it testified at its patent infringement suit against Samsung last month that it didn't divine its widgets out of thin air. Instead it talked to people. According to ZDnet that's how Microsoft developed its server out of a combined server and cloud unit, which explains its cloud proclivities and focus on automation.

There's also widgetry shared with the Windows 8 client operating system coming out the end of October: the kernel, interface, developer tools, frameworks and identity and commerce infrastructure.

Forrester Research figures spending on private clouds will top $20 billion next year. IDC estimates Microsoft had $5 billion in Windows Server sales in 2011. VMware had 58% of the hypervisor market last year to Microsoft's 26%. The race is on.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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.


@ThingsExpo Stories
The Jevons Paradox suggests that when technological advances increase efficiency of a resource, it results in an overall increase in consumption. Writing on the increased use of coal as a result of technological improvements, 19th-century economist William Stanley Jevons found that these improvements led to the development of new ways to utilize coal. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Mark Thiele, Chief Strategy Officer for Apcera, will compare the Jevons Paradox to modern-day enterprise IT, e...
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...
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.
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.
There is growing need for data-driven applications and the need for digital platforms to build these apps. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Muddu Sudhakar, VP and GM of Security & IoT at Splunk, will cover different PaaS solutions and Big Data platforms that are available to build applications. In addition, AI and machine learning are creating new requirements that developers need in the building of next-gen apps. The next-generation digital platforms have some of the past platform needs a...
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...
Fact is, enterprises have significant legacy voice infrastructure that’s costly to replace with pure IP solutions. How can we bring this analog infrastructure into our shiny new cloud applications? There are proven methods to bind both legacy voice applications and traditional PSTN audio into cloud-based applications and services at a carrier scale. Some of the most successful implementations leverage WebRTC, WebSockets, SIP and other open source technologies. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Da...
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 & ...
Almost two-thirds of companies either have or soon will have IoT as the backbone of their business in 2016. However, IoT is far more complex than most firms expected. How can you not get trapped in the pitfalls? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Tony Shan, a renowned visionary and thought leader, will introduce a holistic method of IoTification, which is the process of IoTifying the existing technology and business models to adopt and leverage IoT. He will drill down to the components in this fra...
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...
I'm a lonely sensor. I spend all day telling the world how I'm feeling, but none of the other sensors seem to care. I want to be connected. I want to build relationships with other sensors to be more useful for my human. I want my human to understand that when my friends next door are too hot for a while, I'll soon be flaming. And when all my friends go outside without me, I may be left behind. Don't just log my data; use the relationship graph. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ryan Boyd, Engi...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Pulzze Systems 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. Pulzze Systems, Inc. provides infrastructure products for the Internet of Things to enable any connected device and system to carry out matched operations without programming. For more information, visit http://www.pulzzesystems.com.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Numerex Corp, a leading provider of managed enterprise solutions enabling the Internet of Things (IoT), will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Numerex Corp. (NASDAQ:NMRX) is a leading provider of managed enterprise solutions enabling the Internet of Things (IoT). The Company's solutions produce new revenue streams or create operating...
If you’re responsible for an application that depends on the data or functionality of various IoT endpoints – either sensors or devices – your brand reputation depends on the security, reliability, and compliance of its many integrated parts. If your application fails to deliver the expected business results, your customers and partners won't care if that failure stems from the code you developed or from a component that you integrated. What can you do to ensure that the endpoints work as expect...
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.
WebRTC adoption has generated a wave of creative uses of communications and collaboration through websites, sales apps, customer care and business applications. As WebRTC has become more mainstream it has evolved to use cases beyond the original peer-to-peer case, which has led to a repeating requirement for interoperability with existing infrastructures. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Graham Holt, Executive Vice President of Daitan Group, will cover implementation examples that have enabled ea...
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...
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...
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...
Vidyo, Inc., has joined the Alliance for Open Media. The Alliance for Open Media is a non-profit organization working to define and develop media technologies that address the need for an open standard for video compression and delivery over the web. As a member of the Alliance, Vidyo will collaborate with industry leaders in pursuit of an open and royalty-free AOMedia Video codec, AV1. Vidyo’s contributions to the organization will bring to bear its long history of expertise in codec technolo...