Welcome!

Containers Expo Blog Authors: Lori MacVittie, Anders Wallgren, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, AppDynamics Blog

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
With an estimated 50 billion devices connected to the Internet by 2020, several industries will begin to expand their capabilities for retaining end point data at the edge to better utilize the range of data types and sheer volume of M2M data generated by the Internet of Things. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Don DeLoach, CEO and President of Infobright, will discuss the infrastructures businesses will need to implement to handle this explosion of data by providing specific use cases for filte...
SYS-CON Events announced today that VAI, a leading ERP software provider, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. VAI (Vormittag Associates, Inc.) is a leading independent mid-market ERP software developer renowned for its flexible solutions and ability to automate critical business functions for the distribution, manufacturing, specialty retail and service sectors. An IBM Premier Business Part...
Fortunately, meaningful and tangible business cases for IoT are plentiful in a broad array of industries and vertical markets. These range from simple warranty cost reduction for capital intensive assets, to minimizing downtime for vital business tools, to creating feedback loops improving product design, to improving and enhancing enterprise customer experiences. All of these business cases, which will be briefly explored in this session, hinge on cost effectively extracting relevant data from ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Alert Logic, Inc., the leading provider of Security-as-a-Service solutions for the cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Alert Logic, Inc., provides Security-as-a-Service for on-premises, cloud, and hybrid infrastructures, delivering deep security insight and continuous protection for customers at a lower cost than traditional security solutions. Ful...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interoute, owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Interoute is the owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform which encompasses 12 data centers, 14 virtual data centers and 31 colocation centers, with connections to 195 ad...
As enterprises work to take advantage of Big Data technologies, they frequently become distracted by product-level decisions. In most new Big Data builds this approach is completely counter-productive: it presupposes tools that may not be a fit for development teams, forces IT to take on the burden of evaluating and maintaining unfamiliar technology, and represents a major up-front expense. In his session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Andrew Warfield, CTO and Co-Founder of Coho Data, will dis...
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 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 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...
The cloud promises new levels of agility and cost-savings for Big Data, data warehousing and analytics. But it’s challenging to understand all the options – from IaaS and PaaS to newer services like HaaS (Hadoop as a Service) and BDaaS (Big Data as a Service). In her session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Hannah Smalltree, a director at Cazena, will provide an educational overview of emerging “as-a-service” options for Big Data in the cloud. This is critical background for IT and data profes...
With the Apple Watch making its way onto wrists all over the world, it’s only a matter of time before it becomes a staple in the workplace. In fact, Forrester reported that 68 percent of technology and business decision-makers characterize wearables as a top priority for 2015. Recognizing their business value early on, FinancialForce.com was the first to bring ERP to wearables, helping streamline communication across front and back office functions. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Kevin Roberts...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Fusion, a leading provider of cloud services, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Fusion, a leading provider of integrated cloud solutions to small, medium and large businesses, is the industry's single source for the cloud. Fusion's advanced, proprietary cloud service platform enables the integration of leading edge solutions in the cloud, including clou...
Most people haven’t heard the word, “gamification,” even though they probably, and perhaps unwittingly, participate in it every day. Gamification is “the process of adding games or game-like elements to something (as a task) so as to encourage participation.” Further, gamification is about bringing game mechanics – rules, constructs, processes, and methods – into the real world in an effort to engage people. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robert Endo, owner and engagement manager of Intrepid D...
Eighty percent of a data scientist’s time is spent gathering and cleaning up data, and 80% of all data is unstructured and almost never analyzed. Cognitive computing, in combination with Big Data, is changing the equation by creating data reservoirs and using natural language processing to enable analysis of unstructured data sources. This is impacting every aspect of the analytics profession from how data is mined (and by whom) to how it is delivered. This is not some futuristic vision: it's ha...
WebRTC has had a real tough three or four years, and so have those working with it. Only a few short years ago, the development world were excited about WebRTC and proclaiming how awesome it was. You might have played with the technology a couple of years ago, only to find the extra infrastructure requirements were painful to implement and poorly documented. This probably left a bitter taste in your mouth, especially when things went wrong.
Learn how IoT, cloud, social networks and last but not least, humans, can be integrated into a seamless integration of cooperative organisms both cybernetic and biological. This has been enabled by recent advances in IoT device capabilities, messaging frameworks, presence and collaboration services, where devices can share information and make independent and human assisted decisions based upon social status from other entities. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Michael Heydt, founder of Seamless...
The IoT's basic concept of collecting data from as many sources possible to drive better decision making, create process innovation and realize additional revenue has been in use at large enterprises with deep pockets for decades. So what has changed? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Prasanna Sivaramakrishnan, Solutions Architect at Red Hat, discussed the impact commodity hardware, ubiquitous connectivity, and innovations in open source software are having on the connected universe of people, thi...
WebRTC: together these advances have created a perfect storm of technologies that are disrupting and transforming classic communications models and ecosystems. In his session at WebRTC Summit, Cary Bran, VP of Innovation and New Ventures at Plantronics and PLT Labs, provided an overview of this technological shift, including associated business and consumer communications impacts, and opportunities it may enable, complement or entirely transform.
There are so many tools and techniques for data analytics that even for a data scientist the choices, possible systems, and even the types of data can be daunting. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Harrold, Global CTO for Big Data Solutions for EMC Corporation, showed how to perform a simple, but meaningful analysis of social sentiment data using freely available tools that take only minutes to download and install. Participants received the download information, scripts, and complete end-t...
For manufacturers, the Internet of Things (IoT) represents a jumping-off point for innovation, jobs, and revenue creation. But to adequately seize the opportunity, manufacturers must design devices that are interconnected, can continually sense their environment and process huge amounts of data. As a first step, manufacturers must embrace a new product development ecosystem in order to support these products.
Manufacturing connected IoT versions of traditional products requires more than multiple deep technology skills. It also requires a shift in mindset, to realize that connected, sensor-enabled “things” act more like services than what we usually think of as products. In his session at @ThingsExpo, David Friedman, CEO and co-founder of Ayla Networks, discussed how when sensors start generating detailed real-world data about products and how they’re being used, smart manufacturers can use the dat...
When it comes to IoT in the enterprise, namely the commercial building and hospitality markets, a benefit not getting the attention it deserves is energy efficiency, and IoT’s direct impact on a cleaner, greener environment when installed in smart buildings. Until now clean technology was offered piecemeal and led with point solutions that require significant systems integration to orchestrate and deploy. There didn't exist a 'top down' approach that can manage and monitor the way a Smart Buildi...