Support use of traditional development tools, languages, and management. Because Windows Azure supports native .NET and other leading development frameworks, developers don't have to learn a new language to use Windows Azure or deploy applications to a Hyper-V Cloud. In addition, identity tools are also consistent across the Microsoft cloud platforms.
Provide a seamless transition between environments. Customers who are looking to get the benefits of cloud computing but are not ready to make the full investment to obtain a private cloud infrastructure can start with a public cloud deployment based on Windows Azure platform or at a Microsoft service provider partner running the Hyper-V Cloud. Then if they are ready to move to private cloud, they can seamlessly migrate to a deployment based on Windows Azure platform appliance or Hyper-V Cloud Fast Track.
Improve datacenter efficiencies. Windows Azure platform has a built-in automated service management layer via its fabric controller that lowers overall datacenter TCO and the number of manual tasks required in maintaining the datacenter. Similarly, by increasing server densities and improving infrastructure automation, Hyper-V Cloud can reduce datacenter TCO while providing more flexibility in deployment options.
Provide enterprise-class failover capabilities. Hyper-V Cloud and Windows Azure platform provide failover capabilities designed to be easy to deploy and to minimize application downtime.
Support massive scalability. Windows Azure can support hundreds to thousands of servers and thousands to tens of thousands of application instances within a single environment, enabling organizations to achieve true cloud computing scale via a turnkey solution. eBay has adopted the Windows Azure platform appliance because of this unique capability.
CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES
IDC sees a number of opportunities and challenges for vendors, service providers, and customers of private cloud services. Opportunities include:
` Organizations can choose infrastructure based on workload. As always, IT is about the application, not the hardware. Hardware simply enables the application to work properly. Therefore, it is important to consider which cloud model best fits the application's needs. Typically, private cloud will work well for mission-critical applications such as business processing and situations in which the data must be under close control for regulatory or compliance reasons. Having multiple choices enables organizations to tailor the environment and TCO to their specific application needs.
Cloud is considered a part of the overall IT portfolio. At first, deploying cloud behind a few low-risk workloads is a good idea. In reality, IDC believes that over time, most organizations should optimize their infrastructure by diversifying between public cloud, private cloud, and traditional IT to optimize TCO and business agility.