I spent yesterday at the Best of the Microsoft Management Summit in London and rather than have endless debates about what is or isn’t private cloud the term extreme standardisation was used to explain Microsoft’s approach to the modern data centre.  Although this term doesn’t implicitly refer to virtualisation this is a good thing:

  • You don’t have standardisation just because you have implemented server virtualisation, so there is a different emphasis on what the objective is not a fluffy (no pun intended ) over used marketing term
  • However if you think about it virtualisation is the first step to having some sort of standardisation – you need to have a standard way of moving services around and virtualisation is needed for that.

Standardisation can only be truly achieved if it is automated.  It also plays well into the non-technical aspects of running IT in a business:

So if you have an automated process to provision a service the rules to meet these standards can be written into that process. 

Extreme standardisation manifests it self in other ways as well:

  • templates for services
  • a consistent process for patching
  • decommissioning of services and virtual machines
  • SLAs which in turn translate into rules to apply when a service is under pressure, what to allow to expand, which services take priority etc.rather than a goal or an idea without a clear end result.
  • How to charge for services

All of this together is private cloud as per the National Institute of Standards & Technology (NIST) definition, but my point is that this approach articulates it in terms of outcomes.

If that sounds a bit more real and practical than Private Cloud, you might want to find out how to do some of this stuff and I would suggest taking a day out of the office for to come to Days Live for the event on Transforming your datacentre with Hyper-V and System Center.