Microsoft has created a new group within Microsoft Research called Cloud Computing Futures headed by Dan Reed, who has a long history in academia and is a former director of the National Center for Supercomputing Applications. An interview with him about the new group was recently published here:
The group will be focusing on research around large scale datacenters, networks, sotware architectue, etc. This passage describes it pretty well and has a great analogy at the end:
"Building data centers using standard, off-the-shelf technology was a great choice in the beginning. It let the Internet boom race ahead without the need to develop new types of computers and software systems. But the resulting data centers and software were not designed as integrated systems and are less efficient than they should be. One common analogy is that if one built utility power plants as we build data centers [today], we would start by going to Home Depot and buying millions of gasoline-powered generators.
Quite an interesting read and links to a bunch of research efforts.
Edwin demos Live Migration and Hyper-V Server:
Glenn O'Donnell over at Forrester had a great post titled “Is a CMDB even possible?” that I just came across. As you may know, CMDB stands for Configuration Management Database and is typically defined as a single repository holding all configuration items (systems, applications, etc) and their relationships. The idea of a CMDB has been a core tenet ITIL for a long time. Late last year I invested a substantial amount of time over a couple months pursuing (and achieving) the ITIL Service Manager certification (ITIL v2). In earning that credential and interacting with a lot of other ITIL trained people over the years at various customers, the CMDB concept seams to be the one concept that resonates the most with people. I think this is because it is really the only area in ITIL v2 that has a bit of a technical nature to it whereas the primary focus is process. Since a lot of folks that participate in ITIL training are IT folks, I think they tent to naturally gravitate toward the technical.
In any event, while I haven’t had time to dig into ITIL v3 in any detail yet, one of the big changes is that it moves away from evangelizing a single, monolithic CMDB and toward a Configuration Management System (CMS) that may be made up of several different management systems. Glenn’s article goes into the reasoning for this and he has some thoughts on where this might be going in terms of federating different management systems.
The rush toward the holy grail of a single CMDB consumes a lot of people and resources when the newly “indoctrinated” come back from ITIL training. I think that outcome was the biggest flaw in the definition and delivery of ITIL v2 and I’m glad it has been changed in V3 to a much more feasible approach.
In terms of the Microsoft stack, obviously System Center is where these concepts are and will be instantiated. System Center Service Manager will be bringing a lot of capability in this space. This week at MMS there are at least 9 sessions on Service Manager.
MMS Day 1 Keynote: Bob Kelly, Microsoft corporate vice president, April 28, 2009, 8:30 am PT
There was a lot of buzz last week with Facebook’s Open Stream API announcement. There were many demos of applications leveraging the new API, one good one is Seesmic Desktop which I’ve been using as my Twitter client and now has Facebook integration. It's an Adobe AIR based application. On the home front, Microsoft took part in the Facebook event and showed off some very slick Silverlight and WPF clients leveraging the Facebook API. Both were technology demonstrations created in 72 hours by two teams of 3 developers. This post over on Team Silverlight has the details and a bunch of screenshots. In their Twitter stream they say that they will be publishing the source code for these very soon. Below is a TechCrunch video showing them in action.