“At Microsoft, we think the public cloud’s virtuous cycle can actually get a lot bigger, a lot more functional, and a lot more powerful by integrating service providers and hosted clouds,” writes Brad Anderson.

Customers who use the public cloud see benefits from lower prices. But organizations that also use private and hosted clouds can only benefit if their public cloud vendor “has at the core of its strategy an intention to take everything that it is learning from operating that public cloud and delivering it back for use in datacenters around world – not just in its own,” writes Brad Anderson, corporate vice president, Windows Server & System Center.

This is where Microsoft is so unique, he says in writing about the “virtuous cycle of cloud computing” in a blog post. Microsoft, he says, is “the only organization in the world operating a globally available, at-scale public cloud that delivers back everything it is learning for use in datacenters of every customer (and, honestly, every competitor). Our view is the learning that we are getting from the public cloud should be delivered for all the world to benefit.”

This innovation, he says, “can be seen by applying these public cloud learnings in products like Windows Server, System Center, and the Windows Azure Pack – and these products are the only cloud offerings that are consistent across public, hosted and private clouds – ensuring customers avoid cloud lock in and maximize workload mobility, and have the flexibility to choose the cloud that best meets their needs.”

Microsoft’s efforts haven’t been limited to software, he writes. “Our innovative work with hardware in our datacenters has driven down costs while at the same time increasing the capacity each core and processor can support.”

That work with hardware was highlighted earlier this week when Microsoft announced it is joining the Open Compute Project and contributing the full design of the server hardware Microsoft uses in Windows Azure, says Anderson.

“We refer to this design as the ‘Microsoft cloud server specification.’ The Microsoft cloud server specification provides the blueprints for the datacenter servers we have designed to deliver the world’s most diverse portfolio of cloud services at global scale. These servers are optimized for Windows Server software and can efficiently manage the enormous availability, scalability and efficiency requirements of Windows Azure, our global cloud platform.”

This design spec “offers dramatic improvements over traditional enterprise server designs: We have seen up to 40 percent server cost savings, 15 percent power efficiency gains, and a 50 percent reduction in deployment and service times,” he writes. “We also expect this server design to contribute to our environmental sustainability efforts by reducing network cabling by 1,100 miles and metal by 10,000 tons.”

Microsoft recognizes that the majority of organizations are going to use multiple clouds, and will want to take advantage of hybrid cloud scenarios, he says. “Every organization is going to have their own unique journey to the cloud – and organizations should make decisions about cloud partners that truly enable them with the flexibility to use multiple clouds, constant innovation, and consistency across clouds.”

For more details, read Microsoft’s ongoing, in-depth series, Success with Hybrid Cloud, and to read Anderson’s full post, head over to the In the Cloud blog.

You might also be interested in:

· Microsoft contributes cloud server designs to the Open Compute Project
· Interoperability protocols plugfest set for March 25-27 in Taiwan
· Microsoft’s data platform group sharpens its focus on cloud computing opportunities for customers

Suzanne Choney
Microsoft News Center Staff