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Aren't we hearing this word a lot these days? In almost all the technical conversation, Technical journals and magazines, Technical conferences,.. whole world talking about Cloud.

Though there are large number of Companies, group and individuals talking about Cloud, everybody has their own understanding and interpretation of Cloud.

So what is Cloud Computing??

Okay, very simple way to explain is that cloud is a services with certain set of tools and resources on the internet or inhouse where you can perform all your computing task, save your data, generate reports and analyze it, connect with people or even have fun like playing games or watching TV or movies from any device like PC, TV, Phone from any place.

Recently Steve Ballmer in his speech in University of Washington discussed Microsoft strategy of Cloud and how Cloud computing will change the way people and businesses use technology.

You can watch Steve’s complete speech here

Cloud computing is based on these components:

  • Virtualization and automation

  • Interchangeable (fungible) resources such as servers, storage and network

  • Management of these resources as a single fabric

  • Elastic capacity (scale up or down) to respond to business demands

  • Applications (and the tools to develop them) that can truly scale out

  • Focused on the service delivered to the business

    There can be two type of Clouds:

    Private Cloud:  Its an internal service that can be hosted inhouse with set of tools like Windows Server, Virtualization and management solutions like System Center, it provides compatibility with local applications and keeps your data and information within premises.

    Public Cloud: Provided by service providers, public cloud offers customers the ability to deploy and consume services. In this category, Azure™ is a highly scalable services platform providing pay–as-you-go flexibility delivered from Microsoft’s datacenters.

    In the cloud, Automation is a great driver, without automation the whole purpose of cloud is defeated and its true potential cannot be realized. Following kind of automation is critical in the cloud:

    • Automatic provisioning of Operating Systems and application as and when user demand arises.
    • Automatically provision new server and other hardware when required
    • Applications can be scaled up with more memory and processor power and other resources whenever load increases.
    • Dynamic shift of load from one Workload to another depending upon certain scenarios.

    And thus Virtualization and integrated Management becomes a super critical component of a Cloud Platform.

    Following technologies from Microsoft can help creating a fully automated cloud services.

    Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper V: Virtualization Platform to host multiple Virtual Machines running business critical applications increasing the utilization of your hardware, saving cost in terms of power, space and management.

    System Center: With Integrated management feature of System Center products like Virtual machine Manager 2008 R2 and System Center Operations Manager 2007 R2, a whole lot of automation can be achieved, Automated provisioning of Virtual Machines using templates and scripts, Optimize resources and performance of VMs and applications in them using PRO TIPS, End to End monitoring of Virtual Workloads, Physical Hardware, Applications, networks and other devices.

    With the help of System Center Configuration Manager,  OS and Software, Applications can be deployed both in Virtual machines and on physical servers, Patching OS, Applications, applying security updates, service packs was never so easy before.

    And ofcourse, protecting, securing and backing up the critical cloud components can be done using Data Protection Manager.

    With the help of PowerShell2.0 scripting, automation can be taken into great level.

    In my next post, we’ll see some scenarios where Cloud services can add great value and other Microsoft offerings to enable Cloud Computing.

    At this time, we are saying.. We’re All In (The Cloud) !!!

    Stay Tuned :)