There’s an interesting article over on Eweek.com from Chris Preimesberger about a presentation by IDC SVP and Chief Analyst, Frank Gens.

The story talks about how the industry and IT are at a crossroad similar to the one 25 years ago with the transformation from traditional mainframes and terminals to the new class of end-user devices in the Personal Computer.

It goes on to say how now is the time that the entire software and hardware eco-system should embrace the new IT combination of public/private/hybrid cloud systems.

For Microsoft customers, the great news is that we acknowledged this shift several years ago and began laying the foundation for it with our investments in public cloud offerings such as Windows Azure and by integrating private cloud technologies into our existing Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V virtualization and System Center IT management offerings.

Windows Azure has been available for over a year already and has many customers, such as 3M and Volvo, doing exciting things with the platform.

If you already have Windows Server 2008 and System Center in your datacenter, you’re on your way to reaping the benefits, such as reduced costs and increased automation, that the private cloud has to offer.  If you’re not already doing so, turn on Hyper-V and give server virtualization a try and check out the prescriptive guidance on how to get started building your own private cloud here.

Additionally, we know this is a time of transition and that moving to the cloud is not an ‘all or nothing’ proposition.  Some customers will want a private cloud implementation to maintain greater control of the end to end experience, other customers are already moving data and applications to the Windows Azure cloud to take advantage of the reduced management and hardware costs the public cloud offers.  Others may just want to move their messaging and collaboration to the cloud so that they don’t have to maintain those on-premise servers responsible for those systems.

Regardless, now is the time to consider the cloud for the various different applications and systems you have.

As always, let me know if you have any comments or if you’ve looking for more information on what Microsoft has to offer businesses in the cloud computing arena, check out the Cloud Power site.

Thanks and have a great day - larry