imageWhen you think of the cloud you most likely are not thinking of stratus, cumulus, or cirrus.   You are probably thinking about the many different online service offerings like:

  • Microsoft Exchange Online
  • Microsoft SharePoint Online
  • Azure (Windows and SQL)
  • Microsoft Office Web Apps

And so on.

My guess is you are not thinking about your Windows Server 2008 R2 servers in your on-premise data centers.  More importantly you should be, Windows Server 2008 R2 provides not only solid component in your data center as we have talked about in the past:

Windows Server 2008 R2 provides a key foundational piece in the architecture that allows us to break down the barriers of communication, collaboration, and management between on-premise, private cloud and public cloud computing. 

image When you think about the cloud, you might be thinking the same way I thought, do I go to the cloud or do I keep my datacenter on-premise?  My answer, you can and should do both.  The best thing, when I think about Microsoft and the cloud, is you will continue leverage your existing IT skill sets.  In addition your and your business has the flexibility to either develop and deploy private cloud solutions or to connect these solutions to the public clouds from hosting providers and Microsoft.

This flexibility to run your applications locally or in the cloud is a key benefit that Kelley Blue Book.  As Andy Lapin, Director of Enterprise Architecture for Kelley Blue Book states:

“It is nice to have a flexible solution like Windows Azure where we don’t have to pay any upfront costs to get something deployed quickly.  We have the flexibility that lets us figure out things as we go at a low cost.”

You can read more about how Kelley Blue Book leverages the cloud here: Kelley Blue Book Azure Case Study.

The ability to leverage your existing IT knowledge and investments is a key component to making the cloud work for you. Another big reason to leverage the cloud is the scalability it can offer your business, whether you need 10 or 10,000 servers for your workload the cloud can dynamically provide this for your organization.  It truly provides you a just in time capability that traditional on-premise data centers have struggled with in the past.

So the question is not, “To Cloud or not To Cloud”.  Rather how does your datacenter talk to the cloud.