imageWelcome to Day 1 of 30 days of Cloud on Your Terms!  Brian Lewis, John Weston, Kevin Remde and myself are going to take you through 30 days of Cloud discussion, from public to private to hybrid you are going to hear about it all from a technical aspect and stories from our own experiences working in our remote data center.  The posts are designed to help you learn about the cloud, and hopefully point you in the right direction.  We are going to offer some great How To information along with some screencasts and other materials.  We may even toss a tip or two on how to pass an certification exam.  So stay tuned to our blogs for the next month for some great information on the cloud.

This post is just the beginning of the series and I figured I would do some level setting on what in the world is this cloud thing and how you can use it.  It starts with the title of the series:

     Cloud on Your Terms

Now this might just be seen as a catchy marketing phrase but in reality it is much more.  This phrase has teeth and really applies to Microsoft offerings around the cloud.  Our cloud offerings are not going to push all your companies information to the Internet or just use virtualization for the “cloud”.    Microsoft’s offerings really fall in line with the mix match needs of your business and the mix/match choices the cloud offers you and your business.  Microsoft has solutions to meet your needs whether you want to us the public cloud, your own private cloud or use a hybrid solution were you still retain some of your IT goodness on-premise.  Sometimes those cloud solutions may not even apply and you might be looking at using Remote Desktop Services to accomplish your goals.  Ultimately the choice is yours and is flexible enough to meet the unique challenges your business has.    So what are the main choices when it comes to cloud technologies here are the main terms being used in the industry:

  • Infrastructure as a service (IaaS)
  • Platform as a service (PaaS)
  • Software as a service (SaaS)

cloudWhat makes these offerings so fantastic is that they touch not only IT administrators but also consumers as well.  So what does the alphabet soup above all mean.  When you think of IaaS you are generally thinking along the lines of a highly virtualized, elastic, self serve charge back model for your internal on premise network, sometimes referred  to as a private cloud.  this includes Windows Server 2008 R2 and System Center Tools.  However it does not always have to be purely on premise you can use components of PaaS or SaaS o help provide the services for your IaaS environment.  Speaking of PaaS, think of this as Windows in the cloud, which includes Windows Azure and System Center components.  This allows your developers to write their applications.  Lastly when you think of SaaS you think of using almost exclusively Internet based applications and services, like Office 365, Windows InTune or Microsoft Dynamics.  This is also where a lot of of your average everyday users interact with the “cloud”, although they do not call it that that.  They most likely call it Xbox Live, Netflix live streaming, Zune Pass, ITunes, Sky Drive…etc.  These services are all almost exclusively online and leverage the power of the Internet to deliver services worldwide to any type of device.  So that is this is the start and over the next 30 days we are going to dig into this technologies to really help you deliver the Cloud on your terms to your business.  If you want to try them today I would recommend take a look at the Microsoft Virtual Academy!

We hope you will enjoy the series but more importantly we want to hear from you.  Please send us email, provide feedback via comments, or you could even dictate some of the topics we cover in this series.  If there is a cloud topic you are still a little cloudy on (pun intended) then let us know and we will try to work it into the schedule, just drop me an email @ mhester@microsoft.com .  I look forward to hearing from you.

If you happen to miss a part and want to get caught up. You can find all the parts of the series here: The Cloud on Your Terms: 30 Days about the Cloud