This week, we’re kicking off a blog series called “Learning from Cloud.”  The purpose of this blog series is to provide you with a guided tour of the infrastructure innovation that Microsoft is delivering today.  We want to show you how it all fits together, and how cloud can change the way you think about your IT strategy.  Over the next few weeks, our team will be publishing blog posts discussing a variety of cloud related topics including:

  • How our customers have leveraged cloud technologies to drive business value
  • Insights on datacenter innovation, hybrid computing, and software defined networking
  • Key takeaways from third-party research studies

In addition, you’ll have access to our webinar series Success with Hybrid Cloud hosted by Microsoft Technical Fellow Mark Russinovich and Corporate Vice President Brad Anderson. We have lots of information and insights to share with you, and to start, we’d like to give you some context on how we’re thinking about the software-defined datacenter.

At Microsoft, we run more than 200 cloud services across the globe, along with the datacenters that provide the underlying infrastructure for those services.  We’ve experienced first-hand that when you run datacenters at cloud scale, you have to change your approach. You need to think about new levels of standardization and automation to achieve the necessary efficiencies.  Plus a new level of focus on resiliency is essential for these services. A highly customized datacenter requires too much manual intervention and leaves too many doors open for errors.

This new approach requires control through software, so that all of your datacenter assets can be unified into a single resource pool and managed as a whole – across compute, storage, and networking.  This software-defined approach to infrastructure gives you a number of opportunities to change how you frame your IT strategy.

Companies today are facing big challenges as they tackle emerging IT trends like big data and a mobile workforce. To handle those challenges, you need the right platform. In your datacenter, with Windows Server 2012 R2 and Microsoft System Center 2012 R2, you can take advantage of built-in features that let you build a software-defined infrastructure platform. But standardizing and automating in your own datacenter will only take you so far. To respond at the speed that business now requires, you need to be able to access cloud resources on demand.  At Microsoft, we think that you should be able to bring in additional resources when it makes sense for your business, not as part of a one-size-fits-all cloud mandate.

Over the next six weeks, our “Learning from Cloud” series will help you to think about how IT strategy is changing and the new options created by the cloud.  In our next post, we’ll talk about we’ll talk about what makes Microsoft’s approach to datacenter innovation unique, so come back and visit us.

Next post:  Learning from cloud: Don't get stuck at the edge of tomorrow (Coming June 17)

Register for episode two of our Hybrid Cloud series here

For more detail on Microsoft’s infrastructure strategy, visit our Transform the Datacenter web page

Learn more about Microsoft’s approach to virtualization: Windows Server 2012 R2 Server Virtualization Technical Overview Whitepaper