Friday, December 2, 2011

Microsoft big shift

When Azure was first announced at the PDC in 2008, Microsoft wasn’t a recognized player in the cloud industry. It was the underdog to the giants Google and Amazon, which had been offering cloud services for years by that time. Building and deploying Azure was a big bet for Microsoft. It was a major change in the company’s direction, from where Microsoft had been and where it needed to go in the future. Up until that time, Microsoft had been a product company. It designed and built a product, burnt it to CD, and sold it to customers. Over time, the product was enhanced, but the product was installed and operated in the client’s environment. The trick was to build the right product at the right time, for the right market.

With the addition of Ray Ozzie to the Microsoft culture, there was a giant shift toward services. Microsoft wasn’t abandoning the selling of products, but it was expanding its expertise and portfolio to offer its products as services. Every product team at Microsoft was asked if what they were doing could be enhanced and extended with services. They wanted to do much more than just put Exchange in a data center and rent it to customers. This became a fundamental shift in how Microsoft developed code, how the code was shipped, and how it was marketed and sold to customers.

This shift toward services wasn’t an executive whim, thought up during an exclusive executive retreat at a resort we’ll never be able to afford to even drive by. It was based on the trends and patterns the leaders saw in the market, in the needs of their customers, and on the continuing impact of the internet on our world. Those in charge saw that people needed to use their resources in a more flexible way, more flexible than even the advances in virtualization were providing. Companies needed to easily respond to a product’s sudden popularity as social networking spread the word. Modern businesses were screaming that six months was too long to wait for an upgrade to their infrastructure; they needed it now.

Customers were also becoming more sensitive to the massive power consumption and heat that was generated by their data centers. Power and cooling bills were often the largest component of their total data-center cost. Coupling this with a concern over global warming, customers were starting to talk about the greening of IT. They wanted to reduce the carbon footprint that these beasts produced. Not only did they want to reduce the power and cooling waste, but also the waste of lead, packing materials, and the massive piles of soda cans produced by the huge number of server administrators that they had to employ.

Source of Information : Manning Azure in Action 2010
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