Back in early 2013, I predicted that Microsoft would start licensing Windows Azure to private data centers. As a software company, Microsoft’s strength is in software and software platforms. It has been dogfooding Azure to prove it out, but Microsoft never wanted to transform itself into a data center infrastructure company. Just as Windows Server is a computer operating system, Windows Azure is a data center operating system. Now, Microsoft has officially announced that for the past 18 months, it has been working on Microsoft Cloud Platform System (I predict the name will change because nobody licenses something that gets confused with “Child Protective Services”, CPS). This is essentially a cabinet-sized computer you can buy that has all Dell hardware pre built to run a 2000-VM capacity Windows Azure.
I had no idea what their actual plans were at the time, but I’m glad they are doing this because now data centers all around the world can start hosting for their customers on a consistent Microsoft data center operating system. Now, Azure and OpenStack are the two cloud platforms to choose from for private data centers.
I am really excited about this because at Clear Measure, we have already built a strong competency in Windows Azure not only on the software engineering side, led by James Shaw, but also with our DevOps division, led by Paul Drew. And with Andrew Siemer, former chief architect of Dell.com, we are also facilitating AzureAustin, a user group focused on Windows Azure from a software engineering standpoint.