In watching the Microsoft TechEd sessions today I can't help but see how Microsoft is doing here what it does best. Microsoft is great at creating platforms that take complex, important capabilities, accomplish them at the platform level as a commodity, then innovate further up on the value stream. This is what I value most about working with Microsoft technologies. Here are some key things you can see happening at with Microsoft at TechEd 2013:
- Azure abstracts the whole datacenter scenario. Azure turns the datacenter into a commodity without many compromises. In fact, it provides capability to your datacenter, at commodity costs, high security, and integration into your on-premise world. It makes your on-premise environment compete with it on visibility, availability, and management.
- Hyper-V is what runs Azure. If Hyper-V fits Microsoft's needs for world-class datacenter hosting, can you really say that it doesn't meet yours? The benefit of Hyper-V running Azure is that it facilitates the new features that are being announced, such as VM migration to Azure, as well as management capabilities.
- Microsoft Cloud OS is on-premise, Azure, and System Center. Have a mixture of Azure, Amazon, Hyper-V and VMWare? No problem. If you are running any datacenter technology, the Microsoft System Center capability story is pretty awesome. As an example, Orchestrator can easily automate deployment, movement, and configuration between all the named environments, managed from one System Center Service Manager world.
- VMWare is done. Who really wants to keep paying extra for virtualization at this point? Is that really where you are trying to innovate? I think it is clear at this point that Microsoft caught up and passed VMWare at the last revision. The market has showed that with Microsoft now already having about 1/3 the virtualization market and VMWare's stock price plummeting.
- Software as a Service is the model for all applications, not just ones hosted somewhere else. When you build a software solution on premise, it should be able to be delivered in a model which is akin to SaaS, which is commoditized, standardized, and easily trained on. Microsoft is doing this in the very large software market space, with technologies like Office365 and Intune, but on-premise we should think of the same paradigm.
- Innovate further up the Value Chain. Technology departments need to focus on how they benefit their business. They need to move out of the "keeping the lights on" space and into the "innovating space". This is where capabilities like System Center, Service Manager, and Orchestrator allow an organization to move into new capability areas.
- SANs are next... Who is really satisfied with the percentage of their technology budget that goes to the storage vendors? It reminds me of every technology which hasn't yet become a commodity, where the SAN vendor is actively taking advantage of every company they deliver hardware to because they know they can get away with it. The writing is now on the wall. SAN vendors beware because commodity storage has seriously hit the market. If you look at what the providers like Azure, storage spaces, and SMB over RDMA in Windows Server 2012 R2 are doing, they are telling companies that they need not be held hostage to the big storage companies anymore. Have you noticed those companies trying to re-establish themselves as "software companies"? This is why.
Stay tuned for more news from TechEd 2013. In the meantime, watch it live here: http://channel9.msdn.com/ Here are some complementing posts to check out: Service Manager 2012 R2 in Whitepaper New Hyper-V 2012 R2 Features Storage Spaces Performance (Aidan Finn) Nathan Lasnoski