The idea of time-sharing computer resources arose when entrepreneurs realized that computing behemoths often had cycles to spare, mostly at night and on weekends after their technicians hung up the white coats they wore each day and went home. Excess capacity was sold to others, who accessed the mainframes via remote terminals.
Time-sharing faded as Moore’s Law drove down the cost of computing resources, gave rise to the PC, and made desktop computing ubiquitous. But its business model didn’t die. It became cloud computing.
Cloud Infrastructure Models
Cloud infrastructure comprises physical and abstraction layers. The physical layer pools all the hardware – servers, storage, and network elements – needed to host the abstraction layer, consisting of all the operating systems, libraries, tools, software applications, and data that provide end-user services. Those services are typically classified into three categories, as illustrated in the diagram below:
Why now? Although many businesses rely on vast datacenters to provide their services, most don’t. For more and more companies, IT’s ever increasing commodization and consumerization have brought the realization that owning and operating IT infrastructure is not core to their businesses.
Microsoft Azure as the Leading Cloud Platform
Azure is the only cloud platform ranked by Gartner as a 2014 Magic Quadrant market leader for four critical enterprise capabilities:
- Cloud Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
- x86 Server Virtualization Infrastructure
- Enterprise Application Platform as a Service (PaaS)
- Public Cloud Storage Services
Microsoft Azure is an open and flexible cloud platform that enables its customers to quickly build, deploy, and manage applications across a global network of highly secure and reliable Microsoft-managed datacenters. Organizations can build applications using any language, tool, or framework. And they can integrate their existing IT environment with their public cloud Azure applications.
However, migrating to the cloud isn’t as simple as plugging it in to the nearest outlet. To minimize, if not eliminate, the risks of disruptions and costly pitfalls in moving to the cloud, organizations should consider engaging the services of a qualified integrator with the knowledge and experience of successful migrations and deployments across public, private, and hybrid clouds. An investment in these services can help businesses accelerate their cloud deployments with confidence and ensure rapid adoption by users, while dramatically lowering project risk and increasing time-to-value.
This is merely a taste to a much more robust Whitepaper which covers in-depth:
- Historical drivers that led to cloud computing
- Definitions of cloud platforms
- Benefits of cloud computing from the perspective of business productivity and IT continuity
- 7 Key attributes that earned Azure’s spotlight in Gartner’s 2014 Magic Quadrant
- Microsoft Azure “By the Numbers”
- The Azure service catalogue broken down into 10 categories
- SoftwareONE’s 6 Step Cloud Deployment Methodology
Click the banner below to download the full Whitepaper, “Steps to Success: Making Cloud Computing Work in Your Operations – How Microsoft Azure can drive IT costs down and business profitability up.”