There has been some rather interesting weeks. For some weeks ago I did participate in the Azure Circle discussing experiences from the work done on the Microsoft cloud platform.

And during last week we have heard a lot of announcements related new cloud things during TechEd. Some of the things are really impressive as a stand-alone announcement but I think that when one is looking on the total picture it becomes even more impressive.

I think that we for the upcoming 12 month will hear a lot about CloudOS and the Insight-story from Microsoft. So do you need to think about to be able to leverage on this?

In this post I will highlight four steps towards understanding the concept behind “CloudOS”.

CloudOS steps

1. Embrace the power of ‘And’ and extend with Cloud Power!

I highlighted this in my last post but it is worth stressing this again. It is not just about the Cloud it is about the hybrid-senario. And it is about how you can connect to the cloud on your terms! Many of our customers has taken the step into the cloud by establish the development environments or the test environments using Azure IaaS.

In this step I think that the organization should invest in understanding of

  • Federation and how to managed identity
  • Cloud-integrated-storage

In the Microsoft world the answer is the Windows Azure Active Directory and the newly acquired solution from StorSimple.

2. Lift and shift when possible

Although many organization will benefit from the possibility to just lift legacy system to the IaaS offering there is a great potential for a new type of dynamic if one also do the shift.

In the case that one just lifts the legacy system, e.g. a SQL-database, “as is” to a VM in Azure you will be billed for the use of the VM per hour but the license will be a traditional “on-premise” one. But if one instead uses a pre-installed VM with SQL the license is included in the price, hence you are only billed for this when the VM is running. After last weeks announcement regarding that Oracle now also commits to this pricing model in Azure this really shows the strength of the Azure IaaS offering.

For system that are developed by the organization the next shift is to move to SQL Azure, i.e. shift from IaaS to PaaS.

3. Unlock the values in legacy and unstructured data

After that you are familiar in how to connect to the cloud and how you in a federative way can let your users access the cloud it is time to start to unlock the values our data.  This step also includes to become familiar with the tools that the organization needs to analyze and visualize data and of course the handling of data at extreme situations, i.e. Big data strategy.

In the last month we have seen the release of Geoflow, DataExplorer, PoverView, and HDInsight wich addresses different aspects of this.

4. Cloud as an operative system – the raise of CloudOS

But the life is not just servers and data, it is also the life-cycle of applications and services. The enterprise needs to adopt new devices in the enterprise with unified device management for all other modern devices. The organizations also need to transform their infrastructure across private clouds, service provider clouds and into Windows Azure. It is now the pieces of the puzzle start to form a really nice picture.

To streamline and accelerate application development and deployment the application lifecycle management tools will move to the cloud. With this it will even easier for teams to integrate into their development process. Recently Microsoft announced the public preview of Team Foundation Service running in the cloud. The preview is available at http://tfspreview.com

So from this perspective the concept of CloudOs is the enabler that transforms the IT-department from focusing on technology towards an organization that becomes an important part in the innovation process for the enterprise of tomorrow.