At Tech Ed it’s all about the cloud

November 9, 2010

From the massive posters that catch your eye when entering Messe for Tech Ed to the theme of the keynote to the hardware and software on display it’s clear Microsoft along with its partners is pushing the “cloud”. This includes both on-premise computing (private cloud) and platform as a service (Azure).

With either cloud model the focus is on improving the processes of deploying, monitoring, and scaling. To that end, Microsoft is breathing new life into its package known as System Center Operations Center (SCOM). I’ve always thought that SCOM fell more into the monitoring space than any other. However that would be selling the product short particularly in light of the new features coming in the 2012 version.

Response at the conference to these new features has been very positive. It’s joining Office programs with the inclusion of a task focused ribbon bar but that’s just icing on the cake. One click by the IT Pro you’ve authorised in your organisation and you have a new private cloud provisioned complete with applications. One tweeter referred to this as the “God button”. On the Azure front, SCOM will now keep an eye on the pulse of your systems there with the help of a new Management Pack. And the announcement of SCOM integration with Microsft’s recently acquired AVIcode means deep integration with .NET applications.

As revealed at PDC and reiterated at Tech Ed Microsoft is opening up Azure VMs for greater control by those hosting applications on them. You can direct that startup tasks be run that install 3rd party components. You will have full IIS capability meaning multiple websites not just one. You can RDP onto the VMs for complete visibility of the instance. A much richer portal along with an MMC snap-in for management are on the way. These are just to name a few of the enhancements on Azure. Microsoft is moving at lightning speed responding to customer requests.

So there’s lots to look forward to in cloud computing!


Cloud Computing Dinner

November 19, 2009

This evening we held a cloud computing dinner for a selected group of CIOs and IT Directors from the London financial services sector. We also invited two representatives from Microsoft to attend to provide information about the Windows Azure cloud computing platform.

The dinner, which was held in The Gherkin, proved to be a highly successful event. There is clearly a lot of interest in cloud computing right now. Perhaps the most surprising outcome was that security was not the number issue for the attendees. There seemed to be an acceptance that cloud computing environments could be made as secure as traditional environments.

What was of more interest to people was the location and jurisdiction of the data. There seemed to be more concern about who would have access to the data and how easily it could be accessed, transferred, controlled etc.

All attendees gave the event high marks and have indicated an interest in reconvening in 2010 to see how everybody has progressed.

If you would like to be on the invite list for future cloud dinners then please contact us at or call us at 020 7836 1800.

These dinners are intentionally non-technical in nature. They examine the wider issues of cloud computing and are thus ideally suited to board-level IT executives.