Saturday, June 01, 2013

Microsoft’s “Understanding the Microsoft Cloud” White Paper Misses the Windows Azure IaaS Boat

Microsoft’s attempt to educate the masses about the capabilities of its Windows Azure cloud computing technology hit a snag when making a 13-page Understanding Microsoft Cloud article available for download as a Word document on May 28, 2013.

imageWritten by Microsoft senior SharePoint developer Ken Withee (@withee), the article’s blurb reads: “Using SharePoint Products as an example, this paper discusses the kinds of cloud-based software and their benefits for organizations of varying sizes.”

In a note on page 11, Withee writes:

We haven’t mentioned Infrastructure as a Service, but it is similar to the On-Premises model. The difference is that instead of purchasing physical servers and installing the operating systems and software yourself, you purchase virtual servers. Amazon and other companies provide virtual servers to accommodate this model. When you purchase a subscription to a virtual server, you are free to imagedo with it as you please. You might decide to install the Linux operating system instead of Windows Server. Think of a virtual server just like you would think of a physical server but accessed over the Internet. You purchase a subscription to the virtual servers and then use them just like you would if they were physical servers on your own premises. Microsoft server products, like SharePoint Server, only run on Windows Server and will not run on Linux. As a result, Microsoft does not have a virtual server offering. Windows Azure fits the bill with of [sic] a virtual server with the operating system product. The difference between a virtual server offering like Amazon and the Azure offering is that with Azure you must use Windows. If you are choosing a Microsoft software product then it makes sense to use Azure. If you want to run software products made for Linux then Azure will not work for you. [Emphasis added.]

imageApparently, Withee didn’t get the memo about Windows Azure Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), which became generally available (GA) on April 16, 2013 after a lengthy preview period, and ceded the Linux IaaS market to Amazon Web Services.

The Windows Azure Management Portal lists seven Linux OS images for Windows Azure Virtual Machines:


The moral of this story is that business types from all Microsoft’s groups targeted by a company publication should have the opportunity to review and correct errors before its publication.

P.S.: Michael Washam (@MWashamMS) described Automating SharePoint Deployments in Windows Azure using PowerShell in a 5/24/2013 post to the Windows Azure blog:

imageThe sample scripts allow automated provisioning of the following workloads as individual tiers or as a one complete deployment.

  • Active Directory
  • SQL Server 2012
  • SharePoint 2013

imageEach tier can be deployed in a single virtual machine configuration or with multiple virtual machines for a highly available solution.