Success of cloud depends on management: Microsoft

Private clouds built on the right foundations can help IT organisations meet their companies’ demands for more agile services

Success of cloud depends on management: Microsoft

That was one of the big takeaways from the first day of the Microsoft Management Summit (MMS), which is being held this week in Johannesburg for the first time (10 May 2011). The event saw Microsoft experts discussing the various technologies, tools, and guidance to help enterprises progress toward the benefits of cloud computing.

Keynote speaker Chris van Wesep, a 10-year Microsoft veteran, is responsible for marketing the company’s cloud and datacentre management products. According to van Wesep, public cloud is not yet be feasible for many companies. By contrast, private cloud computing offers real advantages today, and can be built on existing datacentre investments.  

However, the business of IT is all about ensuring that the applications that run the business are available to users. As businesses virtualise, IT needs to be sure that the focus on applications continues.

“Virtualisation is an important first step on the journey to cloud computing. But don’t forget, the workloads that are virtualized still need to be managed, so intelligence about the apps is critical,” van Wesep said.

Gartner sees strong interest in private cloud computing through 2014, with 30% of data centre executives planning to invest in private cloud computing in 2011. “The move to cloud computing significantly raises the bar for what is expected in enterprise management solutions,” said Chris Wolf, research vice president at Gartner. “The real value of IT management comes from keeping a service up and running.”

System Centre 2012, demonstrated by van Wesep at the event, is slated for release later this year. It enables IT managers to build private clouds with the infrastructure they know and own today – including other vendors’ platforms and virtualisation technologies.

In his keynote, van Wesep demonstrated the Virtual Machine Manager capability in System Centre 2012. Using this core component of Microsoft private cloud solutions, IT managers can efficiently standardise infrastructure and application services and delegate them to business partners.

“Virtualisation and server consolidation are important steps toward cloud computing, but it’s essential to have management tools that provide intelligence about how the apps themselves are doing,” van Wesep concluded.

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