My road trip for the Windows Azure Spring Release
I am just back from a roadtrip to Chennai, the capital of the state of Tamil Nadu in South India. Chennai is one of the IT hubs in India, that houses thousands of IT professionals. Initially, I was reluctant to leave the cool and comfortable mediteranean climate of Bangalore to go to Chennai for a day, a city that is famous for its sweltering heat and humidity. I went there because of two primary reasons - I got to speak to over 1000 Microsoft technology enthusiasts, something I always enjoy. The second reason, but more important one was that it was the occasion of the the Windows Azure Camp, The event that happened on June 21st was the official announcement from Microsoft of their much awaited enhancement around Windows Azure (Spring Release). Microsoft has been unveiling this spring release the world over and it is an important event for developers and IT professionals and technology decision makers to discover and familiarize new services and capabilities of the Windows Azure platform. Beyond this it gave them a platform to interact with Cloud experts who work and enable these technologies across multiple use cases to address the real world scenarios.
I was invited because Infosys is one of the top System Integrators across the world for Windows Azure. That I was the only Cloud Technology expert from any SI to have been invited and be part of this launch keynote made it more special. I just decided to share my experiences and success stories with clients on Windows Azure. I shared our views on how the enhanced platform can address broader client scenarios. With the spring release Windows Azure has become equally exciting for both developers and Infrastructure experts. Windows Azure will no longer be just a platform as a service (PaaS) which was a developers panorama, will have a new capability that will function as Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) that will run Windows and Linux instances and their related applications. There has been some major enhancements to the existing services as well new service addition. With this Windows Azure can be a preferred platform for Dev / Test environment as well as lifting and shifting Windows and Linux VM's.
The earlier PaaS capability is now known as Azure cloud service, new IaaS capability is called Azure Virtual Machine and there is one more capability for hosting websites which is known as Azure websites. Beyond this there are few new network caging capabilities like Azure connect and Azure virtual network to enable cross premise connectivity scenarios. It was an excited and packed crowd of around 1000 who turned up at the Chennai Trade Center for the event, dominated by the developer community along with infrastructure experts. The folks with whom I interacted were keen to know how enterprise clients are adopting the public platform and how the platform addresses their security and other compliance requirements. Few of them expressed that application mobility in a hybrid scenario with VM's moving across on premise and cloud will be really exciting in addressing most of the scenarios they come across with their clients. Few of them were keen to know the e commerce possibilities. The dev and test scenarios especially SharePoint and SQL servers were also highlighted.
As I left the city in the evening, the heat and the humidity of Chennai were forgotten, what remain in my memory was the promise of this new cloud offering from Microsoft, enriching experience of interacting with over a 1000 enthusiastic cloud technologists and how excited everybody is about what the Cloud can do for enterprises worldwide.
The Cloud is real and underway and it is not going away, let's embrace it with both hands and enjoy the benefits.