Windows Azure was in the news again when Microsoft announced the "Windows Azure Platform Appliance" at their Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) on July 12th. It consists of pre-configured containers that hold between a hundred and a thousand servers running the Windows Azure platform. These containers will initially be housed at Dell’s, HP’s and Fujitsu’s datacenters. Microsoft is hoping that large enterprise customers, like eBay, will later host these containers at their own datacenters on site. But what is Windows Azure? and does it have anything to do with Webhosting?
Windows Azure will be the platform on which Azure users will be able to develop and run applications that they can later sell to their customers, only paying Microsoft for the use of the platform. Though Azure users will primarily be independent software vendors, Microsoft also expects Webhosts to use Azure as an infrastructure component to power extensions of their own services.
Dave Wright, Microsoft’s industry director for SaaS ISVs in the communications sector, had this to say when he spoke to WHIR last year - “Hosters, just like traditional ISVs, are likely – and we’ve got some hosters who are probably going to experiment with this in the next few months – to build out control panel integrations, various types of business continuity or cloud storage services, fail-over and disaster recovery capabilities, that compliment what they do with their existing dedicated infrastructure, and other types of solutions that integrate Azure into what they do on a regular basis, without actually using Azure to replace that business.”
Azure is not going to be the next Webhosting platform, so Webhosts need not worry about it just yet. But they can use Azure as an added service, especially if they are already providing hosting services to ISVs. These ISVs could take advantage of the benefits offered by Azure, without losing the advantages of dedicated hosting.
About the Author:
Hamish works as a Senior Software Engineer in Bobcares. He joined Bobcares in July 2004, and is an expert in Control panels and Operating systems used in the Web Hosting industry. He is highly passionate about Linux and is a great evangelist of open-source. When he is not on his xbox, he is an avid movie lover and critic.