Tuesday, July 13, 2010

SQL Azure on Windows Azure Platform Appliance Solution

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SQL Azure Team blogged today about the availability of two new offerings. First is the Windows Azure Platform Appliance Solution, and second is availability of SQL Azure on the same. Before I pen down the point that I want to make, I would try to put this in one line.

If you don't find Cloud, Cloud will find you !! In my views, those who are not ready to make themselves compliant to the cloud computing environment as they might be having the impression that Cloud is too far to reach their working environment / technology and put their job at stake, Windows Azure Platform Appliance Solution is the new giant ready to reach your premises / technology / jobs.

This solution breaks the barrier that enterprises feel for using and/or migrating to the cloud. And this factor was allowing data out of the premises. With this appliance solution, enterprises can have their private cloud in the enterprise with Windows Azure and SQL Azure.

This is one of the most unique cloud based solution in my knowledge. After Parallel Data warehouse offering, this is the second appliance based offering related to SQL Server from Microsoft. The appliance partners which participated in the Parallel Data Warehouse solution, have participated for this solution too.

What most of us would be interested in, is the question "How does this impact my technology / job ?" Below are a few points from the solution home page:

1) The Windows Azure platform appliance consists of Windows Azure, SQL Azure and a Microsoft-specified configuration of network, storage and server hardware.

2) The appliance is designed for service providers, large enterprises and governments and provides a proven cloud platform that delivers breakthrough datacenter efficiency through innovative power, cooling and automation technologies.

3) The Microsoft Windows Azure platform appliance is different from typical server appliances in that it involves hundreds of servers rather than just one node or a few nodes and It is designed to be extensible, customers can simply add more servers, depending upon the customer’s needs to scale out their platform.

4) The appliance is currently in Limited Production Release to a small set of customers and partners.

Based on above points, it is not hard to understand that this is just a starting point. If this goes well, one can expect enterprises to build their private cloud environment hosted in their datacenters using Windows Azure Platform Appliance solution. I feel like this is the new VMWare in the making for cloud platform. Also as of now, I do not see a competitive product in my knowledge for this kind of solution. And once it creeps into the enterprises, major Microsoft based technologies like .NET and SQL Server would definitely mutate to adapt to this environment.

These winds of change indicate that future versions of technologies like SSIS, SSRS and now with this solution even SSAS can be imagined to be operating on the cloud as SQL Azure is also a part of this solution. And if you are not willing to be cloud-ready and you work with Microsoft based solutions, I do not see time too far when you would start risking you job profile as "Cloud would have found you, coz you never thought of finding the cloud" !! I am looking forward to my readers, to share their thoughts with me on this viewpoint.

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