MS clears up cloud model

Most major enterprises are, today, in the early stages of what will be a very, very significant transition from the use of dedicated application servers to the use of virtualization and commodity hardware for consolidating apps on computing grids and storage grids within their data center. This trend will accelerate as apps are progressively refactored…to make use of this new virtualization-powered utility computing model. A model that will span from the enterprise data center, and ultimately, into the cloud.

This utility computing model will reshape enterprise infrastructures such as e-mail, communications, content management, databases. And it will also, as a result, reshape enterprise applications and solutions. All our software will be significantly refactored to provide a level of symmetry between enterprise-based software, partner-hosted services and services in the cloud.

The power of server-service symmetry, the power of choice will enable IT to best leverage the skills of its key personnel and it will provide tremendous flexibility in developing, migrating, operating and managing systems that are distributed and federated between the enterprise data center and the Internet cloud.

Declarative languages such as XAML are enabling us to rapidly repurpose and recombine UI components into new concepts and new apps. Many of those new apps are now needing to extend beyond the browser or beyond the PC. Users are beginning to expect rich, integrated experiences that are seamlessly delivered across the Web, the PC and the phone.

This new multi-device UI environment now requires a host of new front-end development skills.

At the backend, new skills are also required as developers are finding the need to embrace new programming models … that are more appropriate for the cloud. This cloud-based environment consists of vast arrays of commodity computers with storage and software being spread across just hundreds of thousands of computers … for reasons of performance and scale and redundancy.

Over the next five years, the way we write code on the back end, the way we deploy it across a grid, the way we debug it remotely, the way we maintain it and service it will be fundamentally transformed by our progressive shift to this utility computing model in the cloud.

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