Microsoft Exec Pushes Hybrid IT Cloud

Server and Tools president says mission is to cloud-optimize every business.

In a speech for investors, Satya Nadells, Microsoft Server and Tools President, said his department's focus is for enterprise adoption of multiple Microsoft technologies that will provide a hybrid public/private cloud solution.

"Our mission ... is to cloud-optimize every business," Nadella said during the Citi Technology Conference, held in New York City. 

Expect a fundamental shift in the technology that governs enterprises, and Microsoft believes it has found what this shift will be, Nadella explained. "As I have gone out and talked to CIOs, as well as ISVs, it's very, very clear that the world of IT is going to be of hybrid IT that's going to span public and private clouds. So, our job number one from a Server and Tools Business is to make sure that we have the core operating system and data tiers available across public and private cloud." 

Getting the enterprise on board early is the hardest challenge of bringing about this change in IT models, Nadella said. However, he pointed out that Microsoft's brand, on its own, will make it easier for many to take the plunge: "Any time you see a massive shift in distributed computing, identity becomes the core way to manage that complexity."

In laying out Microsoft's strategy for this approach, Nadella noted how current and future versions of Windows Server and System Center will power the private cloud section, while application-based hosting duties provided by Microsoft Azure fulfil the public cloud component.

Most shops already employ different elements that make up Microsoft's public and private cloud strategy, which help in the transition. On the private side, he pointed out that there is already a huge installed base for its multiple System Center products, and most of the servers on the market today (including 75 percent of Intel servers) contain Windows server elements.

As for current public cloud adoption, Nadella spoke optimistically that those jumping to Office 365 will help in transitioning more applications to a virtual workspace. "With Office 365, we now have a fantastic effect where every 25 seconds we are adding a new customer to Office 365. And, in many, many cases, those customers are first time users of server products. And so, that's a great reinforcing effect for us even on the public cloud side."

Nadella commented that he is hopeful that this migration to the online-based Office 365 will ease the development of custom apps that can transition from Office 365 to Azure, and vice versa. "That's really the core to what we want to achieve in the immediate term with the public cloud.  It is to really facilitate getting these two flywheels going in concert, because that's what's going to cause enterprise ISVs to really come onto Windows Azure."

Although he said that future updates to Azure and upcoming versions of products such as System Center 2012 and SQL Server will simplify this targeted hybrid environment, new details were not provided. However, he did reiterate several times that Microsoft will be unveiling new information next week in Anaheim, Calif. during its Build conference.

About the Author

Chris Paoli is the site producer for Redmondmag.com and MCPmag.com.