Why CIOs should care about Microservices – [the future of cloud computing applications]


Interesting summary from Forbes on Microsoft’s new Azure technology with comments from Azure CTO Mark Russinovich 

“Microsoft firmly believes that the future of application development for all organizations will be created using microservices. Microservices is a modern take on software architecture, in which complex applications are composed of small, independent processes communicating with each other using APIs. These services are small, highly decoupled and focus on doing a small task. The rise of Docker, the proliferation of third party developer tools and the increasing reliance on the cloud all play into the growth of microservices.”

Forbes: Microsoft Reinvents The Meaning Of PaaS–Welcome To The Microservices Future

Microsoft and Amazon’s approach to cloud computing and the road to $128 billion


Microsoft’s cloud growth is led by Office 365, their productivity suite that’s been around for 20+ years.  For most Microsoft’s customers, that means exporting all their existing emails / contacts / calendars that reside on their internal Exchange server to Microsoft’s cloud. All the productivity applications (i.e., outlook, excel, powerpoint, access) still run on their local PC / notebook. 

A considerable amount of Amazon’s cloud revenue is derived from moving servers run in traditional corporate datacenter to Amazon’s datacenter.  A very different model.  Both Amazon and Microsoft are working on delivering both services.

Charley Blaine provides additional insights about how both companies reported financials are leading him to predict a $128 billion cloud industry

“the market for cloud services will hit $128 billion a year “in the next few years.” I’d guess sooner rather than later.”

Forbes – Amazon And Microsoft Will Tell Us A Lot About The Cloud’s Size

The new lock-in – the cloud, in short, is sticky

Great summary from Matt Asay of Infoworld about cloud strategy from an ISV's perspective.

“When Microsoft said it wouldn’t rule out putting Windows in the open source domain, people scoffed — but it could be a shrewd business move for the cloud era”…

“It turns out switching costs in the cloud are equal to or greater than what they were in the on-premise era.”…

“Once I build my app on AWS or, more poignantly, dump my corporate data into Salesforce, the likelihood that I’m going to be able to easily switch is less than zero.” …

What if Microsoft really did open-source Windows? by Matt Asay

Top 3 Reasons to use the new Azure Premium Storage


Microsoft moved Premium storage out of beta and into production yesterday. There’s 3 compelling reasons why you should take a look:

  1. Solid states drives (SSDs) are lightning fast! It won’t be long before disk drives become floppy drives.  For those of you under 30 wondering what a floppy drive is, click on the link for the Wikipedia article
  2. Works with Page Blogs (lots of reads/writes – think Virtual Machines) and Block Blobs (few read / writes – think photo and movie files).
  3. Combine Premium Storage with the Azure New D and G series virtual machines (that use SSD for their OS and temp drives) and you have a beast of a server that can handle some impressive workloads.

For more details, read Mark Russinovich’s blog

The “Big Three” are all in on big data / predictive modeling


Here’s a quick summary on the technology behind next big thing – machine learning

All three major public cloud providers have connected their core storage services, and one or more of their database products, to the machine learning offerings:

  • Amazon Machine Learning connects to S3, Redshift and the MySQL flavor of its Relational Database Service (RDS).
  • Google Prediction API can read data from Google Cloud Storage, and BigQuery.
  • Microsoft supports both its Table and Blob storage services as data sources, as well as SQL Database, Hive tables in Hadoop and both OData feeds and flat files pointed to by a valid Internet URL.

Full Story: Machine learning is the next frontier in Big Data innovation. And the cloud is the next frontier within that frontier. By for Big on Data

Open Source for Microsoft Windows, just a mater of time


Developers have been “hammering” on Microsoft since the early 2000s when the LAMP stack took off.  One of the reasons that LAMP flourished were complaints about performance and reliability of Internet Information Server (IIS) and the lack of API documentation for Windows 2000 and 2003.  Microsoft has seen the same problem with Internet Explorer (IE) which led to Chrome, Firefox and Safari’s domination of the consumer market.  If it weren’t for business applications tied (read “handcuffed”) to IE, Microsoft’s browser market share would be similar to the Windows Phone.  On that note, in my opinion, open source for the Windows Phone is too late. It’s a moribund OS (unless Microsoft buys a product like Xamarin).

The goods news is “there’s a new sheriff in town” (I’m dating myself with a reference to character Reggie Hammond in 48 hours).  There’s some interesting new developments and an interesting quote from the Azure CTO.

“It’s definitely possible,” Russinovich says. “It’s a new Microsoft.”

Full Story: Wired

New study from 451 Research suggests increase in application hosting and business applications


New study (commissioned by Microsoft) is good news for cloud service providers…

“More than 75 percent of customers are now beyond the cloud discovery phase and expect that in three years, almost half of their applications will be deployed in a combination of private and public cloud environments.”

Full Story: PR Newswire

Azure Machine Leaning and the Connected Cow?!


Machine learning is the process of teaching a computer to impose structure and meaning on data.  Currently Machine learning is “on fire” and with it we’re seeing an amazing new possibilities formerly reserved for science fiction.

Typical Scenarios:
  • Improving elevator efficiencies
  • Predicting Grocery delivery of different foods and house goods
  • Predicting the Outcome of the 2014 U.S. Congressional Elections
  • Personalized experience in the retail industry for all interactions and touch points
  • Retail Fraud
  • Price Optimization
  • Inventory Forecasting
  • Location Analytics
New Scenarios
  • Heat map for breeding cows

Breeding cows can be tricky. The window for successful insemination is narrow – 12 – 18 hours every 21 days – and spotting it can require farmers to monitor tens or even hundreds of cows.

In Japan, dairy farmers employed a high-tech solution to noticing when a cow was getting frisky.

Microsoft needs to change Azure Paradigm to support “Patch Tuesday”


8 Days ago Microsoft posted the following announcements and updates for the Microsoft Azure Platform,  additional details at the link below.  All I can say is that we need to get these product release updates on a “Patch Tuesday” model.  I can’t keep up!

This is a blog post of a new ongoing series of consolidated updates from the Cloud Platform team.

  • Azure Search Generally Available
  • Azure DocumentDB to Become Generally Available
  • Enterprise Mobility Suite (EMS) Now Available in Open Licensing
  • Azure Media Services Now Fully Integrated with Azure CDN
  • Media Encoder Premium for Azure Media Services in Public Preview
  • Azure Active Directory Dynamic Membership For Groups
  • Automatic Password Change for Social Media Shared Accounts
  • March Update to Microsoft Intune
  • Latest Version For Azure SQL Database Now Generally Available in Asia and Improved Data Recover Objectives For V12 in All Regions
  • Compute-Intensive A10 and A11 Virtual Machine Instances Now Generally Available
  • Remote Desktop app for Windows Phone Now Supports Gateway and Remote Resources

Full Story: TechNet