At TechRepublic Live 2011, Dr. Tom Shinder, of the Microsoft Private Cloud Solutions Team, gave a presentation with this intriguing title:

How Windows 8 enables IT Pros to implement private cloud
The hashtag for the Twitter feed for TechRepublic Live 2011 is #TRLive2011.

Here is a list of some of highlights of his presentation:

The private cloud is not server virtualization — read that again — a very important point.

Essential characteristics of the private cloud include (NIST):

  • broad network access
  • resource pooling
  • rapid elasticity
  • measured service

There are three service models important to the private cloud:

  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
  • Platform as a Service (PaaS)
  • Software as a Service (SaaS)

The benefits of cloud computing include:

  • lower up-front expenses
  • expenditure moved from capital expenditures to operational expenditures
  • better provisioning, utilization, and elasticity
  • metered usage
  • enhanced security by economies of scale

Microsoft’s approach to the private cloud

Microsoft has established guidelines to support the evolution of cloud infrastructure called principles. Some of these principles:

  • perception of infinite capacity
  • optimization of resource usage
  • minimized human involvement
Identified concepts that support the principles include:
  • predictably
  • virtualized infrastructure
  • fabric management
  • cost transparency
Microsoft’s Private Cloud Stack includes (based on Windows 8 Hyper-V):
  • System Center (current)
  • System Center 2012
  • Other software like the SCVMM Self-Service Portal 2.0 (SSP) and the Virtual Machine Servicing Tool 3.0
Cloud is about service delivery, not infrastructure and operations.

Bottom line

The important takeaway from the presentation is that cloud computing is no longer an abstract concept that IT pros talk about over lunch. Cloud computing, whether it is private or public or a hybrid of the two, is coming, and as an IT professional you need to be ready for it.