Microsoft’s current private cloud strategy seems to be one that was designed with a lot of right hands not talking to the left ones. The services that most closely approach the cloud ideal (self service, elastic/dynamic resource provisioning) don’t have a unifying vision behind them, even when they come under the same branch. Just look at the wild differences between the self service portals available in System Center Virtual Machine Manager (now deprecated, more on that in a sec), Service Manager and App Controller which all present wildly different views for the same underlying infrastructure. You could argue that they’re designed with different purposes in mind and sure to an extent that’s true but the fact is there’s no overarching direction for them all to head towards. That is, until the Windows Azure Pack becomes generally available.
I was struck with something of a realisation this morning as I sat through MDC-B212, led by the amazingly talented Mark Russinovich. Whilst I might be overly excited by the direction Microsoft is taking, mostly because it vindicates my long held position that the future of the cloud is hybrid, the current reality is still very far away from what I believe is the ultimate end game. More importantly however I was approaching the idea with the naivety that all admins get when flashy technology comes their way, forgetting the legacy environments that are what keeping all us IT professionals employed. With that in mind I set about to find out what solutions are not only available today but also those that provide easy migration paths; solutions that actually have a chance of being implemented.