Windows Azure to Microsoft azure

Microsoft is all set to rebrand Windows Azure to Microsoft Azure. This makes lot of sense as the previous name (Windows Azure) gave an impression that it was limited to only Windows or Microsoft stack only. But, Azure today has evolved as a multi-platform and enterprise-grade public cloud platform. Today, it supports Windows, SQL and .NET to Python, Ruby, Node.js, Java, Hadoop, Linux, and Oracle. So, in that sense the rebranding makes lot of sense. Also, Microsoft has announced trade-in scheme that invites Indian SMBs to exchange older hardware for Azure credits. Click here to find out more

Storing in the Cloud

Cloud Storage in recent years has not only caught everyone’s imagination but has also changed the whole perspective of collaboration and sharing on a day-to-day basis. The human race has been known for adapting to different environments and at the same time evolving progressively. It wouldn’t be wrong to say the same on cloud storage options available to us today as compared to what was available (or maybe not) few years back. Cloud Storage has become the most preferable and viable medium for carrying out collaboration and sharing tasks today. Cloud storage plays a pivotal role in our social and professional lives today, so let’s get to know it better below. Cloud Storage has evolved very quickly in very short span of time to catch the imagination of many.
 
What?
In simple English Cloud Storage is the means of storing your data in the cloud. It could be anything from your personal photographs on a social media site, your daily grocery list on a public cloud, or a corporate presentation on a private cloud. It is about storing your stuff without worrying about sharing, syncing to multiple devices, backups etc. All this is taken care by the cloud storage for you today, isn’t that awesome!!
 
Who?
We all come in contact of a cloud storage solution in our day-to-day lives irrespective of our profession, personality or preference. Right from a novice to an expert everyone uses cloud storage in one form or another. It could be a regular home user, a technical geek, a marketing professional or just about anyone.
 
When?
Right now!! (And obviously the future!) Needless to say that we are using cloud storage solutions in one form or the other today. And while a small portion which might still be untouched is surely expected to join the band wagon soon.
 
Where?
You can store information anywhere from personal, private to public cloud. Depending on which end user role you fit the complexity of the cloud storage solutions will vary. There are resources like Online Backup Magazine where more information can be garnered about where and what are the options available to leverage cloud storage options along with gaining important know-how on what’s hot in the cloud storage space.
 
Why?
Is that even a question that should be asked? There are multiple benefits of cloud storage solutions which make it compelling enough to ask WHY NOT? The advantages of storing in cloud are enormous of which accessibility, ease of use, multiple device sync, on-demand, pay as you go subscriptions are just a popular few.
 
So, that was a short overview of the cloud storage solutions/options around us and how we are in some way or the other consuming the cloud services. For those who are not it is never too late!!

Don’t come second with a “Cloud First” strategy

In case I succeeded in getting you enticed with the title of this article, please be informed that I ain’t a cloud expert and the views penned down below are my personal opinion with what’s happening around the cloud space and what do I make out of it.
Though the concept of “cloud” is not new, but it has gained more traction in recent years. I can’t think of a CIO meeting happening today in any organization without this word being “uttered”. Yes, cloud today is not classified as Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) or Software as a Service (SaaS). It continues to grow by leaps and bounds today where it’s capable of delivering everything as a service, from computing power to business processes to personal interactions. The future of cloud platform will be to provide “Everything as a Service”
Cloud is making all right noises in today’s IT landscape across all the sectors. In very simple terms it won’t be incorrect to say that the Cloud Technologies have transformed the way we have been using computing power. Rather than purchasing licenses or hardware, we may now obtain the computing power as a service, buying only as much as we need, and only when we need it. Isn’t it nice!!! This new business model has brought vast efficiency and cost advantages to one an all from an individual to giant corporates. The numerous benefits of cloud computing have played a pivotal role in winning over many adopters and are generating significant cost savings, efficiencies, flexibility, innovation, and new market opportunities.
So far about the cloud and what it is all about, let’s now get to the exact motive of this article. We all by now know the power and flexibility (of choice) cloud computing has brought to the table, but having said that the platform is also offering abundant opportunities to tap.
In late 2010, the U.S. federal government announced its “Cloud First” policy—a policy intended to ensure that the power of cloud computing is unleashed in as many federal agencies as possible. It has now been followed by the UK government as well with the announcement of the G-Cloud programme. The ideation was good the implementation not so, the reason being various factors like the scale of Federal IT landscape, decision making just to name a few. But we can definitely take a cue from their vision. The “Cloud-First” policy is an avenue to allow organizations and agencies to break out of their current restrictive procurement and development practices and embrace cloud with a clear vision and at an accelerated pace.
We all agree that Cloud will be the future (if it isn’t already), so why not plan towards the same from a perspective of leading from the front and come first (and not second as the title of this article tries to suggest)
So what do we do??
Cloud-First methodology to me is doing the following.
– Choose the cloud as your first choice “whenever a secure, reliable, cost-effective cloud option exists.”
– Be it procurement of infrastructure, development and design decisions, keeping the cloud in focus will have far reaching advantages and benefits
– Choose a standardized approach which should keep you at par with both cloud and on-premise platforms
– Opt for hybrid cloud environments in case a complete shift to public cloud is not possible at the initial stage
– Have a fail-over plan in-case a back out is imminentmandatory
Be Noted that this article isn’t trying to suggest that you should just scrap/get rid of existing on-premise deployments in favor of cloud subscription-based options. It’s not an either-or proposition. The whole idea is to keep cloud into perspective and make a conscious effort towards adoption of the same.

Are you ready for the Microsoft Private Cloud?

On February 21 & 22 there is a 2-day virtual training event to learn about the upcoming enhancements with the Creating & Managing a Private Cloud Event Agenda Day 1: Deployment & Configuration (Feb. 21)
•Part 1: Understanding the Microsoft Private Cloud
•Part 2: Deploying the Infrastructure Components
•Part 3: Deploying the Private Cloud Infrastructure
•Part 4: Deploying the Service Layer
•Part 5: Deploying the Applications & VMs Day 2: Management & Operations (Feb. 22)
•Part 6: Managing the Infrastructure Components
•Part 7: Managing the Private Cloud Infrastructure
•Part 8: Managing the Service Layer
•Part 9: Managing the Applications & VMs Register at: http://mctreadiness.com/MicrosoftCareerConferenceRegistration.aspx?pid=298

Microsoft Launches Office 365 Globally

Today, at media events around the world, Microsoft Corp. announced the availability of Microsoft Office 365, the company’s newest cloud service. Office 365 is now available in 40 markets, and it brings together Microsoft Office, Microsoft SharePoint Online, Microsoft Exchange Online and Microsoft Lync Online in an always-up-to-date cloud service, at a predictable monthly subscription.

Office 365 offers a range of service plans for a predictable monthly price from $2 to $27 per user per month. With Office 365 for small businesses, customers can be up and running with Office Web Apps, Microsoft Exchange Online, Microsoft SharePoint Online, Microsoft Lync Online and an external website in minutes, for $6 (U.S.) per user, per month. These tools put enterprise-grade email, shared documents, instant messaging, video and Web conferencing, portals, and more at everyone’s fingertips.

Office 365 for enterprises has an array of choices, from simple email to comprehensive suites to meet the needs of midsize and large businesses, as well as government organizations. Customers can now get Microsoft Office Professional Plus on a pay-as-you-go basis with cloud-based versions of the industry’s leading business communications and collaboration services. Each of these plans comes with the advanced IT controls, innovative security technologies, 24/7 IT support and reliability customers expect from Microsoft.

Visit for more information
http://www.microsoft.com/en-in/office365/online-software.aspx