back to article Microsoft: Our clouds don't bleed you to death

The battle in the data center a few years back was VMware's ESXi hypervisor and its vCenter console versus Microsoft's Hyper-V and cloudy add-ons to its System Center control freak. And now, the battle is moving out into the cloud. Microsoft has deep pockets and a vast installed base of Windows Server shops to leverage: …


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  1. Nate Amsden Silver badge

    it would be interesting to see

    if vmware could come up with a similar map with all of their partners and stuff, I really think it would put the MS map to shame. It doesn't make a whole lot of sense for VMware to build a cloud themselves they would just be competing with their own customers.

    MS doesn't have as much of a problem doing it because it seems like these service providers weren't drinking much of the Hyper-V cool aid to begin with.

    MS also has a history of screwing their partners over and not having much success at it (Surface, Zune ..)

    Not that I believe in either solution for any organization I've ever worked for.

    Wake me when we have

    * true billing based on what you use not what you provision

    * resource pools allowing the customer to provision a pool of resources and provision whatever they want in there (and the billing happens at the resource pool level), bonus points if you can bill similar to how network bandwidth is often billed at 95th percentile.

    * dynamically shift workloads around to balance systems, live migrations to eliminate downtime for infrastructure changes that would otherwise be disruptive.

    * is high availability - don't want to have to worry about a server failing, storage failing, network failing etc. No built to fail (well you can have built to fail for the customers that like it)

    * high level of instrumentation exposed to the customer

    * is easy to use (e.g. install an OS with a ISO image), add extra virtual NICs if needed, extra storage.

    * provided at a cost that is competitive against in house solutions (the solutions these days are so hysterically tilted in the opposite direction it is amazing people even bother to try to sell them - amazon included -- I guess it goes to show what the typical customer/management out there is like - which is even more depressing that buy into this shit)

    Nobody has gotten the last point, some of the Vmware providers can get to a few of the first few points, depending on the type of engagement you get.

    I had one of vmware's partners(big partner, even bigger now) a few years ago offer to build some cloud infrastructure at their facility for a DR project I was building out -- my cost was about $650-700k, plus about $10k/mo in hosting(probably over estimated, most of that was for tons of bandwidth that was required). This was for all tier 1 equipment with 4 hour on site support, vmware enterprise plus. I wasn't doing shoestring whitebox shit with free Xen and direct attached storage.

    Their cost to me was $3 million plus about $150k/mo in hosting. (they had another plan with no bulk install fee - that was only $272k/mo - they had a $15 setup fee if I remember right too, oh the irony). The stories I have heard since (from some guys spending mega six figures/month in several different clouds) mirror that experience to this day (amazon customers included).

    Now I may even be happy if you can get all of the above points and be say 2x or 3x more expensive than in house offering, but when your talking ROI of moving from the cloud to in house being measured in months (perhaps 1 year TOPS - after which the cost saving typically skyrocket as your costs plunge as the bulk capex purchases are complete) nobody is even close to 2x or 3x numbers.

    Not holding my breath. At this rate I'd be surprised if it happens within the next decade.

    1. Getriebe
      IT Angle

      Re: it would be interesting to see

      Of your 7 star'd points, we have a couple of operations runnning that get the first 6, but I agree with you the cost one always requires creative accounting. Our installations are not in Azure for this, even though an overwhelming amount of off premises stuff is in Azure.

      Bu our spend is not as high as yours. With that amount of commitment I reckon I could get the prices down, and get the salesman to dance naked at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern.

      1. Alex Rose
        Thumb Up

        Re: it would be interesting to see

        "and get the salesman to dance naked at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern"

        You owe me a clean monitor!

    2. btrower

      Re: it would be interesting to see

      @Nate Amsden

      Excellent comment.

      Re:"true billing based on what you use not what you provision"

      That is the real stumbling block for me. If actual bandwidth/storage/cpu were billed at something approaching reason it would be a slam-dunk. As it stands, it can get frightfully expensive just setting up a real system, let alone running it.

      I have a couple of Amazon EC2 instances and accounts at a variety of other cloud back end suppliers. It would be great to shift clients on to the cloud, but it is currently prohibitively expensive.

      It is particularly irritating that you can't set up what is required for instances and lay them aside for a reasonable cost of storage.

      Despite the issues, movement to the cloud is inevitable and already underway.

  2. Blarkon

    One word. Licensing

    Azure includes the Server OS license in the subscription price. I'm guessing if you want to run Windows Server in VMware's cloud, you (or VMware) will need to cough up licensing dosh to MS.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: One word. Licensing

      Unlikely - monopolies will really hammer them for charging themselves less than a competitor for the same "product".

      Especially when they claim that the Azure is a wholely separate business in Timbuktu and doesn't pay any tax anywhere else.

  3. ScottK

    Aussie datacentre

    Is the Aussie datacentre really in the middle of the South Australian desert?

  4. Charles-A Rovira

    Do you believe a monopolist who's having problems selling their OS?

    "Microsoft: Our clouds don't bleed you to death"

    No it'll be more like sitting around a dynamite stick; the end WILL be swift.

  5. Mr Anonymous

    I didn't get past the first para.

    "TechEd The battle in the data center a few years back was VMware's ESXi hypervisor and its vCenter console versus Microsoft's Hyper-V and cloudy add-ons to its System Center control freak. And now, the battle is moving out into the cloud."

    What a load of carp. Hyper-V was nowhere "a few years back" and probably has traction similar to windows 8 now. I'll leave others to argue about xen, zones, kvm et al.

  6. Anonymous Coward

    Isn't VMware the HD-DVD equivalent of the datacenter? Great technology but no content.

    They provide a fab hypervisor, but at the end of the day it's still down to running OS's like Windows and apps on top. It was only a matter of time till Microsoft caught up. If I'm RDP'ing into a remote server, I really don't give a damn if it's on VMware, Hyper-V or long as it's ON.

    1. El Limerino

      I think you have that backwards: with 480,000 customers and >50% of servers virtualized vs. Hyoer-V's, er, 5%, VMware has all the content and MS is the HD-DVD... Sure, there's no difference for the app, which is why people continue to ignore free hypervisors and spend billions on VMW...

  7. W. Anderson

    OpenStack elephant in Microsoft's living room

    Many of Microsoft's business customers that monitor and/or participate in the company's TechEd and other marketing events must be a little naive and simple minded to "not" know that much of the propaganda that Brad Anderson is spouting has little relationship to realization of other broad based and ideal technology solutions on the ground.

    While Microsoft is "supposedly" comparing their Azure Cloud and combined (or separate) Hyper-V virtualization Services offering only to VMWare in costs, they are fully dismissing fact that OpenStack Cloud Services, which is a gigantic and formidable competitor to Microsoft is being provided to thousands of businesses and organizations, even governments from several large technology vendors like Dell, IBM, HP, Oracle, AT&T, Cisco, Yahoo, Juniper Networks, NetApp and many others, including VMWare.

    A few of the reasons Microsoft may not have acknowledged OpenStack Cloud technologies to Microsofty clients are (a) the Open and International Standards used by OpenStack - being Free/Open Source Software (FOSS) based - that expose clustomers to a wealth of additional , interoperable add-on services globally available, (b ) that OpenStack Cloud based solutions are considerably more reasonably priced - in apples to apples comparisons, with Azure and (c ) OpenStack, even at this early stage of all enterprise Cloud Services industrywise has proven to be significantly more scalable, reliable and exponentially more secure than the best that Microsoft can offer.

    Omitting or ignoring the existence and challenge of this formidable competitor to their technology solutions bespeaks the false arrogance of Microsoft and/or the slow mentality of their customers who might automatically "assume" they are receiving the best solution and and at great prices.

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