Microsoft seems to be in the news lately, not for anything new and groundbreaking, but for something it needed to do to stay competitive with other cloud services. First, as I wrote in a post last week, Microsoft has taken the Windows Azure HDInsight Hadoop service to general availability, and now Microsoft is offering its Azure customers the ability to import to and export from Azure using hard disks offline.
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Microsoft is in the news for finally ending its extended, months-long preview period for HDInsight and rolling out the welcome mat for big data workloads in the Microsoft Windows Azure cloud computing platform.
In my Enterprise Desktop Strategy paper that was released back in September 2009, I defined what organizations should be considering as they look to incorporate desktop virtualization into their environments. I explored the different components, processes, and tools that brought the concept of the enterprise desktop together. Four years have gone by, and we have been through several “year of VDI” hype cycles. What we have learned is that as much as Desktop Virtualization is an innovative solution, it can also be disruptive if it is not properly integrated as part of the whole desktop service.
Working with LDAP and Microsoft Active Directory: For most IT professionals, there has been some point in their career where they have connected a product or service to a Microsoft Active Directory with LDAP for authentication. This is especially true when working with the products in VMware’s vCloud suite. Most all the products in the vCloud suite like Single Sign-On (SSO) or VMware Operation Manager (vCOPs) as an example relies on LDAP communication to work and function properly. This is really nothing new and has been the trend for years, but I discovered a different way to set up the connections years ago when I was working on a script that would connect to Active Directory with an LDAP call to get a list of members of a group. I really thought most people already knew this and it was pretty much common knowledge, but it seems lately that every time I work with someone new setting up the LDAP configuration they seem to be quite surprised at the way I do things and I thought this should be something that I share out.
By now, enterprises understand the value of Software as a Service (SaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), but there still is much confusion about Platform as a Service (PaaS). This confusion is one reason why enterprises have been slow to adopt PaaS. Why is there so much confusion? Because PaaS is still in its early days of maturity, but it is growing up really quickly right before our eyes.
I just returned from attending the Cloud Expo in New York City this week. The conference was dominated by private and hybrid cloud topics. There were several private Platform as a Service (PaaS) vendors attending whom I spent a great deal of time talking to as I walked the floor. It seems these days that many enterprises default to private and hybrid clouds and therefore insist on private PaaS as well. It is critical that consumers of PaaS services understand the pros and cons of both public and private PaaS before making a commitment to a PaaS deployment model.