Microsoft is definitively preparing to launch Azure as an alternative to Amazon EC2, the RackSpace Cloud, both based on Xen, and other Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) cloud offerings based on VMware vSphere.
virtualization.info spotted some early signs at the end of September, and the company’s Chief Software Architect Ray Ozzie briefly confirmed the plan a couple of weeks ago.
NetApp seems to be involved too at some level.
Another hint about what the IaaS cloud strategy will be arrives as an official announcement released a couple of days ago: the Windows Azure group and the Windows Server & Solutions group are now merged into a new Server & Cloud Division (SCD), which is part of the Server & Tools Business organization led by Bob Muglia.
- The Windows Azure development team, will move from under Chief Software Architect Ray Ozzie to the Server & Tools Business, led by Bob Muglia, President, Server and Tools Division. Senior Vice President Amitabh Srivastava will lead the newly formed SCD, reporting to Bob.
- The Windows Server and Solutions group, led by Corporate Vice President Bill Laing, will join the Windows Azure team to form the Server & Cloud Division. Bill will report to Amitabh and will continue his role as a key member of the STB leadership team. Bill will partner with Amitabh to continue the bilateral sharing of technology between Windows Server and Windows Azure, which has been a key design goal of Microsoft’s software + services strategy.
- The Windows Azure business and marketing team, will continue to be led by Doug Hauger. Doug will join the Server and Tools Marketing Group, led by Corporate Vice President Robert Wahbe, reporting to Corporate Vice President Bob Kelly, who is also responsible for Windows Server, System Center, and Forefront.