Thursday, November 12, 2009

Making it rain with Cloud Computing from Microsoft

To coincide with the launch of Windows Azure Platform at Microsoft's PDC conference in Los Angeles, Alinean has been researching weather this new Cloud Computing platform from Microsoft can deliver tangible benefits and a solid return on investment (ROI).

Interviewing several early adoptors of Windows Azure worldwide revealed not surprisingly that the Windows Azure Platform can help organizations reduce capital investment requirements, and drive operational cost savings in managing and supporting servers, power and cooling and datacenter space costs. As less resources are available in many of the organizations, the ability to leverage these resources for the most important tasks, while relying on the cloud for day to day operations was important.

Even though cost savings and resource focus were important, most early adoptors cited the less tangible aspects of the Windows Azure Platform as primary drivers, for example:

  1. agility to react faster to growth demands than they could with a Physsical vs. Cloud infrastructure
  2. scalability to grow without boundaries of resources / space
  3. capability to launch applications faster
  4. reachability to have datacenters in key locations without having to build-out or colocate assets in these regions

In our tangible value assessment of Windows Azure Platform, we found that it can deliver:
  • 40-70% savings over non-virtualized on-premises server farms
  • 10-15% savings over virtualized on-premises servers
  • 75% or more savings for burstable computing environments, where compute power is needed for short periods of time during each day, week, month, quarter or seasonal.
As every environment is unique, we embodied this research into an on-line tool so that organizations can:
  1. Answer a few questions about their application and needs
  2. Be provided with guidance as to the size of the Windows Azure environment
  3. Receive a pricing estimate as to the cost of Windows Azure Platform services
  4. Obtain a total cost of ownership (TCO) comparison of on-premises vs. Windows Azure Platform
  5. Review all assumptions to fine tune the analysis for unique opportunities and expectations (no black boxes here).
The result of using the tool is a Word / PPT report about your unique opportunities and potential return on investment.

The tool and casde studies can be found at: http://www.microsoft.com/windowsazure/tco

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