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Microsoft Cloud Hardware IT

Microsoft Joins Open Compute Project, Will Share Server Designs 90

1sockchuck writes "Microsoft has joined the Open Compute Project and will be contributing specs and designs for the cloud servers that power Bing, Windows Azure and Office 365. "We came to the conclusion that sharing these hardware innovations will help us accelerate the growth of cloud computing," said Kushagra Vaid, Microsoft's General Manager of Cloud Server Engineering. The company is also releasing its Chassis Manager software that manages its servers, fans and power, which which is now available on GitHub. "We would like to help build an open source software community within OCP as well," said Microsoft's Bill Laing. Microsoft's cloud server hardware is built around a 12U chassis that can house up to 24 server and storage blades, offering a different approach from the current Open Compute server and storage designs."
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Microsoft Joins Open Compute Project, Will Share Server Designs

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  • Cloud (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 28, 2014 @09:47AM (#46090127)

    "We came to the conclusion that sharing these hardware innovations will help us accelerate the growth of cloud computing,"

    I really don't get this so perhaps someone can explain: What benefit does this have for anybody?

  • by Junta ( 36770 ) on Tuesday January 28, 2014 @10:01AM (#46090239)

    So many to choose from. On the hardware side, they didn't like the current hardware design that Facebook liked (with good reason) and so provided an entirely different set of design sensibilities. This isn't about enhanced standardization, this is about a nice-sounding venue by which to deliver requirements to bidders for MS datacenter equipment. I will say at first glance, I like MS's requirements better than Facebook requirements. The points that I'd worry about would be firmware requirements (MS tends to get insane with network protocols) and the unique IO design which limits the market of compliant equipment (basically, the same that can be said of IBM bladecenter, flex, Dell M1000, etc etc).

    On the software side, you'll note that it's in .Net. It's very much not in the realm of typical open source datacenter operations projects. MS once again is stuck having to build the infrastructure themselves for lack of a wider community using their tooling for the purposes MS needs. Of course, MS has historically impressed me with how well they manage to do while being a 'lone wolf'.

  • They have to... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 28, 2014 @10:04AM (#46090253)

    MS sees an overwhelming trend of Linux oriented software for operations management. They don't have the same mountain of people working to do similar stuff but with .Net. They want that mountain of companies and people building an ecosystem around .Net, but it's not happening naturally. MS has only the hope of putting out there and hoping to prime the pump.

  • Re:Cloud (Score:5, Interesting)

    by erroneus ( 253617 ) on Tuesday January 28, 2014 @10:13AM (#46090295) Homepage

    Additional customer lock-in. Personally, I would like to see a service which (may already exist, please tell me if it does) where I can host my own data at home and then have various forms of access to it from my phone or laptop or tablet or whatever. It should not require a static or known/named dynamic IP address. I like the idea of a relay server out there on the internet which enables the two peers to connect whether behind a firewall or not. VPN linking to my home network would be a nice addition maybe.

    So who's got something like this for free?

  • by nimbius ( 983462 ) on Tuesday January 28, 2014 @12:15PM (#46091233) Homepage
    I dont know if anyones used Azure but my boss made me find a reason to shoehorn it into the infrastructure because microsoft swore our 25k in free credit for it was tied neatly to our license discount for Windows. it is a clusterfuck of unworkable web 2.0 line and symbol bullshit that is easily outranked and outclassed by even the most entry-level hosting providers in ease of use. heres a rundown of my experience:

    1. signup. microsoft juggles you between 3 different portals, all of which basically mandate internet explorer, and a username with a microsoft TLD. now that im boatanchored to the rest of the redmond world, we can continue to provisioning?
    2. no. now you have to apply for a service and confirm the subscription in email. what this means, i mean on a technical level, god only knows. its some ephemeral obfuscation imbued in the product to impart a sense of legitimacy in the process of your virtual cloud experience no doubt.
    3. we have a subscription and now we can start provisioning images. you have about 10 different microsoft images and 2 linux images sanctioned by some third party entity no ones ever heard of. Linux VM's require a goofy disclaimer but come with a package selection feature, so i guess thats useful.
    4. Windows or Linux, youve made your choice, and youre provisioning nicely but beware: navigating away from the provisioning page will cause the process to stop.
    5. Whatever lofty dreams you had about microsofts commitment to cloud and scaleable architecture as a departure from their haggared burro of licensed OS and direct attached storage becomes an afterthought. Microsoft (as they did me) emails you stating they improperly provisioned your VM in the wrong datacenter and that you, not them, are now responsible for the fix. this requires you delete your entire VM and start over again.

    6. you stare into the internet, your limit break clearly reached, and observe an ocean of other more capable and well established providers and players in this world of virualized SaaS and PaaS. the interface is clean, the support is in plain fucking english, and if you arent hounded to tie your active directory to it. the thought that anyone, or any group for that matter, would stop to give two shits in an open consortium of existing sucessful and dedicated players to consider an offering from a software company that for its entire existence has sought nothing but ruthless destruction of every other open standard in the world, is bad comedy.

    to microsoft: no one cares, and I mean this in all sincerity. its not a troll or a flame its just a sad fact. your designs, your servers and your processes and procedures contextualized historically in their offering to the open anything community have been a complete farce. this isnt your cup of tea and it never has been. You're completely outnumbered, hopelessly outgunned, and the best you can do is peddle lock-in to traditionalist business models sadly manacled in mediocrity. Look at your phones, tablets, zunes, and everything youve fought so hard to make a part of the world thats forsaken you and just stop shoveling time and money into strategies you're laughably unqualified to adopt.
  • by CodeInspired ( 896780 ) on Tuesday January 28, 2014 @03:40PM (#46093459)
    I've used Azure extensively. My experience greatly differs.

    1. You just need a Microsoft Account. It can be created with any email address and not necessarily a Microsoft TLD. There is nothing specific to IE. The entire process can be done with Firefox.

    2. It is not unreasonable to have to verify a new subscription via email. This is common place in environments where security is rather important.

    3. The fact that you have Linux as an option is rather surprising. Azure is primarily a Windows cloud computing environment which a very large group of businesses are interested in. If you're looking to deploy an enterprise cluster of Linux servers and services, you're probably in the wrong place.

    4. Seriously? Why would you navigate away from a "provisioning your server" processing dialog? You didn't have an extra browser tab to peruse Slashdot with?

    5. I've never seen this occur, but I'll take your word for it. If it was a mistake, then they clearly deserve some criticism. But are you suggesting you want them to provision your new server for you? Do you expect them to be logging every configuration change you made so they can reproduce every thing you did on another server instance in another datacenter? I'll concede that this is an unfortunate error on their part, but honestly, you can delete and re-create servers with a few clicks of the mouse.

    6. There is not "an ocean" of more capable cloud computing environments available. Particularly if you are have strong ties to a Windows environment. Active Directory is included in all of the subscriptions for free. Use it if you want, or ignore it. It's your choice.

    Your rhetoric is the only thing that is "bad comedy" here. Like it or not, MS has a pretty successful enterprise software business. I don't see how them sharing some of their insights into this industry as anything but a positive for the open source community. Or do you believe their massive research investments should be kept under lock and key? Or maybe you believe that a huge team of talented engineers has absolutely NOTHING to contribute to OCP because the company they work for has produced a few unsuccessful products. Either way, I think attitudes like yours are detrimental.

1 Mole = 007 Secret Agents