Many people are looking towards moving many of their services to the cloud (either it is applications, virtual machines or just data)
The key factors for this approach is multiple reasons
The ability to quickly expand and scale-up if the service or application needs more processing power in order to meet the demand of the customer.
Cloud solutions also gives (in many cases) a better availability then regular on-premise solutions can match.
In addition, of course the cost savings it may give in many cases. If you think about it all the large service providers (Google, Microsoft and Amazon) have huge data centers that are specially equipped to keep power down and have the most efficient cooling.
At a much lower price than your data center can.
However, the move to these kind of Cloud solutions comes at a price, so what do you lose when converting to a public cloud solution?
* Control (Where is your data stored? Who has access to these data? In many cases, the public cloud provider lists this up)
* Security (How is the data stored? In many cases I still need to take backup of the solution in case I do something wrong)
* Customization (When you use for instance Office365 you have limited options to do any customization to for instance third party vendors)
So therefore many look at the hybrid cloud approach, it gives you the benefits of both worlds!
Microsoft has many approaches to the Cloud.
Let’s take some scenarios:
Mobile Device Management and Data from the cloud. (Configuration Manager and Intune)
Microsoft recently announced a new version of Intune (Wave D) which allows for mobile device management of Apple iOS, Android, Windows Phone 8 and Windows RT. Now if you want this functionality in Configuration Manager you would have to “connect” your Configuration Manager site with Intune. This allows you to manage your mobile devices via intune within Configuration Manager.
This allows Microsoft to build additional functionality into Intune, it gives you more features, and you do not have to update Configuration Manager in order to get these new features.
If you are skeptical to allow clients to get data from a distribution point which is accessible from the internet that is located in your datacenter you now have the option to create a distribution point in Azure (So roaming clients can get data from the DP in Azure.)
Backup to the cloud (Data Protection Manager and Windows Server Backup)
Storage is cheap now a days, but you still don’t want all the backup stored in the same datacenter to close this gap you can now attach Data Protection Manager and Windows Server Backup to store data up in a Windows Azure BLOB.
I will come back to how this can be put to use in case of disaster recovery.
Hybrid Collaboration solution
Many organizations are or have already implemented Microsoft Exchange in some degree but they see the value of having it in the cloud solution to Microsoft but do not wish to have everyone with the most critical data put there.
With Office365 and Exchange, you have the ability to put many of your users in the cloud and the rest on-premise (In addition to SharePoint or Lync) and can manage it from the same solution. If you were to put ADFS in there as well, you can maintain the SSO function that users expect even to the Cloud.
IaaS and System Center
In many cases you need more capacity and your data center does not have the necessary space to have more blades put into it. (Just one example) With the IaaS solution from Windows Azure you can extend your datacenter to the cloud and use it to create the new Virtual machines needed. With Azure virtual connect; you can establish a VPN connection between your local datacenter and Windows Azure so from the customer’s point-of-view the solution that you provide will look like they are coming from your datacenter. And these computers/servers you can manage like any server I can for instance install a SCOM agent on my servers and monitor them like any other (But remember that the traffic here goes via the VPN tunnel so look and expect some bandwidth usage and depending on the VPN solution they usually have a limit on how much VPN traffic they can manage.)
You can also use AppController to manage these computers (Move up and down from Azure to your datacenter ) If you wish you can also use the GSM (Global Service Monitoring) module from Operations Manager, which allows you to setup a monitoring solution where Microsoft will monitor it from one or more of their datacenters in the world. Look at my previous post here à
Microsoft has already created some integration between Orchestrator and Office365 and Azure. Look at my previous post à
they also come with PowerShell modules as well, which allows you to create automation ready runbooks in Orchestrator to rapidly deploy new users (O365) and virtual machines (azure) and these can be deployed via the Self-Service portal in System Center to the users.
Now hopefully these scenarios has given you some insight on how you can deploy your hybrid solution, I believe we have only seen the beginning on what is to come. This are indeed exciting times and with release of an eventual System Center 2015 we can look forward, to even more integrated solutions and more options when regarding to where to host your services.