By Brandon George, Senior Technical Architect, Sunrise Technolgies, Inc.
People have been talking about The Cloud for years, and now
it’s arrived. 2010 for sure will be the year of the Cloud. And though it's not
on any official calendar, those born under the year of the cloud are sure to be
free thinkers, operational vs. capital based, have abilities to get projects
going on their feet --- and into the cloud quickly.
Seriously, the next release, or wave of
Microsoft products, will enable more and more solutions to actually be true
Hyrbid clouds. This means Dynamics AX customers will need to understand what is
expected, as part of their solution design.
The next wave is just the very first part of what is on the horizon.
Microsoft Dynamics AX is the business platform, which the rest of the platform
makes use of to offer a total, single, hyrbid platform for users.
Most all businesses, in some form or fashion, have an interest level in the
Cloud. When I talk to clients about Microsoft Azure, Microsoft's cloud
platform, the biggest thing I see as an issue is what the cloud offers. So here is my take on what the cloud offers
now, and likely in the future.
First, we must understand that there
will be two ways services and whole applications, including legacy, can live in
As one approach, you have the true cloud based Software+Services, 'Three
Screens and a Cloud' marketing tag lined approach. This includes services
that are built using SQL Azure, .Net AppFabric, Windows Azure, etc. that are
multi-tenant based. This means they can scale up or down, without need for the
services of a system administration, depending on the load of the given service
or services at hand.
This first approach is what makes such cloud-based services different from a
typical hosting environment, like having a server co-located somewhere and
users hitting it. This is also different than having a service hosted on some
web server, and users consuming it.
Once created, and set up, then the need of the service, truly governs the
resources used to serve that need.
Enter the second option for Azure platform based software or services. This is
where, for example, a legacy application could be used. Here, what you have is
a provisioned virtual image, which sits on top of the Azure platform. This is
very similar to having a co-located box somewhere. This is not dynamically
scalable, and so has a set of finite resources... unless an admin type
increases those resources.
The second option is a pay-for-use as well, and it's spread out over the CPU,
Disk I/O, etc.
So, now we have a better idea of what it means to be built on the Azure
platform. The current service offerings from Microsoft, are of option one.
These are truly dynamic scalable services, depending on the need, built using
Windows Azure, .Net AppFabric, SQL Azure, etc.
While you will have the ability to consume and work with
services developed by Microsoft, you’ll also be able to create your own,
custom, true cloud services with Dynamics AX, and also make use and consume
third party cloud based services.