What I expected from Microsoft was the availability of Azure stack to be used with the existing infrastructure, something like what one can do with Eucalyptus, for example. Expecting the enterprises to buy physical compute infrastructure along with the platform stack is a big downer for me. I guess they are taking the approach to protect their existing cash cow (the sales of Windows Server OSes and other tools). Forcing the potential customers to buy hardware appliance defeats the very idea of drastically cutting down the capital costs with the move to cloud. Even though private clouds are capital intensive compared to public clouds, I feel that letting the enterprises use their existing infrastructure while embracing cloud like features is a more sensible approach than forcing them to buy new hardware along with the platform stack. Their decision to not offer the stack to install on the existing compute infrastructure is the biggest disappointment from this announcement.
We don’t envision something on our price list called “Windows Azure” that is sold for on-premises deployment. Some implementation details aren’t going to be practical for customers, such as our global data-center hardware design and large scale multi-tenancy features which are integral to Windows Azure and the Azure Services Platform.
We will continue to evolve Windows Server and System Center focusing significantly on technologies like virtualization, app and web server capabilities, single-pane management tools for managing on-premise and cloud in the same way, etc. which extend the enterprise data center in significant ways. We’ll continue to license Windows Server and System Center (and therefore the shared innovation derived from Windows Azure) to hosters through our SPLA program.