Microsoft has been spending a lot of money over many years to ramp up their data centre infrastructure. Once again the difference between Microsoft and Google becomes apparent when we look at their data centre build strategies.
First up Microsoft – with the recent announcement of its Azure cloud based OS, Microsoft once and for all committed to a cloud-based future. Hot on the heels of the Azure announcement Dell were quick to inform us all that their Data Centre Solutions Division is providing the hardware that powers Azure.
Dell, not surprisingly draws a connection between the benefits to be derived from a move to the Clouds, and the fact that Microsoft is utilising Dell hardware.
Compare that with Google who, in a story that has become part of Cloud Computing folklore decided that;
Instead of buying whatever pre-built rack-mount servers Dell, Compaq, and IBM were selling at the time, Google opted to hand-build their server infrastructure themselves. The sagging motherboards and hard drives are literally propped in place on handmade plywood platforms. The power switches are crudely mounted in front, the network cables draped along each side. The poorly routed power connectors snake their way back to generic PC power supplies in the rear.
The difference isn’t a minor point – it drives to the heart of the question over who will "win" the Cloud Computing war. Microsoft is, generally speaking, about robust, clearly articulated, well documented and closely partnered solutions. Google on the other hand is more thematically compared to an ad-hoc, jerry-built and opportunistic approach. That’s not to say that one is better than the other, but it is safe to say that, from the starting line, Google’s approach is more appealing to the consumer market while Microsoft’s is more "enterprise ready".
We’ll watch the coming battle with interest!
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