Microsoft customers will be able to use the Windows Azure platform internally and thus tackle the control, security, and compliance concerns, as well as geographic proximity requirements, that many of them have when it comes to public clouds.
Microsoft is only testing the water
WAPA is a limited production release available only to eBay, Dell, HP, and Fujitsu to start with. On the basis of these partners and their customers feedback, Microsoft will then define various key elements of its offering, such as guaranteed service-level agreement (SLA) as well as pricing and licensing terms. The company and its partners also need to provide more information about:
- the details of the underlying WAPA hardware platform its specification may not fit the requirement of some potential large partners and customers
- how they will share the management of WAPA. At the moment, Microsoft remains in control of the update of its WAPA software, and it is unclear how this will impact the management of the underlying hardware platform as well as the services built on top of it.
Overall it will take another year for WAPA to become generally available, which leaves ample time for Microsoft to get feedback. We expect that eventually some versions of WAPA will be targeted at SMEs.
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