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Q&A: Microsoft hybrid-cloud push promises benefits for IT, end users, pocketbook

Tim Greene | June 6, 2013
Microsoft's chief hybrid-cloud exec opens up about what it can mean for businesses.

Brad Anderson, Microsoft vice president of Windows Server and System Center, keynoted at the company's user conference TechEd North America 2013 this week, dishing out over a span of two hours a smorgasbord of new versions of platforms, most notably Windows Server, SQL Server, Visual Studio and System Center that encourage business use of cloud services.

Later he talked about how these changes can help IT staff do its job better, the agility it will bring to end users and how it can also help save expenses. He says that despite Microsoft firing off updates to its major server platforms at a faster rate, IT pros need not fear being swamped. They're already getting hit more often than they might think and Microsoft is trying to figure out how to make the process less painful.

Anderson sat down with Network World Senior Editor Tim Greene to discuss these issues and others. Here is the transcript:

What's Microsoft's broad pitch in favor of hybrid clouds?
I think with hybrid it brings the ability to take advantage of not only just raw cloud capacity but data and other types of things that exists different places, in different clouds around the world. So in terms of just raw infrastructure as a service it allows you to move a virtual machine or application to a particular service provider or to Azure to take advantage of either economics or just to take a load off your own data center. But in the context data and being able to get inside that data, as you think about  hybrid you can now combine data from multiple places, multiple data sets and really get some interesting insights out of that. There's just two big ways to think about hybrid computing.

What is it about this mass of updates and upgrades announced here make life easier for the corporate IT guy?
The first thing I would say is the hybrid services that we've built so things like backup, disaster recovery, high availability, the ability to take advantage of a service provider or of Windows Azure to provide you those kinds of assets are the kind of capabilities really with only a couple of clicks of a mouse is something that no one in the industry has done to date.

The second thing that I would point to is every IT organization is being asked by their users to give them more data at a more real-time kind of feed to enable them to gain the insights out of that. And so the things we demonstrated in terms of being able to have rich visualization for your data that really allows IT but more importantly the business leaders everyone from the CXOs down to the individual who's leading a marketing campaign to get insights out of all the data that's being generated by these applications and Web sites that simplicity and I think that ease of understanding what is happening can differentiate your business or better serve your customers is world-class and Microsoft is unique in doing that.


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