Mark E. Russinovich is a Technical Fellow in the Platform and Services Division at Microsoft. He was a cofounder of software producers Winternals before it was acquired by Microsoft and its software are part of the arsenal of every Windows administrators.
Interviewed by Sean Deuby of windowsitpro.com, Mark Russinovich talks of the present and the future of Microsoft cloud solution Windows Azure.
Windows Azure, says Russinovich, is different from other Cloud products and technologies in its particular focus on developers: the fact that Microsoft is focusing on developers with Azure has been stressed by the recent reorg, with Scott Guthrie stepping in a leadership position.
PaaS (Platform as a Service) a là Microsoft means a whole set of technologies available for use and a complete set of management tools for the application, ranging from the development to the deployment stage.
Windows Azure also provides the opportunity to choose a hybrid cloud approach, joining the on-premises resources of any application (eg. SQL servers in a local datacenter) with the Azure public cloud using Windows Azure Connect, differencing itself from other current cloud solutions such as Amazon EC2 and VMware vCloud in its direct support for application-level hybrids rather than an infrastructure-level approach.
Mark says that cloud is so important to Microsoft that “we’ll be delivering updates so frequently to cloud-based applications, that updates to the box product will be snapped off the cloud version at regular intervals”.
Another important topic covered by Russinovich is the application identity management in Windows Azure. Nowadays, stressed Mark, every brick used to build the application has its own credentials (mostly in form of an API key).
Microsoft aims to bring the application itself an identity, so no application update will be necessary to deal with change in the credentials of its bricks. With Azure’s Access Control Service, you’ll also get the benefit of having the different aspects in the application life cycle more manageable, allowing an organization to distribute responsibilities among a number of departments with only the minimum set of privileges on the application.