Microsoft Introduces Azure-Based, Government-Only Cloud
October 8, 2013 1:22 PM
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There's no specific release date for the new government cloud, but Microsoft said it's coming soon
announced that it will release a cloud service specifically for U.S. state, local, and federal government agencies.
The new service -- which was codenamed "Fairfax," but is now officially called Windows Azure U.S. Government Cloud -- was announced during a press briefing in San Francisco yesterday. It aims to provide a safe, separate place for government data.
Windows Azure US Government Cloud will be Azure-hosted in Microsoft's data centers located in Iowa and Virginia, but government customers will still be able to choose public, private or a hybrid solution.
According to Microsoft, all data, hardware, and supporting systems will be in the continental U.S., and data will stay on servers that only contain data from other U.S. federal, state, and local government customers. Also, all operating personnel will be U.S. residents screened for PPT-Moderate clearance.
"The U.S. government is eager to realize the benefits of the cloud, adopting a Cloud First policy for new investments," said Susie Adams, Federal Chief Technology Advisor for Microsoft. "Microsoft is committed to supporting these initiatives and is uniquely positioned to offer the flexibility U.S. government agencies need."
The new government-based cloud service is similar to what Microsoft did for
. The company sells a customized version of its Office 365 app platform for government called, well, Office 365 for Government.
There's no specific release date for the new government cloud, but Microsoft said it's coming soon.
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RE: what a joke
10/8/2013 11:14:52 PM
vSphere 4.1, actually. Anyway, show me an SSD that costs as little per GB as a hard disk, especially those from EMC. Small and medium-sized businesses continue to use hard disks. The majority of vSphere installations use SANs with FC and SAS. And don't even try to mention SSDs in a DAS setup. Not only is that expensive, it provides no high availability.
RE: what a joke
10/9/2013 12:10:47 AM
All depends on architecture and tiered storage. With scaled environments like webservers and replica databases, DAS with SSD will work fine. Plus, the price of a 600gb HP SAS gen 8 hard drive is only $250 less than a 600gb s3500. Throw in the AES encryption, its an absolute no-brainer for the SSD. Load up a G8 with SSDs and make it a iSCSI target for a much more affordable SAN.
Taking it to the next level, install Fusion-IO drives and that chatter about RAID 10 vs RAID 5 completely goes away along with having SAN functionality and HA.
With respect to small and medium businesses, VMware marketed VSA. One of the problems with that configuration was performance hit due to the RAID setup. The trick around that, even though originally unsupported, was to install SSDs instead.
RE: what a joke
10/9/2013 11:35:43 AM
I'm not sure if you're involved in procurement, but your numbers and methodology are incorrect. You're looking at internal server storage, not SAN storage. No responsible admin runs virtualized infrastructure on internal storage. Even if the storage is internally redundant, the server could fail, killing access to that storage.
Even if you did use internal storage, you'd be stupid to buy HP's drives. An Intel S3500 at 600GB is $800; HP's 600GB 15K SAS is $580. Or you could buy Hitachi or Seagate at $300. FYI, HP doesn't manufacture drives, so it's probably rebranded from one of these companies.
You've drunk a little too much kool-aid to be pushing iSCSI (or even FCoE) and RAID 5. Data networks have increased latency in comparison to storage networks. Storage networks have guaranteed, predictable latencies. And RAID 5? Seriously, you enjoy the performance penalty of four times the IO due to partial writes? All enterprise storage companies have recommended against the use of RAID 5, especially for large data applications. In many cases, it's actually unsupported.
And this fixation with SSD is unhealthy for your company's bottom line. You need to balance performance and capacity with cost. The whole point to virtualization is to reduce cost while maintaining performance, and possibly adding high availability. Your proposed solutions are akin to saying that a Bugatti Veyron sold at Nissan GT-R prices is a great deal, when the company only has budget for a Ford Taurus.
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