It seems a little counter intuitive to say that it looks like blue skies for Microsoft shops looking to extend Sugar into the cloud…but that is the case with a newly announced SugarCRM and Microsoft alliance focused on the Azure platform.
For those of you not cloud savvy, a bit on Azure:
Windows Azure is an Internet-scale cloud services platform that is hosted in Microsoft data centers. It provides an operating system and a set of developer services that can be used separately or together. Windows Azure offers a scalable infrastructure with a pay-as-you-go pricing model that enables customers to pay for the service as they consume it, rather than buying and managing on-premises technology.
So, basically you get everything you need to run a set of apps – operating system on up – in a pay as you go model. It is the true vision of cloud or utility computing.
What does this mean for Sugar users and developers? Well, it extends the promise of the true cloud. Now, developers can run and test multiple instances (spun up in seconds) without having to download, install, run, etc. anything on site.
Users get a seamless stack of solid infrastructure delivered on-demand, one that will work with all the existing Microsoft stuff they already bought. Here we are seeing Microsoft able to scale in ways only Linux and other open source infrastructures could in the past. And the best part – you don’t have to perform maintenance a single part of this stack.
Speaking of scale – it is funny that Microsoft with Azure has shown the ability to supersede SaaS in a way. Yeah, Microsoft has its share of “Live” or SaaS applications – but it is really evolving ahead of the curve here. Look, ten years ago SaaS apps were cool and the “next big thing” only because open source or cloud scalability hadn’t been invented. Now, we are beyond SaaS. The Open Cloud means that we are not stuck to a single monolithic, fixed deployment choice: one controlled by a single vendor.
Instead – we can choose a variety of applications from a number of vendors, and run them in any number of locations in the cloud. Or, we can install them in our own private clouds leveraging the web as a platform for both delivery and development.
Yeah, it is indeed blue skies for companies leveraging the Open Cloud…