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Microsoft Pri0

Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

November 24, 2008 at 4:57 PM

IT forecast: Cloudy

Here are a handful of interesting developments/observations on the emerging cloud computing market, including new efforts by IBM, a glowing review from Microsoft’s first enterprise hosting customer and a comparison of Amazon.com and Microsoft’s offerings.

IBM is gearing up its formidable consulting services to help businesses evaluate cloud computing options. The company is developing “an economic model for assessing the total cost of ownership for building private clouds, and/or moving data and applications off-site in a public or hybrid cloud model.” If it pencils out, another IBM services branch will help clients “install, configure and deliver cloud computing inside the data center.” And a third major effort is focused on security. Larry Dignan at ZDNet says the security piece the most interesting: “Overall, cloud computing security is an untapped field. Once cloud computing gains some more traction rest assured that it will be a big target for hackers. There would be a lot of glory and financial gain by bringing down a cloud or two.”

Following the formal launch last week of Microsoft Online — its hosted Exchange, SharePoint offerings — the oldest customer of Microsoft’s hosted services for enterprises is sharing its experience. Ina Fried at CNET has an interview with the CIO of pink bunny maker Energizer who says his IT staff is offering employees a broader range of computer training, among other things, with time they used to spend managing servers and desktops. Energizer was a pilot customer of Microsoft’s for hosted services.

Mary Jo Foley first did a quick service-by-service recap of the cloud offerings of both Amazon and Microsoft, before pointing to a key place where their portfolios diverge: caching. Here’s her distillation:

“Amazon launched last week a test version of its promised content delivery/caching service, known as CloudFront. CloudFront is designed to help speed up Amazon-hosted content served across a network of distributed datacenter servers.

“Microsoft, for its part, is building a distributed, in-memory caching solution, codenamed ‘Velocity.'”

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