Microsoft, the Redmond based software behemoth, had developed its very own cloud service-based operating system in a separate division named Windows Azure Group which was kept separate from the Windows and Server groups.
Now, the two groups have merged and formed a new Servers and Cloud Division (SCD) unit spearheaded by Amitabh Srivastava, a senior VP in Microsoft.
The cloud service is based on Microsoft’s data centers and is dependent on virtualised server instances using Windows Server 2008 R2 and Hyper-V Server 2008 R2.
The SCD will be part of the Server and Tools Business and will allow the users to access the cloud over the internet and set-up virtual applications.
The applications will get access to storage that will provide three kinds of data stores namely Blobs, tables and queues. The hardware for the Azure cloud service will be solely provided by Dell which will supply rack servers and storage hardware.
However, it is still not clear what type of hardware Dell will supply though its in-house EqualLogic arrays and the Clarion EMC gear are believed to be specifically designed for Azure.
Interestingly, tech experts believe that if Microsoft decides to launch Azure for the masses, a Microsoft-Dell product might emerge.
Microsoft has already just signed a strategic partnership with NetApp and we don't know how this is going to influence a potential Microsoft/Dell partnership in the cloud computing sector. Still Microsoft knows that it will have to take the dive. Whether it will be head or feet first remains to be seen.