unquestionably the biggest name in technology, has fallen drastically behind
the pack in most areas over the years. However, as of late the company has been
making a major push to remain relevant, if not become a leader, in today’s
hottest industries – not the least of which is cloud computing.
Earlier this week, Microsoft announced a new
white-label-type version of its Windows Azure cloud platform for Web hosts
using Windows Server.
The Service Management Portal (as it’s being called) will
allow Microsoft’s hosting partners to provide their customers with an
Azure-based Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) without having to tap into the
Microsoft cloud. The service will use a standardized management portal, and
will also come with extendable APIs. This will allow developers to connect
their current hosted applications to their hosts’ other services, their own
on-premises resources, or directly to Windows Azure.
At present, Microsoft is working on developing a collection
of partnerships with various service providers, and has already named big time
Web hosting and domain name company GoDaddy as the Service Management Portal’s
The service will also work with long-time Microsoft partner
Apprenda; so, if Web hosts set up an Apprenda instance internally and plug it into
the portal, their customers will be able to deploy their Web apps using the
auto-scaling and other Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) capabilities of Apprenda
from within the Service Management Portal.
For now, the offering is in a beta-ish Community Technology