Microsoft Predicts Azure Success, Even if Consumers Are Unaware of Cloud

Microsoft Predicts Azure Success, Even if Consumers Are Unaware of CloudI read in an article on cloud computing where Ray Ozzie, Microsoft’s chief software architect, predicted a successful venture into cloud computing with its Azure service – even if most people don’t know it’s there.

Sounds kind of ironic, yes? But then again, I guess the cloud is most successful to IT business folks and consumers when it runs so smoothly and problem-free that they don’t even know it’s there.

Azure, set to launch on January 1st, will run customers’ applications on its servers and provide capacity through its massive data centers. “For consumers, the best result of cloud computing is that they don’t notice it,” Ozzie told Reuters at Microsoft’s annual developers conference.

But he also made the good point that if cloud computing works right, it should be invisible for businesses as well. “Companies that are not in IT — like retailers and manufacturing companies — still deal with their customers on the web,” said Ozzie, in the story. “Azure allows us to do the hard work of figuring out how to build those really high-scale systems that deal with all the consumers, and it lets businesses focus on what they are good at.”

Another good point: the cloud’s scalability. Ozzie said that “If you have an application that you’d like to run and just try it a little, you only end up paying a little, and if your demand gets greater and greater, then we just turn up the dial and we give you more and more.”

And I like that he acknowledged the risk that many companies feel in switching to the cloud from internal servers and data centers. After all, it remains a big topic and point of concern among businesses – despite the advances being made in cloud computing security.

“Customers are very pragmatic, they figure out the right way to connect the old with the new,” he said. “For every given application, a camera, a phone, there’s some good combination of software in the device and in the cloud. Making them work together is what we are trying to do.”

Of course, thousands of businesses that already do business on the cloud employ complementary strategies to make their data safer and website transactions trouble-free, one of which is cloud-based monitoring services that provide warnings – via everything from emails, SMSs and Twitter – should things go wrong . You can never be too safe.