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OpenStack adoption (by Q1 2016)

OpenStack Promise as per Moogsoft -- June 3, 2015For information on OpenStack provided earlier on this blog see:
– Disaggregation in the next-generation datacenter and HP’s Moonshot approach for the upcoming HP CloudSystem “private cloud in-a-box” with the promised HP Cloud OS based on the 4 years old OpenStack effort with others, ‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Dec 10, 2013
– Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform 4 delivery and Dell as the first company to OEM it co-engineered on Dell infrastructure with Red Hat, ‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Feb 19, 2014
To understand the OpenStack V4 level state-of-technology-development as of June 25, 2015:
– go to my homepage: https://lazure2.wordpress.com/
– or to the OpenStack related part of Microsoft Cloud state-of-the-art: Hyper-scale Azure with host SDN — IaaS 2.0 — Hybrid flexibility and freedom, ‘Experiencing the Cloud’, July 11, 2015

May 19, 2016:

Oh, the places you’ll go with OpenStack! by Mark Collier, OpenStack Foundation COO on ‘OpenStack Superuser’:

With OpenStack in tow you’ll go far — be it your house, your bank, your city or your car.

Just look at all of the exciting places we’re going:

From the phone in your pocket

The telecom industry is undergoing a massive shift, away from hundreds of proprietary devices in thousands of central offices accumulated over decades, to a much more efficient and flexible software plus commodity hardware approach. While some carriers like AT&T have already begun routing traffic from the 4G networks over OpenStack powered clouds to millions of cellphone users, the major wave of adoption is coming with the move to 5G, including plans from AT&T, Telefonica, SK Telekom, and Verizon.

We are on the cusp of a revolution that will completely re-imagine what it means to provide services in the trillion dollar telecom industry, with billions of connected devices riding on OpenStack-powered infrastructure in just a few years.

To the living room socket

The titans of TV like Comcast, DirecTV, and Time Warner Cable all rely on OpenStack to bring the latest entertainment to our homes efficiently, and innovators like DigitalFilm Tree are producing that content faster than ever thanks to cloud-based production workflows.

Your car, too, will get smart

Speaking of going places, back here on earth many of the world’s top automakers, such as BMW and the Volkswagen group, which includes Audi, Lamborghini, and even Bentley, are designing the future of transportation using OpenStack and big data. The hottest trends to watch in the auto world are electric zero emissions cars and self-driving cars. Like the “smart city” mentioned above, a proliferation of sensors plus connectivity call for distributed systems to bring it all together, creating a huge opportunity for OpenStack.

And your bank will take part

Money moves faster than ever, with digital payments from startups and established players alike competing for consumer attention. Against this backdrop of enormous market change, banks must meet an increasingly rigid set of regulatory rules, not to mention growing security threats. To empower their developers to innovate while staying diligent on regs and security, financial leaders like PayPal, FICO, TD Bank, American Express, and Visa are adopting OpenStack.

Your city must keep the pace

Powering the world’s cities is a complex task and here OpenStack is again driving automation, this time in the energy sector. State Grid Corporation, the world’s largest electric utility, serves over 120 million customers in China while relying on OpenStack in production.

Looking to the future, cities will be transformed by the proliferation of fast networks combined with cheap sensors. Unlocking the power of this mix are distributed systems, including OpenStack, to process, store, and move data. Case in point: tcpcloud in Prague is helping introduce “smart city” technology by utilizing inexpensive Raspberry Pis embedded in street poles, backed by a distributed system based on Kubernetes and OpenStack. These systems give city planners insight into traffic flows of both pedestrians and cars, and even measure weather quality. By routing not just packets but people, cities are literally load balancing their way to lower congestion and pollution.

From inner to outer space

The greatest medical breakthroughs of the next decade will come from analyzing massive data sets, thanks to the proliferation of distributed systems that put supercomputer power into the hands of every scientist. And OpenStack has a huge role to play empowering researchers all over the globe: from Melbourne to Madrid, Chicago to Chennai, or Berkeley to Beijing, everywhere you look you’ll find OpenStack.

To explore this world, I recently visited the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) at the University of Texas at Austin where I toured a facility that houses one of the top 10 supercomputers in the world, code named “Stampede

But what really got me excited about the future was the sight of two large OpenStack clusters: one called Chameleon, and the newest addition, Jetstream, which put the power of more than 1,000 nodes and more than 15,000 cores into the hands of scientists at 350 universities. In fact, the Chameleon cloud was recently used in a class at the University of Arizona by students looking to discover exoplanets. Perhaps the next Neil deGrasse Tyson is out there using OpenStack to find a planet to explore for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratories.

Where should we go next?

Mark Collier is OpenStack co-founder, and currently the OpenStack Foundation COO. This article was first published in Superuser Magazine, distributed at the Austin Summit.

May 9, 2016:

From OpenStack Summit Austin, Part 1: Vendors digging in for long haul by Al Sadowski, 451 Research, LLC:  This report provides highlights from the most recent OpenStack Summit

THE 451 TAKE OpenStack mindshare continues to grow for enterprises interested in deploying cloud-native applications in greenfield private cloud environments. However, its appeal is limited for legacy applications and enterprises sold on hyperscale multi-tenant cloud providers like AWS and Azure. There are several marquee enterprises with OpenStack as the central component of cloud transformations, but many are still leery of the perceived complexity of configuring, deploying and maintaining OpenStack-based architectures. Over the last few releases, processes for installation and upgrades, tooling, and API standardization across projects have improved as operators have become more vocal during the requirements phase. Community membership continues to grow on a global basis, and the supporting organization also depicts a similar geographic trend.

…  Horizontal scaling of Nova is much improved, based on input from CERN and Rackspace. CERN, an early OpenStack adopter, demonstrated the ability for the open source platform to scale – it now has 165,000 cores running OpenStack. However, Walmart, PayPal and eBay are operating larger OpenStack environments.

May 18, 2015:

Walmart‘s Cloud Journey by Amandeep Singh Juneja
Sr. Director, Cloud Engineering and Operations, WalmartLabs: Introduction to World’s largest retailer and its journey to build a large private Cloud.

Amandeep Singh Juneja is Senior Director for Cloud Operations and Engineering at WalmartLabs. In his current role, Amandeep is responsible for the build out of elastic cloud used by various Walmart Ecommerce properties. Prior to his current role at Walmart Labs, Amandeep has held various leadership roles at HP, WebOS (Palm) and eBay.

May 19, 2015:

OpenStack Update from eBay and PayPal by Subbu Allamaraju
Chief Engineer, Cloud, eBay Inc: Journey and future of OpenStack eBay and PayPal

Subbu is the Chief Engineer of cloud at eBay Inc. His team builds and operates a multi-tenant geographically distributed OpenStack based private cloud. This cloud now serves 100% of PayPal web and mid tier workloads, significant parts of eBay front end and services, and thousands of users for their dev/test activities.

May 18, 2015:

Architecting Organizational Change at TD Bank by Graeme Peacock, VP Engineering, TD Bank Group

Graeme cut his teeth in the financial services consulting industry by designing and developing real-time Trading, Risk and Clearing applications. He then joined NatWest Markets and J.P. Morgan in executive level roles within the Equity Derivatives business lines.
Graeme then moved to a Silicon Valley Startup to expand his skillset as V.P. of Engineering at Application Networks. His responsibility extended to Strategy, Innovation, Product Development, Release Management and Support to some of the biggest names in the Financial Services Sector.
For the last 10 years, he has held Divisional CIO roles at Citigroup and Deutsche Bank, both of which saw him responsible for Credit, Securitized and Emerging Market businesses.
Graeme moved back to a V.P. of Engineering role at TD Bank Group several years ago. He currently oversees all Infrastructure Innovation — everything form Mobile and Desktop to Database, Middleware and Cloud.  His focus is on the transformational: software development techniques, infrastructure design patterns, and DevOps processes.

TD Bank uses cloud as catalyst for cultural change in IT
May 18, 2015 Written by Jonathan Brandon for Business Cloud News

North American retail banking outfit TD Bank is using OpenStack among a range of other open source cloud technologies to help catalyse cultural change as it looks to reduce costs and technology redundancy, explained TD Bank group vice president of engineering Graeme Peacock.

TD Bank is one of Canada’s largest retail banks, having divested many of its investment banking divisions over the past ten years while buying up smaller American retail banks in a bid to offer cross-border banking services.
Peacock, who was speaking at the OpenStack Summit in Vancouver this week, said TD Bank is in the midst of a massive transition in how it procures, deploys and consumes technology. The bank aims to have about 80 per cent of its 4,000 application estate moved over to the cloud over the next five years.
“If they can’t build it on cloud they need to get my permission to obtain a physical server. Which is pretty hard to get,” he said.
But the company’s legacy of acquisition over the past decade has shaped the evolution of both the technology and systems in place at the bank as well as the IT culture and the way those systems and technologies are managed.
“Growing from acquisition means we’ve developed a very project-based culture, and you’re making a lot of transactional decisions within those projects. There are consequences to growing through acquisition – TD is very vendor-centric,” he explained.
“There are a lot of vendors here and I’m fairly certain we’ve bought at least one of everything you’ve ever made. That’s led to the landscape that we’ve had, which has lots of customisation. It’s very expensive and there is little reused.”
Peacock said much of what the bank wants to do is fairly straightforward: moving off highly customised expensive equipment and services, and moving on to more open, standardised commodity platforms, and OpenStack is but one infrastructure-centric tool helping the bank deliver on that goal (it’s using it to stand up an internal private cloud). But the company also has to deal with other aspects a recent string of acquisition has left at the bank, including the fact that its development teams are still quite siloed, in order to reach its goals.
In order to standardise and reduce the number of services the firm’s developers use, the bank  created an engineering centre in Manhattan and elected a team of engineers and developers (currently numbering 30, but will hit roughly 50 by the end of the year) spread between Toronto and New York City, all focused on helping it embrace a cloud-first, slimmed-down application landscape.
The centre and the central engineering team work with other development teams and infrastructure specialists across the bank, collecting feedback through fortnightly Q&As and feeding that back into the solutions being developed and the platforms being procured. Solving developer team fragmentation will ultimately help the bank move forward on this new path sustainably, he explained.
“When your developer community is so siloed you don’t end up adopting standards… you end up with 27 versions of Softcat. Which we have, by the way,” he said.
“This is a big undertaking, and one that has to be continuous. Business lines also have to move with us to decompose those applications and help deliver against those commitments,” he added.

May 9, 2016: From OpenStack Summit Austin, Part 1: Vendors digging in for long haul continued:

While OpenStack may have been conceived as an open source multi-tenant IaaS, its future success will mainly come from hosted and on-premises private cloud deployments. Yes, there are many pockets of success with regional or vertical-focused public clouds based on OpenStack, but none with the scale of AWS or the growth of Microsoft Azure. Hewlett Packard Enterprise shuttered its OpenStack Helion-based public cloud, and Rackspace shifted engineering resources away from its own public cloud. Rackspace, the service provider with the largest share of OpenStack-related revenue, says its private cloud is growing in the ‘high double digits.’ Currently, 56% of OpenStack’s service-provider revenue total is public cloud-based, but we expect private cloud will account for a larger portion over the next few years.

October 21, 2015:

A new model to deliver public cloud by Bill Hill, SVP and GM, HP Cloud

Over the past several years, HP has built its strategy on the idea that a hybrid infrastructure is the future of enterprise IT. In doing so, we have committed to helping our customers seamlessly manage their business across traditional IT and private, managed or public cloud environments, allowing them to optimize their infrastructure for each application’s unique requirements.
The market for hybrid infrastructure is evolving quickly. Today, our customers are consistently telling us that in order to meet their full spectrum of needs, they want a hybrid combination of efficiently managed traditional IT and private cloud, as well as access to SaaS applications and public cloud capabilities for certain workloads. In addition, they are pushing for delivery of these solutions faster than ever before.
With these customer needs in mind, we have made the decision to double-down on our private and managed cloud capabilities. For cloud-enabling software and solutions, we will continue to innovate and invest in our HP Helion OpenStack®platform. HP Helion OpenStack® has seen strong customer adoption and now runs our industry leading private cloud solution, HP Helion CloudSystem, which continues to deliver strong double-digit revenue growth and win enterprise customers. On the cloud services side, we will focus our resources on our Managed and Virtual Private Cloud offerings. These offerings will continue to expand, and we will have some very exciting announcements on these fronts in the coming weeks.

Public cloud is also an important part of our customers’ hybrid cloud strategy, and our customers are telling us that the lines between all the different cloud manifestations are blurring. Customers tell us that they want the ability to bring together multiple cloud environments under a flexible and enterprise-grade hybrid cloud model. In order to deliver on this demand with best-of-breed public cloud offerings, we will move to a strategic, multiple partner-based model for public cloud capabilities, as a component of how we deliver these hybrid cloud solutions to enterprise customers.

Therefore, we will sunset our HP Helion Public Cloud offering on January 31, 2016. As we have before, we will help our customers design, build and run the best cloud environments suited to their needs – based on their workloads and their business and industry requirements.

To support this new model, we will continue to aggressively grow our partner ecosystem and integrate different public cloud environments. To enable this flexibility, we are helping customers build cloud-portable applications based on HP Helion OpenStack® and the HP Helion Development Platform. In Europe, we are leading the Cloud28+ initiative that is bringing together commercial and public sector IT vendors and EU regulators to develop common cloud service offerings across 28 different countries.
For customers who want access to existing large-scale public cloud providers, we have already added greater support for Amazon Web Services as part of our hybrid delivery with HP Helion Eucalyptus, and we have worked with Microsoft to support Office 365 and Azure. We also support our PaaS customers wherever they want to run our Cloud Foundry platform – in their own private clouds, in our managed cloud, or in a large-scale public cloud such as AWS or Azure.
All of these are key elements in helping our customers transform into a hybrid, multi-cloud IT world. We will continue to innovate and grow in our areas of strength, we will continue to help our partners and to help develop the broader open cloud ecosystem, and we will continue to listen to our customers to understand how we can help them with their entire end-to-end IT strategies.

 December 1, 2015:

Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Microsoft announce plans to deliver integrated hybrid IT infrastructure press release

London, U.K. – December 1, 2015 – Today at Hewlett Packard Enterprise Discover, HPE and Microsoft Corp. announced new innovation in Hybrid Cloud computing through Microsoft Azure, HPE infrastructure and services, and new program offerings. The extended partnership appoints Microsoft Azure as a preferred public cloud partner for HPE customers while HPE will serve as a preferred partner in providing infrastructure and services for Microsoft’s hybrid cloud offerings.

“Hewlett Packard Enterprise is committed to helping businesses transform to hybrid cloud environments in order to drive growth and value,” said Meg Whitman, President and CEO, Hewlett Packard Enterprise. “Public cloud services, like those Azure provides, are an important aspect of a hybrid cloud strategy and Microsoft Azure blends perfectly with HPE solutions to deliver what our customers need most.”
The partnering companies will collaborate across engineering and services to integrate innovative compute platforms that help customers optimize their IT environment, leverage new consumption models and accelerate their business further, faster.
“Our mission to empower every organization on the planet is a driving force behind our broad partnership with Hewlett Packard Enterprise that spans Microsoft Azure, Office 365 and Windows 10,” said Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft. “We are now extending our longstanding partnership by blending the power of Azure with HPE’s leading infrastructure, support and services to make the cloud more accessible to enterprises around the globe.”
Product Integration and Collaboration HPE and Microsoft are introducing the first hyper-converged system with true hybrid cloud capabilities, the HPE Hyper-Converged 250 for Microsoft Cloud Platform System StandardBringing together industry leading HPE ProLiant technology and Microsoft Azure innovation, the jointly engineered solution brings Azure services to customers’ datacenters, empowering users to choose where and how they want to leverage the cloud. An Azure management portal enables business users to self-deploy Windows and Linux workloads, while ensuring IT has central oversight. Azure services provide reliable backup and disaster recovery, and with HPE OneView for Microsoft System Center, customers get an integrated management experience across all system components. HPE offers hardware and software support, installation and startup services to customers to speed deployment to just a matter of hours, lower risk and decrease total cost of ownership. The CS 250 is available to order today.
As part of the expanded partnership, HPE will enable Azure consumption and services on every HPE server, which allows customers to rapidly realize the benefits of hybrid cloud.
Extended Support and Services to Simplify Cloud
HPE and Microsoft will create HPE Azure Centers of Excellence in Palo Alto, Calif. and Houston, Texas, to ensure customers have a seamless hybrid cloud experience when leveraging Azure across HPE infrastructure, software and services. Through the work at these centers, both companies will invest in continuing advancements in Hybrid IT and Composable Infrastructure.
Because Azure is a preferred provider of public cloud for HPE customers, HPE also plans to certify an additional 5,000 Azure Cloud Architects through its Global Services Practice. This will extend its Enterprise Services offerings to bring customers an open, agile hybrid cloud with improved security that integrates with Azure.
Partner Program Collaboration
Microsoft will join the HPE Composable Infrastructure Partner Program to accelerate innovation for the next-generation infrastructure and advance the automation and integration of Microsoft System Center and HPE OneView orchestration tools with today’s infrastructure.
Likewise, HPE joined two Microsoft programs that help customers accelerate their hybrid cloud journey through end-to-end cloud, mobility, identity and productivity solutions. As a participant in Microsoft’s Cloud Solution Provider program, HPE will sell Microsoft cloud solutions across Azure, the Microsoft Enterprise Mobility Suite and Office 365.

May 9, 2016: From OpenStack Summit Austin, Part 1: Vendors digging in for long haul continued:

VENDOR DEVELOPMENTS

As of the Mitaka release, two new gold members were added: UnitedStack and EasyStack, both from China. Other service providers and vendors shared their customer momentum and product updates with 451 Research during the summit. Among the highlights are: ƒ

  • AT&T has cobbled together a DevOps team from 67 different organizations, in order to transform into a software company. ƒ
  • All of GoDaddy’s new servers are going into its OpenStack environment. It is also using the Ironic (bare metal) project and exploring containers on OpenStack. ƒ
  • SwiftStack built a commercial product with an AWS-like consumption model using the Swift (object storage) project. It now has over 60 customers, including eBay, PayPal, Burton Snowboards and Ancestry.com. ƒ
  • OVH is based in France and operates a predominately pan-Europe public cloud. It added Nova compute in 2014, and currently has 75PB on Swift storage. ƒ
  • Unitas Global says OpenStack-related enterprise engagements are a large part of its 100% Y/Y growth. While it does not contribute code, it is helping to develop operational efficiencies and working with Canonical to deploy ‘vanilla’ OpenStack using Juju charms. Tableau Software is a client. ƒ
  • DreamHost is operating an OpenStack public cloud, DreamCompute, and is a supporter of the Astara (network orchestration) project. It claims 2,000 customers for DreamCompute and 10,000 customers for its object storage product. ƒ
  • Platform9 is a unique OpenStack in SaaS startup with 20 paying customers. Clients bring their own hardware, and the software provides the management functions and takes care of patching and upgrades. ƒ
  • AppFormix is a software startup focused on cloud operators and application developers that has formed a licensing agreement with Rackspace. Its analytics and capacity-planning dashboard software will now be deployed on Rackspace’s OpenStack private cloud. The software also works with Azure and AWS. ƒ
  • Tesora is leveraging the Trove project to offer DBaaS. The vendor built a plug-in for Mirantis’ Fuel installer. The collaboration claims to make commercial, open source relational and NoSQL databases easier for administrators to deploy.

April 25, 2016:

AT&T’s Cloud Journey with OpenStack by Sorabh Saxena SVP, Software Development & Engineering, AT&T

OpenStack + AT&T Innovation = AT&T Integrated Cloud.

AT&T’s network has experienced enormous growth in traffic in the last several years and the trend continues unabated. Our software defined network initiative addresses the escalating traffic demands and brings greater agility and velocity to delivering features to end customers. The underlying fabric of this software defined network is AT&T Integrated Cloud (AIC).

Sorabh Saxena, AT&T’s SVP of Software Development & Engineering, will share several use cases that will highlight a multi-dimensional strategy for delivering an enterprise & service provider scale cloud. The use cases will illustrate OpenStack as the foundational element of AIC, AT&T solutions that complement it, and how it’s integrated with the larger AT&T ecosystem.

http://att.com/ecomp


As the Senior Vice President of Software Development and Engineering at AT&T, Sorabh Saxena is leading AT&T’s transformation to a software-based company.  Towards that goal, he is leading the development of platforms that include AT&T’s Integrated Cloud (AIC), API, Data, and Business Functions. Additionally, he manages delivery and production support of AT&T’s software defined network.

Sorabh and his organization are also responsible for technology solutions and architecture for all IT projects, AT&T Operation Support Systems and software driven business transformation programs that are positioning AT&T to be a digital first, integrated communications company with a best in class cost structure. Sorabh is also championing a cultural shift with a focus on workforce development and software & technology skills development.

Through Sorabh and his team’s efforts associated with AIC, AT&T is implementing an industry leading, highly complex and massively scaled OpenStack cloud.  He is an advocate of OpenStack and his organization contributes content to the community that represents the needs of large enterprises and communication services providers.

April 25, 2016And the Superuser Award goes to… AT&T takes the fourth annual Superuser Award.

AUSTIN, Texas — The OpenStack Austin Summit kicked off day one by awarding the Superuser Award to AT&T.

NTT, winners of the Tokyo edition, passed the baton onstage to the crew from AT&T.

AT&T is a legacy telco which is transforming itself by adopting virtual infrastructure and a software defined networking focus in order to compete in the market and create value for customers in the next five years and beyond. They have almost too many OpenStack accomplishments to list–read their full application here.

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Sorabh Saxena gives a snapshot of AT&Ts OpenStack projects during the keynote.

The OpenStack Foundation launched the Superuser Awards to recognize, support and celebrate teams of end-users and operators that use OpenStack to meaningfully improve their businesses while contributing back to the community.

The legacy telecom is in the top 20 percent for upstream contributions with plans to increase this significantly in 2016.

It’s time for the community to determine the winner of the Superuser Award to be presented at the OpenStack Austin Summit. Based on the nominations received, the Superuser Editorial Advisory Board conducted the first round of judging and narrowed the pool to four finalists.

Now, it’s your turn.

The team from AT&T is one of the four finalists. Review the nomination criteria below, check out the other nominees and cast your vote before the deadline, Friday, April 8 at 11:59 p.m.Pacific Daylight Time. Voting is limited to one ballot per person.

How has OpenStack transformed your business?

AT&T is a legacy telco which is transforming itself by adopting virtual infrastructure and a software defined networking focus in order to compete in the market and create value for customers in the next five years and beyond.

  1. Virtualization and virtual network functions (VNFs) are of critical importance to the Telecom industry to address growth and agility. AT&T’s Domain 2.0 Industry Whitepaper released in 2013 outlines the need as well as direction.
  2. AT&T chose OpenStack as the core foundation of their cloud and virtualization strategy
  3. OpenStack has reinforced AT&T’s open source strategy and strengthened our dedication to the community as we actively promote and invest resources in OpenStack
  4. AT&T is committing staff and resources to drive the vision and innovation in the OpenStack and OPNFV communities to help drive OpenStack as the default cloud orchestrator for the Telecom industry
  5. AT&T as a founding member of the ETSI ISG network functions virtualization (NFV) helped drive OpenStack as the cloud orchestrator in the NFV platform framework. OpenStack was positioned as the VIM – Virtual Infrastructure Manager. This accelerated the convergence of the Telco industry onto OpenStack.

OpenStack serves as a critical foundation for AT&T’s software-defined networking (SDN) and NFV future and we take pride in the following:

  • AT&T has deployed 70+ OpenStack (Juno & Kilo based) clouds globally, which are currently operational. Of the 70+ clouds 57 are production application and network clouds.
  • AT&T plans 90% growth, going to 100+ production application and network clouds by the end of 2016.
  • AT&T connects more than 14 million wireless customers via virtualized networks, with significant subscriber cut-over planned again in 2016
  • AT&T controls 5.7% of our network resources (29 Telco production grade VNFs) with OpenStack, with plans to reach 30% by the end of 2016 and 75% by 2020.
  • AT&T trained more than 100 staff in OpenStack in 2015

AT&T plans to expand to expand its community team of 50+ employees in 2016 As the chosen cloud platform OpenStack enabled AT&T in the following SDN and NFV related initiatives:

  • Our recently announced 5G field trials in Austin
  • Re-launch of unlimited data to mobility customers
  • Launch of AT&T Collaborate a next generation communication tool for enterprise
  • Provisioning of a Network on Demand platform to more than 500 enterprise customers
  • Connected Car and MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator)
  • Mobile Call Recording
  • Internally we are virtualizing our control services like DNS, NAT, NTP, DHCP, radius, firewalls, load balancers and probes for fault and performance management.

Since 2012, AT&T has developed all of our significant new applications in a cloud native fashion hosted on OpenStack. We also architected OpenStack to support legacy apps.

  • AT&T’s SilverLining Cloud (predecessor to AIC) leveraged the OpenStack Diablo release, dating as far back as 2011
  • OpenStack currently resides on over 15,000 VMs worldwide, with the expectation of further, significant growth coming in 2016-17
  • AT&T’s OpenStack integrated Orchestration framework has resulted in a 75% reduction in turnaround time for requests for virtual resources
  • AT&T Plans to move 80% of our Legacy IT into the OpenStack based virtualized cloud environment within coming years
  • Uniform set of APIs exposed by OpenStack allows AT&T business units to leverage a “develop-once-run-everywhere” set of tools OpenStack helps AT&T’s strategy to begin to adopt best of the breed solutions at five 9’s of reliability for:
    • NFV
    • Internet-scale storage service
    • SDN
  • Putting all AT&T’s workloads on one common platform Deployment Automation: OpenStack modules have enabled AT&T to cost-effectively manage the OpenStack configuration in an automated, holistic fashion.
  • Using OpenStack Heat, AT&T pushed rolling updates and incremental changes across 70+ OpenStack clouds. Doing it manually would be take many more people and a much longer schedule.
  • Using OpenStack Fuel as a pivotal component in its cloud deployments AT&T accelerates the otherwise consuming, complex, and error-prone process of deploying, testing, and maintaining various configuration flavors of OpenStack at scale. AT&T was a major contributor towards Fuel 7.0 and Fuel 8.0 requirements. OpenStack has been a pivotal driver of AT&T’s overall culture shift. AT&T as an organization is in the midst of a massive culture shift from a Legacy Telco to a company where new skills, techniques and solutions are embraced.

OpenStack has been a key driver of this transformation in the following ways:

  • AT&T is now building 50 percent of all software on open source technologies
  • Allowing for the adoption of a dev ops model that creates a more unified team working towards a better end product
  • Development transitioned from a waterfall to cloud-native CICD methodologies
  • Developers continue to support OpenStack and make their applications cloud-native whenever possible.

How has the organization participated in or contributed to the OpenStack community?

AT&T was the first U.S. telecom service provider to sign up for and adopt the then early stage NASA-spawned OpenStack cloud initiative, back in 2011.

  • AT&T has been an active OpenStack contributor since the Bexar release.
  • AT&T has been a Platinum Member of the OpenStack Foundation since its origins in 2012 after helping to create its bylaws.
  • Toby Ford, AVP AT&T Cloud Technology has provided vision, technology leadership, and innovation to OpenStack ecosystem as an OpenStack Foundation board member since late 2012.
  • AT&T is founding member of ETSI, and OPNFV.
  • AT&T has invested in building an OpenStack upstream contribution team with 25 current employees and a target for 50+ employees by the end of 2016.
  • During the early years of OpenStack, AT&T brought many important use-cases to the community. AT&T worked towards solving those use-cases by leveraging various OpenStack modules, in turn encouraging other enterprises to have confidence in the young ecosystem.
  • AT&T drove these following Telco-grade blueprint contributions to past releases of OpenStack:
    • VLAN aware VMs (i.e. Trunked vNICs) – Support for BGP VPN, and shared volumes between guest VMs
    • Complex query support for statistics in Ceilometer
    • Spell checker gate job
    • Metering support for PCI/PCIe per VM tenant
    • PCI passthrough measurement in Ceilometer – Coverage measurement gate job
    • Nova using ephemeral storage with cinder
    • Climate subscription mechanism
    • Access switch port discovery for bare metal nodes
    • SLA enforcement per vNIC – MPLS VPNaaS
    • NIC-state aware scheduling
  • Toby Ford has regularly been invited to present keynotes, sessions, and panel talks at a number of OpenStack summits. For instance: Role of OpenStack in a Telco: User case study – at Atlanta Summit May 2014 – Leveraging OpenStack to Solve Telco needs: Intro to SDN/NFV – Atlanta Summit May 2014 – Telco OpenStack Roadmap Panel Talk – Tokyo Summit October 2015 – OpenStack Roadmap Software Trajectory – Atlanta Summit May 2014 – Cloud Control to Major Telco – Paris Summit November 2014.
  • Greg Stiegler, assistant vice president – AT&T cloud tools & development organization represented the AT&T technology development organization at the Tokyo Summit.
  • AT&T Cloud and D2 Architecture team members were invited to present various keynote sessions, summit sessions and panel talks including: – Participation at the Women of OpenStack Event – Tokyo Summit 2015 – Empower Your Cloud Through Neutron Service Function Chaining – Tokyo Summit Oct 2015 – OPNFV Panel – Vancouver Summit May 2015 – OpenStack as a Platform for Innovation – Keynote at OpenStack Silicon Valley – Aug 2015 – Taking OpenStack From Zero to Production in a Fortune-500 – Tokyo Summit October 2015 – Operating at Web-scale: Containers and OpenStack Panel Talk – Tokyo Summit October 2015 * AT&T strives to collaborate with other leading industry partners in the OpenStack ecosystem. This has led to the entire community benefiting from AT&T’s innovation.
  • Margaret Chiosi gives talks worldwide on AT&T’s D2.0 vision at many Telco conferences ranging from Optics (OFC) to SDN/NFV conferences advocating OpenStack as the de-facto cloud orchestrator.
  • AT&T Entertainment Group (DirecTV) architected multi-hypervisor hybrid OpenStack cloud by designing Neutron ML2 plugin. This innovation helped achieve integration between legacy virtualization and OpenStack.
  • AT&T is proud to drive OpenStack adoption by sharing knowledge back to the OpenStack community in the form of these summit sessions at the upcoming Austin summit:
    • Telco Cloud Requirements: What VNFs Are Asking For
    • Using a Service VM as an IPv6 vRouter
    • Service Function Chaining
    • Technology Analysis Perspective
    • Deploying Lots of Teeny Tiny Telco Clouds
    • Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about OpenStack At Scale
    • Valet: Holistic Data Center Optimization for OpenStack
    • Gluon: An Enabler for NFV
    • Among the Cloud: Open Source NFV + SDN Deployment
    • AT&T: Driving Enterprise Workloads on KVM and vCenter using OpenStack as the Unified Control Plane
    • Striving for High-Performance NFV Grid on OpenStack. Why you, and every OpenStack community member should be excited about it
    • OpenStack at Carrier Scale
  • AT&T is the “first to marketwith deployment of OpenStack supported carrier-grade Virtual Network Functions. We provide the community with integral data, information, and first-hand knowledge on the trials and tribulations experienced deploying NFV technology.
  • AT&T ranks in the top 20 percent of all companies in terms of upstream contribution (code, documentation, blueprints), with plans to increase this significantly in 2016.
    • Commits: 1200+
    • Lines of Code: 116,566
    • Change Requests: 618
    • Patch Sets: 1490
    • Draft Blueprints: 76
    • Completed Blueprints: 30
    • Filed Bugs: 350
    • Resolved Bugs: 250

What is the scale of the OpenStack deployment?

  • AT&T’s OpenStack based AIC is deployed at 70+ sites across the world. Of the 70+ 57 are production app and network clouds.
  • AT&T plans 90% growth, going to 100+ production app and network clouds by end of 2016.
  • AT&T connects more than 14 million of the 134.5 million wireless customers via virtualized networks with significant subscriber cutover planned again in 2016
  • AT&T controls 5.7% of our network resources (29 Telco production grade VNF) with a goal of high 80s by end of 2016) on OpenStack.
  • Production workloads also include AT&T’s Connected Car, Network on Demand, and AT&T Collaborate among many more.

How is this team innovating with OpenStack?

  • AT&T and AT&T Labs are leveraging OpenStack to innovate with Containers and NFV technology.
  • Containers are a key part of AT&Ts Cloud Native Architecture. AT&T chairs the Open Container Initiative (OCI) to drive the standardization around container formats.
  • AT&T is leading the effort to improve Nova and Neutron’s interface to SDN controllers.
  • Margaret Chiosi, an early design collaborator to Neutron, ETSI NFV, now serves as President of OPNFV. AT&T is utilizing its position with OPNFV to help shape the future of OpenStack / NFV. OpenStack has enabled AT&T to innovate extensively.

The following recent unique workloads would not be possible without the SDN and NFV capabilities which OpenStack enables: * Our recent announcements of 5G field trials in Austin * Re-launch of unlimited data to mobility customers * Launch of AT&T Collaborate * Network on Demand platform to more than 500 enterprise customers * Connected Car and MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator) * Mobile Call Recording New services by AT&T Entertainment Group (DirecTV) that would use OpenStack based cloud infrastructure in coming years: * NFL Sunday Ticket with up to 8 simultaneous games * DirecTV Streaming Service Without Need For satellite dish

In summary – the innovation with OpenStack is not just our unique workloads, but also to support them together under the same framework, management systems, development/test, CI/CD pipelines, and deployment automation toolset(s).

Who are the team members?

  • AT&T Cloud and D2 architecture team
  • AT&T Integrated Cloud (AIC) Members: Margaret Chiosi, distinguished member of technical staff, president of OPNFV; Toby Ford, AVP – AT&T cloud technology & D2 architecture – strategy, architecture & pPlanning, and OpenStack Foundation Board Member; Sunil Jethwani – director, cloud & SDN architecture, AT&T Entertainment Group; Andrew Leasck – director – AT&T Integrated cloud development; Janet Morris – director – AT&T integrated cloud development; Sorabh Saxena, senior vice president – AT&T software development & engineering organization; Praful Shanghavi – director – AT&T integrated cloud development; Bryan Sullivan – director member of technical staff; Ryan Van Wyk – executive director – AT&T integrated cloud development.
  • AT&T’s project teams top contributors: Paul Carver, Steve Wilkerson, John Tran, Joe D’andrea, Darren Shaw.

April 30, 2016Swisscom in Production with OpenStack and Cloud Foundry

Swisscom has one of the largest in-production industry standard Platform as a Service built on OpenStack. Their offering is focused on providing an enterprise-grade PaaS environment to customers worldwide and with various delivery models based on Cloud Foundry and OpenStack. Swisscom embarked early on the OpenStack journey to deploy their app cloud partnering with Red Hat, Cloud Foundry, and PLUMgrid. With services such as MongoDB, MariaDB, RabbitMQ, ELK, and an object storage, the PaaS cloud offers what developers need to get started right away. Join this panel for take-away lessons on Swisscom’s journey, the technologies, partnerships, and developers who are building apps everyday on Swisscom’s OpenStack cloud.

May 23, 2016How OpenStack public cloud + Cloud Foundry = a winning platform for telecoms interview on ‘OpenStack Superuser’ with Marcel Härry, chief architect, PaaS at Swisscom

Swisscom has one of the largest in-production industry standard platform-as-a-service built on OpenStack.

Their offering focuses on providing an enterprise-grade PaaS environment to customers worldwide and with various delivery models based on Cloud Foundry and OpenStack. Swisscom, Switzerland’s leading telecom provider, embarked early on the OpenStack journey to deploy their app cloud partnering with Red Hat, Cloud Foundry and PLUMgrid.

Superuser interviewed Marcel Härry, chief architect, PaaS at Swisscom and member of theTechnical Advisory Board of the Cloud Foundry Foundation to find out more.

How are you using OpenStack?

OpenStack has allowed us to rapidly develop and deploy our Cloud Foundry-based PaaS offering, as well as to rapidly develop new features within SDN and containers. OpenStack is the true enabler for rapid development and delivery.

An example: after half a year from the initial design and setup, we already delivered two production instances of our PaaS offering built on multiple OpenStack installations on different sites. Today we are already running multiple production deployments for high-profile customers, who further develop their SaaS offerings using our platform. Additionally, we are providing the infrastructure for numerous lab and development instances. These environments allow us to harden and stabilize new features while maintaining a rapid pace of innovation, while still ensuring a solid environment.

We are running numerous OpenStack stacks, all limited – by design – to a single region, and single availability zone. Their size ranges from a handful of compute nodes, to multiple dozens of compute nodes, scaled based on the needs of the specific workloads. Our intention is not to build overly large deployments, but rather to build multiple smaller stacks, hosting workloads that can be migrated between environments. These stacks are hosting thousands of VMs, which in turn are hosting tens of thousands of containers to run production applications or service instances for our customers.

What kinds of applications or workloads are you currently running on OpenStack?

We’ve been using OpenStack for almost three years now as our infrastructure orchestrator. Swisscom built its Elastic Cloud on top of OpenStack. On top of this we run Swisscom’s Application Cloud, or PaaS, built on Cloud Foundry with PLUMgrid as the SDN layer. Together, the company’s clouds deliver IaaS to IT architects, SaaS to end users and PaaS to app developers among other services and applications. We mainly run our PaaS/Cloud Foundry environment on OpenStack as well as the correlated managed services (i.e. a kind of DBaaS, Message Service aaS etc.) which are running themselves in Docker containers.

What challenges have you faced in your organization regarding OpenStack, and how did you overcome them?

The learning curve for OpenStack is pretty steep. When we started three years ago almost no reference architectures were available, especially none with enterprise-grade requirements such as dual-site, high availability (HA) capabilities on various levels and so forth. In addition, we went directly into the SDN, SDS levels of implementation which was a big, but very successful step at the end of the day.

What were your major milestones?

Swisscom’s go-live for its first beta environment was in spring of 2014, go live for an internal development (at Swisscom) was spring of 2015, and the go-live for its public Cloud Foundry environment fully hosted on OpenStack was in the fall of 2015. The go-live date for enterprise-grade and business-critical workloads on top of our stack from various multinational companies in verticals like finance or industry is spring, 2016, and Swisscom recently announced Swiss Re as one of its first large enterprise cloud customers.

What have been the biggest benefits to your organization as a result of using OpenStack?

Pluggability and multi-vendor interoperability (for instance with SDN like PLUMgrid or SDS like ScaleIO) to avoid vendor lock in and create a seamless system. OpenStack enabled Swisscom to experiment with deployments utilizing a DevOps model and environment to deploy and develop applications faster. It simplified the move from PoC to production environments and enabled us to easily scale out services utilizing a distributed cluster-based architecture.

What advice do you have for companies considering a move to OpenStack?

It’s hard in the beginning but it’s really worth it. Be wise when you select your partners and vendors, this will help you to be online in a very short amount of time. Think about driving your internal organization towards a dev-ops model to be ready for the first deployments, as well as enabling your firm to change deployment models (e.g. going cloud-native) for your workloads when needed.

How do you participate in the community?

This year’s Austin event was our second OpenStack Summit where we provided insights into our deployment and architecture, contributing back to the community in terms of best practices, as well as providing real-world production use-cases. Furthermore, we directly contribute patches and improvements to various OpenStack projects. Some of these patches have already been accepted, while a few are in the pipeline to be further polished for publishing. Additionally, we are working very closely together with our vendors – RedHat, EMC, ClusterHQ/Flocker, PLUMgrid as well as the Cloud Foundry Foundation – and work together to further improve their integration and stability within the OpenStack project. For example, we worked closely together with Flocker for their cinder-based driver to orchestrate persistency among containers. Furthermore, we have provided many bug reports through our vendors and have worked together with them on fixes which then have made their way back into the OpenStack community.

What’s next?

We have a perfect solution for non-persistent container workloads for our customers. We are constantly evolving this product and are working especially hard to meet the enterprise- and finance-verticals requirements when it comes to the infrastructure orchestration of OpenStack.

Härry spoke about OpenStack in production at the recent Austin Summit, along with Pere Monclus of PLUMgrid, Chip Childers of the Cloud Foundry Foundation, Chris Wright of Red Hat and analyst Rosalyn Roseboro. 

May 10, 2016: Lenovo‘s Highly-Available OpenStack Enterprise Cloud Platform Practice with EasyStack press release by EasyStack

BEIJING, May 10, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — In 2015, the Chinese IT superpower Lenovo chose EasyStack to build an OpenStack-based enterprise cloud platform to carry out their “Internet Strategy”. In six months, this platform has evolved into an enterprise-level OpenStack production environment of over 3000 cores with data growth peaking at 10TB/day. It is expected that by the end of 2016, 20% of the IT system will be migrated onto the Cloud.

OpenStack is the foundation for Cloud, and perhaps has matured in the overseas market. In China, OpenStack practices worthy of noticing often come from the relatively new category of Internet Companies. Though it has long been marketed as “enterprise-ready”, traditional industries still tend to hold back towards OpenStack. This article aims to turn this perception around by presenting an OpenStack practice from the Chinese IT Superpower Lenovo, detailing their journey of transformation in both the technology and business realms to a private cloud built upon OpenStack. Although OpenStack will still be largely a carrier for internet businesses, Lenovo plans to migrate 20% of its IT system onto the cloud before the end of 2016 – taking a much applauded step forward.

Be it the traditional PC or the cellphone, technology’s evolving fast amidst this move towards mobile and social networking, and the competition’s fierce. In response to rapidly changing market dynamics, the Lenovo Group made the move of going from being product-oriented to a user-oriented strategy that can only be supported by an agile, flexible and scalable enterprise-level cloud platform capable of rapid iterations. After thorough consideration and careful evaluation, Lenovo chose OpenStack as the basis for their enterprise cloud platform to carry out this “Internet Strategy”. After six months of practice, this platform has evolved into an enterprise-level OpenStack production environment of over 3000 cores with data growth peaking at 10TB/day. It’s expected that 20% of the IT system will be migrated onto the Cloud by the end of 2016.

Transformation and Picking the Right Cloud

In the past, internal IT at Lenovo has always been channel- and key client-oriented, with a traditional architecture consisting of IBM Power, AIX, PowerVM, DB2 and more recently, VMware virtualization. In the move towards becoming an Internet Company, such traditional architecture was far from being able to support the user and business volume brought by the B2C model. Cost-wise, Lenovo’s large-scale deployment of commercial solutions were reliable but complex to scale and extremely expensive.

Also, this traditional IT architecture was inadequate in terms of operational efficiency, security and compliance and unable to support Lenovo’s transition towards eCommerce and mobile business. In 2015, Lenovo’s IT entered a stage of infrastructural re-vamp, in need of using a cloud computing platform to support new businesses.

To find the right makeup for the cloud platform, Lenovo performed meticulous analyses and comparisons on mainstream x86 virtualization technologies, private cloud platforms, and public cloud platforms. After evaluating stability, usability, openness and ecosystem vitality and comprehensiveness, Lenovo deemed the OpenStack cloud platform technology able to fulfill its enterprise needs and decided to use OpenStack as the infrastructural cloud platform supporting their constant businesses innovations.

Disaster recovery plans on virtual machines, cloud hard drives and databases were considered early on into the OpenStack architectural design to ensure prompt switch over when needed to maintain business availability.

A Highly Available Architectural Design

On architectural logic, Lenovo’s Enterprise Cloud Platform managed infrastructures through a software-defined-environment, using x86 servers and 10GB network at the base layer, alongside internet-style monitoring and maintenance solutions, while employing the OpenStack platform to perform overall resource management.

To ensure high availability and improve the cloud platform’s system efficiency, Lenovo designed a physical architecture, and used capable servers with advanced configurations to make up the compute, storage network all-in-one, then using OpenStack to integrate into a single resource pool, placing compute nodes and storage nodes on the same physical node.

Two-way X3650 servers and four-way ThinkServer RQ940 server as backbones at the hardware layer. For every node there are five SSD hard drivers and 12 SAS hard drives to make up the storage module. SSD not only acts as the storage buffer, but also is the high performance storage resource pool, accessing the distributed storage through the VM to achieve high availability.

Lenovo had to resolve a number of problems and overcome numerous hurdles to elevate OpenStack to the enterprise-level.

Compute

Here, Lenovo utilized high-density virtual machine deployment. At the base is KVM virtualization technology, optimized in multiple way to maximize physical server performance, isolating CPU, Memory and other hardware resources under the compute-storage convergent architecture. The outcome is the ability to have over 50 VMs running smoothly and efficiently on every two-core CPU compute node.

In the cloud environment, it’s encouraged to achieve high availability through not hardware, but solutions. Yet still there are some traditional applications that hold certain requirements to a single host server. For such applications unable to achieve High Availability, Lenovo used Compute HA technology to achieve high availability on compute nodes, performing fault detection through various methods, migrating virtual machines on faulted physical machine to other available physical machines when needed. This entire process is automated, reducing as much as possible business disruptions caused by physical machine breakdowns.

Network

Network Isolation

Using different NIC, different switch or different VLAN to isolate various networks such as stand-alone OpenStack management networks, virtual production networks, storage networks, public networks, and PXE networks, so that interferences are avoided, increasing overall bandwidth and enabling better network control.

Multi-Public Network

Achieve network agility through multiple public networks to better manage security strategies. The Public Networks from Unicom, Telecom and at the office are some examples

Network and Optimization

Better integrate with the traditional data center network through the VLAN network model, then optimize its data package processing to achieve improved capability on network data pack process, bringing closer the virtual machine bandwidth to that of the physical network.

Dual Network Protocol Bundling and Multi Switch

Achieve high availability of physical networks through dual network protocol bundling to different switches.

Network Node HA

Achieve public network load balance, high availability and high performance through multiple network nodes, at which router-level Active/Standby methodology is used to achieve HA, which is ensured through independent network router monitoring services.

Storage

The Lenovo OpenStack Cloud Platform used Ceph as the unified storage backend, in which data storage for Glance image mirroring, Nova virtual machine system disc, and Cinder cloud hard drive are provided by Ceph RBD. Using Ceph’s Copy on Write function to revise OpenStack codes can deploy virtual machines within seconds.

With Ceph as the unified storage backend, its functionality is undoubtedly a key metric on whether the critical applications of an enterprise can be virtualized and cloud-ready. In a super-convergent deployment architecture where compute and storage run alongside each other, storage function optimization not only have to maximize storage capability, but also have to ensure the isolation between storage and compute resources to maintain system stability. For the IO stack below, Lenovo conducted bottom-up layer-by-layer optimization:

On the Networks

Open the Jumbo frame, improve data transfer efficiency while use 10Gb Ethernet to carry Ceph Cluster network traffics, improving the efficiency on Ceph data replication.

On Functionality

Leverage Solid State Disc as the Ceph OSD log to improve overall cluster IO functionality, to fulfill performance demands of critical businesses ( for example the eCommerce system’s database businesses, etc.) and achieve function-cost balance. SSD is known for its low power consumption, prompt response, high IOPS, and high throughput. In the Ceph log system, these are aligned to multithread access; using SSD to replace mechanical hard drives can fully unleash SSD’s trait of random access, rapid response and high IO throughput. Appropriately optimizing IO coordination strategy and further suit it to SSD and lower overall IO latency.

Purposeful Planning

Plan the number of Ceph OSD under the super-convergent node reasonably according to virtual machine density on the server, while assign in advance CPU and other memory resources. Cgroup, taskset and other tools can be used to perform resource isolation for QEMU-KVM and Ceph OSD

Parameter Tuning

Regarding parameter tuning for Ceph, performance can be effectively improved by fine-tuning parameters on FileStore’s default sequence, OSD’s OP thread and others. Additional tuning can be done through performing iteration test to find the most suitable parameter for the current hardware environment.

Data HA

Regarding data HA, besides existing OpenStack data protection measures, Lenovo has planned a comprehensive disaster recovery protocol for its three centers at two locations:

By employing exclusive low-latency fiber-optic cable, data can be simultaneously stored in local backup centers, and started asynchronously in long-distance centers, maximizing data security.

AD Integration

In addition, Lenovo has integrated its own business demands into the OpenStack enterprise cloud platform. As a mega company with tens of thousands of employees, AD activity logs are needed for authorization so that staffs won’t need to be individually set up user commands. Through customized development by part of the collaborator, Lenovo has successfully integrated AD functions into its OpenStack Enterprise Cloud Platform.

Overall Outcomes

Lenovo’s transformation towards being “internet-driven” was able to begin after the buildup of this OpenStack Enterprise Cloud Platform. eCommerce, Big Data and Analytics, IM, Online Mobile Phone Support and other internet based businesses, all supported by this cloud platform. Judging from feedback from the team, the Lenovo OpenStack Enterprise Cloud Platform is functioning as expected.

In the process of building up this OpenStack based enterprise cloud platform, Lenovo chose EasyStack, the leading Chinese OpenStack Company to provide professional implementation and consulting services, helping to build the initial platform, fostering a number of OpenStack experts. For Lenovo, community compatibility and continuous upgrade, as well as experiences in delivering services at the enterprise level are the main factors for consideration when choosing an OpenStack business partner.

Scott Guthrie about changes under Nadella, the competition with Amazon, and what differentiates Microsoft’s cloud products

Scott Guthrie Microsoft

Scott Guthrie Executive Vice President Microsoft Cloud and Enterprise group As executive vice president of the Microsoft Cloud and Enterprise group, Scott Guthrie is responsible for the company’s cloud infrastructure, server, database, management and development tools businesses. His engineering team builds Microsoft Azure, Windows Server, SQL Server, Active Directory, System Center, Visual Studio and .NET. Prior to leading the Cloud and Enterprise group, Guthrie helped lead Microsoft Azure, Microsoft’s public cloud platform. Since joining the company in 1997, he has made critical contributions to many of Microsoft’s key cloud, server and development technologies and was one of the original founders of the .NET project. Guthrie graduated with a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Duke University. He lives in Seattle with his wife and two children. Source: Microsoft

From The cloud, not Windows 10, is key to Microsoft’s growth [Fortune, Oct 1, 2014]

  • about changes under Nadella:

Well, I don’t know if I’d say there’s been a big change from that perspective. I mean, I think obviously we’ve been saying for a while this mobile-first, cloud-first…”devices and services” is maybe another way to put it. That’s been our focus as a company even before Satya became CEO. From a strategic perspective, I think we very much have been focused on cloud now for a couple of years. I wouldn’t say this now means, “Oh, now we’re serious about cloud.” I think we’ve been serious about cloud for quite a while.

More information: Satya Nadella on “Digital Work and Life Experiences” supported by “Cloud OS” and “Device OS and Hardware” platforms–all from Microsoft [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, July 23, 2014]

  • about the competition with Amazon:

… I think there’s certainly a first mover advantage that they’ve been able to benefit from. … In terms of where we’re at today, we’ve got about 57% of the Fortune 500 that are now deployed on Microsoft Azure. … Ultimately the way we think we do that [gain on the current leader] is by having a unique set of offerings and a unique point of view that is differentiated.

  • about uniqueness of Microsoft offering:

One is, we’re focused on and delivering a hyper-scale cloud platform with our Azure service that’s deployed around the world. …

… that geographic footprint, as well as the economies of scale that you get when you install and have that much capacity, puts you in a unique position from an economic and from a customer capability perspective …

Where I think we differentiate then, versus the other two, is around two characteristics. One is enterprise grade and the focus on delivering something that’s not only hyper-scale from an economic and from a geographic reach perspective but really enterprise-grade from a capability, support, and overall services perspective. …

The other thing that we have that’s fairly unique is a very large on-premises footprint with our existing server software and with our private cloud capabilities. …

Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform 4 delivery and Dell as the first company to OEM it co-engineered on Dell infrastructure with Red Hat

Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform: Community-invented, Red Hat hardened [RedHatCloud YouTube channel, Aug 5, 2013]

Learn how Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform allows you to deploy a supported version of OpenStack on an enterprise-hardened Linux platform to build a massively scalable public-cloud-like platform for managing and deploying cloud-enabled workloads. With Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform, you can focus resources on building applications that add value to your organization, while Red Hat provides support for OpenStack and the Linux platform it runs on.

From community to enterprise-ready: Red Hat’s momentum with OpenStack [RedHatCloud YouTube channel, Jan 21, 2014]

The open development model is only successful if you are as committed to the community as you are to the products you create. Our primary goal was to become truly integrated in the OpenStack community. Now, we are excited about getting OpenStack in the hands of many. Hear what Red Hat has to say about their momentum around OpenStack.

Cloud and virtualization in RHEL6 ~ Redhat Linux Video [Redhat Linux Video YouTube channel, Feb 17, 2014]

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.5 is designed for those who build and manage large, complex IT projects, especially enterprises that require an open hybrid cloud. From security and networking to virtualization, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.5 provides the capabilities needed to manage these environments, such as tools that aid in quickly tuning the system to run SAP applications based on published best practices from SAP. Jim Totton, vice president and general manager, Platform Business Unit, Red Hat “Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.5 provides the innovation expected from the industry’s leading enterprise Linux operating system while also delivering a mature platform for business operations, be it standardizing operating environments or supporting critical applications. The newest version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 forms the building blocks of the entire Red Hat portfolio, including OpenShift and OpenStack, making it a perfect foundation for enterprises looking to explore the open hybrid cloud.”

Dell and Red Hat Creating Open, Innovative Solutions ~ Redhat Linux Video [Redhat Linux Video YouTube channel, Feb 18, 2014]

Dell and Red Hat to Co-Engineer Enterprise-Grade, OpenStack Private Cloud Solutions [joint press release, Dec 12, 2013]

Dell and Red Hat to Co-Engineer Enterprise-Grade, OpenStack Private Cloud Solutions

  • Dell and Red Hat collaboration to enable customers worldwide to build and use highly-scalable, open, private cloud solutions based on OpenStack
  • Dell becomes first company to OEM Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform
  • Dell joins the Red Hat OpenStack Cloud Infrastructure Partner Network as an Alliance Partner
  • Dell to deliver Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform through a dedicated practice within Dell Cloud Services

Dell and Red Hat Inc. (NYSE: RHT), the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced the companies will jointly engineer enterprise-grade, private cloud solutions based on OpenStack to help customers move to and deploy highly-scalable cloud computing models. As part of the expanded relationship, Dell becomes the first company to OEM Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform. The co-engineered solution will be built on Dell infrastructure and Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform. The solution will be delivered by a Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform practice within Dell Cloud Services.

Dell and Red Hat have partnered for more than 14 years to bring global customers value by collaborating on Red Hat solutions across Dell’s enterprise offerings. Just as Dell and Red Hat collaborated in the early days of Linux, Dell is showing its vision by becoming the first to OEM Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform. With today’s announcement, Dell and Red Hat are strengthening their longstanding collaboration and commitment to help businesses confidently embrace open source-based cloud computing models. With this development, customers worldwide will not only benefit from the co-engineered solutions, but the companies combined cloud expertise, enterprise innovation, and dedicated support and portfolio of services.

Dell and Red Hat will also jointly contribute code to the OpenStack community and collaborate on Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform 4, currently in beta, which integrates OpenStack Havana, Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization Hypervisor, and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.5. In addition, Dell plans to work closely with Red Hat on several future-state projects including:

  • OpenStack Networking (Neutron) to enable Software-Defined Networking and Networking-as-a-Service between interface devices such as virtual network interface cards, and
  • OpenStack Telemetry (Ceilometer) to provide OpenStack resource instrumentation, which can help support service monitoring and customer billing systems.

Lastly, Dell is joining the Red Hat OpenStack Cloud Infrastructure Partner Network as an Alliance Partner, the highest tier of program membership. The Red Hat OpenStack Cloud Infrastructure Partner Network connects both business and technical resources to third-party technology companies who are aligning with Red Hat’s OpenStack product offerings.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform combines the power of Red Hat Enterprise Linux with Red Hat’s OpenStack cloud platform to deliver an enterprise-grade, scalable and secure foundation for building a private cloud. The alliance with Red Hat complements Dell’s cloud strategy of offering customers open, flexible and scalable technology to build, use and control cloud infrastructures.

Additionally, Dell now offers Dell Cloud Consulting and Application Services to provide expert guidance in helping assess, build, operate and run cloud environments and enable and accelerate enterprise OpenStack adoption. Dell’s expertise spans the hybrid cloud spectrum, with service options ranging from cloud readiness assessment, infrastructure design and operations, and application design and modernization. As a result, Dell customers can achieve increased efficiency and greater realization of the business benefits of cloud computing.

Supporting Quotes

Paul Cormier, President, Products and Technologies, Red Hat

“Our collaboration with Dell keeps getting better and today’s announcement to co-engineer OpenStack solutions marks a significant milestone for both companies and customers. Just as we successfully collaborated with Dell to establish Red Hat Enterprise Linux as an enterprise industry standard, we’re now extending our collaboration to help establish Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform as the standard for open private cloud in the enterprise. Dell and Red Hat are committed to jointly developing and delivering enterprise-grade OpenStack offerings to help customers pursue private cloud today, and advanced computing models in the future.”

Marius Haas, Chief Commercial Officer and President, Enterprise Solutions, Dell

“Dell has been a long-time advocate and participant in the open source and OpenStack communities, pushing the charter of an open alternative to proprietary, enterprise computing systems. Our agreement to co-engineer OpenStack solutions with Red Hat takes our commitment a step further in helping customers obtain and deploy OpenStack solutions for an enterprise-grade, private cloud infrastructure to meet their evolving business needs. We will extend our work with Red Hat to apply our combined experience in commercializing open source for the benefit of our mutual customers as well as the open-source community on its development of networking, storage and compute capabilities.”

Availability

The joint Dell-Red Hat solution is scheduled to be available in 2014.

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About Red Hat, Inc.

Red Hat (NYSE: RHT) is the world’s leading provider of open source software solutions, using a community-powered approach to reliable and high-performing cloud, Linux, middleware, storage and virtualization technologies. Red Hat also offers award-winning support, training, and consulting services. As the connective hub in a global network of enterprises, partners, and open source communities, Red Hat helps create relevant, innovative technologies that liberate resources for growth and prepare customers for the future of IT. Learn more at http://www.redhat.com.

Dell and Red Hat – Enabling the Enterprise with OpenStack [Dell4Enterprise Blog, Dec 17, 2013] by Joseph George, Executive Director, Cloud and Big Data Solutions, Dell Inc.

In 1999, Dell became the first OEM vendor to deliver factory-installed Linux workstations and PowerEdge servers with Red Hat, to enable enterprise customers with Linux. Since those early days, Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) has become the world’s most deployed enterprise Linux platform, and in 2012, Red Hat became the industry’s first billion dollar open source company.

Now in 2013, Dell and Red Hat are joining forces again to enable enterprises.

And this time, it’s to enable the enterprise with OpenStack.

Our enterprise customers have complex business needs and scalability requirements. In the case of cloud, customers rarely say “We want a cloud.” Rather, many of them say things like “We need to create a content delivery network that scales and is cost effective,” or “We need a test/dev environment to develop our applications.”

And many times the design tenets that are pervasive in large scale distributed cloud environments, such as continuous deployment and devops, are still being translated into how the enterprise does IT.

Dell has been committed to enabling our customers with open source solution options to enable emerging technology areas like cloud – solutions that are open, flexible, scalable and secure. OpenStack provides the foundation for driving multi-tenancy and elasticity, giving our customers a fully open platform with the ability to scale very quickly.

Dell has had a rich and valuable history with Red Hat, with a longstanding joint commitment to our customers, to understand their need for flexibility and choice in the marketplace in a number of technology areas. And OpenStack has been a passion for both companies individually for some time.

With this announcement, Dell is now the first company to OEM RHEL OpenStack Platform, and we will co-engineer enterprise-grade OpenStack private cloud solutions with Red Hat, bringing together the best that both companies have to offer. It’s great news for enterprise customers seeking the products, services, and best practices to bring OpenStack into their IT environments.

Together, we are providing a fast onramp to enable our enterprise customers to get to the cloud, and to capture value from cloud by solving real business problems as quickly as possible. Dell and Red Hat will also jointly contribute code to the OpenStack community, specifically on projects like OpenStack Networking (Neutron) and OpenStack Telemetry (Celiometer).

Needless to say, after being a part of Dell’s very first steps into OpenStack, I am excited about this next step Dell and Red Hat are taking together, and see the strong innovation that will come out of it benefit both our customers and the OpenStack community.

Dell and Red Hat cloud solutions powered by OpenStack [RedHatCloud YouTube channel, Dec 17, 2013]

On December 12, 2013, Red Hat and Dell announced the companies will jointly engineer enterprise-grade, private cloud solutions based on OpenStack to help customers move to and deploy highly-scalable cloud computing models. Hear from Joseph George, Executive Director, Cloud and Big Data Solutions, Dell Inc. on this announcement.

Red Hat’s 7 bold OpenStack predictions for 2014 [Dell Software News Blog, Feb 10, 2014]

Directors and managers from all over Red Hat’s OpenStack team share  their visions for 2014, including OpenStack in 2014: Ready for enterprise adoption. A select few enterprise OpenStack distributions – and providers – will rise to the top. Hybrid cloud management – including OpenStack – will be in-demand. Telco companies, banks, and  government agencies will embrace OpenStack.

Dell and Red Hat will be collaborating on OpenStack – read the blog

OpenStack in 2014: Ready for enterprise adoption. “OpenStack is in 2013 what Amazon was in 2008/2009 – people are very interested but they are not spending money to use OpenStack in enterprise IT environments yet. 2014 should change that as the solution has matured and people are readier to embrace it. OpenStack is now enterprise-ready with stable, reliable versions, and that, combined with the support available from the OpenStack ecosystem, will lead to further adoption of OpenStack in the enterprise.” – Krishnan Subramaniam, director, OpenShift strategy, Red Hat

2014: The Year of the OpenStack Ecosystem. “2014 will be the year of the enterprise OpenStack ecosystem. Hardware and software providers will have more products in the market backed by certifications for a peace of mind value proposition. Given the focus on “as-a-service” solutions there will be a new range of offerings that will be created with OpenStack as a fabric for the datacenter. Finally, I expect that large system integrators will add OpenStack to their service offerings in 2014.” – Radhesh Balakrishnan, general manager, Virtualization and OpenStack, Red Hat

A select few enterprise OpenStack distributions – and providers – will rise to the top. “In 2013 we saw the proliferation of OpenStack distributions, to the point where it feels very similar to the early days of Linux – everyone seems to have a Linux distribution. In 2014, we’re going to see OpenStack distributions collapse. That’s because it’s not enough to just repackage bits; providers need really broad and deep knowledge of both OpenStack and Linux. Customers will look toward the organizations that have this deep knowledge as they seek credible solutions that combine OpenStack and Linux. The few companies that have the ability to offer tight integration between the two will be the last ones left standing.” – Chuck Dubuque, director, Product Marketing, Virtualization and OpenStack, Red Hat

Telco companies, Banks, and Government Agencies will embrace OpenStack. “In the coming year, the public sector and other highly regulated industries, such as financial, will reach the stage of production deployments of enterprise-grade OpenStack. Security will continue to be an aspect that these industries need to address as they move to the cloud. Driven by security, privacy and compliance needs, the public sector and financial industries will turn to OpenStack to keep their most confidential data with them.” – Radhesh Balakrishnan, general manager, Virtualization and OpenStack, Red Hat

“In 2014, OpenStack will make its way into the infrastructure of many large stakeholders. I’ll be bold and predict that within the next year, we’ll see OpenStack in five out of the top ten banks and eight out of the top ten telcos.” – Bryan Che, general manager, Red Hat CloudForms

“2014 will be the year where telecommunications-specific OpenStack offerings will enter in the marketplace and be adopted.” -Radhesh Balakrishnan, general manager, Virtualization and OpenStack, Red Hat

Hybrid cloud management – including OpenStack – will be in-demand. “As enterprises move OpenStack deployments out of a testing environment into a realtime, enterprise deployment environment, they need to be able to manage it. This year, Red Hat debuted CloudForms 3.0 with OpenStack management capabilities, and we are looking forward to developing those capabilities further in 2014. Looking at current data and analyst reports, cloud management is cited as the number one problem enterprises face when they are looking to mobilize their cloud computing resources. 2014 will be the year where large-scale cloud deployments are managed with enterprise-class cloud management solutions, such as Red Hat CloudForms.” – Bryan Che, general manager, Red Hat CloudForms

Continued reinforcement of PaaS and OpenStack interoperability. “In 2014, interoperability between Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) offerings and OpenStack will continue to be reinforced. Many people believe OpenStack will replace PaaS. In reality, the two are complementary – PaaS generates workloads, while OpenStack offers a place to store them. We’re going to continue to work toward tighter integration and better operability between PaaS and OpenStack.” – Chuck Dubuque, director, Product Marketing, Virtualization and OpenStack, Red Hat

Building the Industry’s Broadest OpenStack Ecosystem: A Decade in the Making [Red Hat press release, Feb 18, 2014]

Red Hat OpenStack Cloud Infrastructure Partner Network team

For those of us in the technology industry, it is sometimes difficult to take a moment to think about the impact and scale of the work that we accomplish on a day-to-day basis. While we are all lucky to be in an amazingly innovative and fast paced industry, it is important to spend a reflective moment or two to gain some perspective on the projects that we work on at our respective companies and in our open communities.

At Red Hat, we have been working steadily to help bring OpenStack from a project to a product for nearly two years. As you would expect, our efforts span the spectrum from contributors and developers across every key OpenStack.org project to enabling our partners and customers with enterprise-grade OpenStack products designed to help them take their computing infrastructure to the cloud.

A key aspect of the inherent value proposition that Red Hat brings to the table is our co-investment with partners in making sure that our products work together as expected, and are supported in a collaborative and well understood manner to reduce customer complexity. This technology certification is an important element that has helped build Red Hat into one of the world’s most trusted brands.

Over the next few months, at Red Hat Summit and at the OpenStack Summit in Atlanta, you’ll hear more from Red Hat on our incredible momentum and progress as we bring OpenStack to global partners and customers around the globe. In the meantime, I’d like to take an opportunity to reflect on our ecosystem progress to date.

In April 2013, we announced the creation of the Red Hat OpenStack Cloud Infrastructure Partner Network at the OpenStack Summit in Portland, Oregon. Since that time, we’ve been impressed with the growth and energy with participants from all over the globe, representing all industries and covering all types of technologies.

In June 2013, we launched Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform, and along with it, our first set of certifications focused on Compute, Storage and Networking. Behind the scenes, our teams worked closely with hundreds of partners to develop testing and automation tools, exchanged ideas and feedback on the process, and created the entire infrastructure necessary to build collaborative support agreements for our customers.

Many of these relationships with our OEM, ISV, IHV and SI partners have been established over years of work together. My colleague Gordon Haff just published a great article reflecting on how OpenStack is paralleling the adoption of Linux in the enterprise. It’s true.

More than a decade’s experience in bringing customers true choice has taught us many things. It showed us that our ongoing commitment to maintaining several multifaceted customer benefits, including a long and stable product lifecycle; tested and secure enterprise-grade solutions; and robust integration through standard interfaces and APIs, helped make Linux enterprise-ready. We’re bringing that same know-how to OpenStack.

It also taught us that creating a tightly coupled and certified solution means more than a press release. It requires deep commitment to rolling up your sleeves and working with engineering teams on real technical issues and repeating that process build after build.

Our partners understand what it takes to make commercially viable solutions. A platform is only as good as the applications, solutions and technologies that work with it, and we are proud of how strong our ecosystem of partners has become.

Led by our Alliance PartnersCisco, Dell, IBM, and Intel – we have seen hundreds of systems and thousands of applications moving towards certification on the Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform. Our commitment here does not waver as we work across competitive boundaries with many companies in building a broad range of enterprise solutions.

In November 2013 at the OpenStack Summit in Hong Kong we expanded our certification scope to include other OpenStack services, offered additional partner benefits for system integrators, MSPs and cloud providers, and enhanced Red Hat Marketplace. It was a proud moment when we were able to announce that in only seven months, we had built the industry’s largest OpenStack ecosystem in support of commercial deployments.

With all of the investments we made in 2013 in our OpenStack ecosystem and certification programs, it may seem as if we just started to build these Red Hat Cloud Infrastructure Partner Network efforts. It wasn’t. The truth is that the foundation for this momentum was laid out 12 years ago when Red Hat first launched Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

Trust is the core for everything that we do; it is our model, and our open approach. While OpenStack as a set of technologies may be new, the relationships with our partners, the excitement of our customers, and the energy within our company to work together to build the next generation of trusted computing is well established and energized. We look forward to a 2014 filled with exciting product, program and partnership announcements.

I invite you to join us at Red Hat Summit in April, and the OpenStack Summit in May, to hear more about our vision and continued momentum.

Microsoft partners empowered with ‘cloud first’, high-value and next-gen experiences for big data, enterprise social, and mobility on wide variety of Windows devices and Windows Server + Windows Azure + Visual Studio as the platform

… even non-Microsoft devices are supported as Android and Apple phones are embraced as well 

Preliminary information from this same ‘Experiencing the Cloud’ blog:
Windows Embedded is an enterprise business now, like the whole Windows business, with Handheld and Compact versions to lead in the overall Internet of Things market as well [June 8, 2013]
Proper Oracle Java, Database and WebLogic support in Windows Azure including pay-per-use licensing via Microsoft + the same Oracle software supported on Microsoft Hyper-V as well [June 25, 2013]
Windows 8.1: Mind boggling opportunities, finally some appreciation by the media [June 27, 2013]
Windows Azure becoming an unbeatable offering on the cloud computing market [June 28, 2013] Important note: Samsung was complete missing from device OEM roundup of Day 1 keynote despite of its leadership ATIV Q, ATIV Tab 3 and ATIV One 5 Style devices.  It is not by accident as according to Intel’s tablet challenge: How Israel helped lay the foundations of its Samsung-led fightback [ZDNet, July 9, 2013]:
Intel, along with Samsung and other companies, are betting that the public is going to go for a new breed of device — two in one devices, which be switched between tablet and laptop mode, running both Android (when separated from the keyboard/base) and Windows 8 Pro (when attached).

Brief subject summary:

  • industry megatrends:
    – [MS leading the enterprise cloud era] cloud,
    – [MS has unmatched offerings, unmatched insight] big data,
    – [MS solution is woved in, not forced] enterprise social, and
    – [MS has best devices for doers, best tools to manage] mobility
  • Partners going ‘cloud first’ with Windows Azure
  • Microsoft unique point of view: delivering high-value experiences through our software value-added devices and experiences
  • support non-Microsoft devices: embrace Android and Apple phones
  • new user experience design [partner] competency [to be launched in January]
  • Windows 8.1:
    one modern and complete experience across the devices that matter today
    – the best of the modern UI and the best of the desktop UI brought together in a harmonized way
    multitasking on one or any number of screens to increase productivity in a workstation like way
  • Windows 8/8.1 devices:
    – Windows Embedded 8
    – large-format touch, or the all-in-one (also as a desktop replacement)
    – ultimately thin and light ultrabook
    – tablet with touch, and convertible form factors
    – docking tablet (also as a desktop replacement)
    – waterproof tablet
    – tablet with ink/stylus
    – ruggedized tablet
    – “one-handed Windows”
    – thinnest and lightest tablet with ARM
    – phones
    – innovation: in hinge, in screen quality, in combined desktop replacement/home device/flat tablet mode
  • Self-service BI with Power BI for Office 365 Preview: next giant leap via building into Excel and SharePoint data discovery, data navigation, visualization, collaboration, and enterprise features around auditability
  • Application development: sea change with Windows Server + Windows Azure + Visual Studio as the development platform
    – “A platform that is capable of both infrastructure as a service and platform as a services (IaaS + PaaS)”
    – “That means any mission-critical Web application you want to build, any mobile front-end you want to build, where you’re automating a business process with a mobile front-end; any cloud service you want to build, you want to have this rich capability of both infrastructure as a service and a platform as a service”
    – “And you want to be able to deliver that, by the way, in both Windows Azure, as well as on Windows Server. So that symmetry of development runtime is also very important, and that’s what we’re building out.”
    Visual Studio 2013 Preview availability announcement
    SQL Services, or SQL Database Premium Services for Windows Azure announcement: “unique already with the fact that we have a PaaS-based SQL Service”
  • Cloud infrastructure: “No one else in the industry, neither Amazon nor VMware can promise or deliver this level of consistency, this level of mission-critical readiness because of the battle testing of all the diverse set of first-party workloads.”

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From: Jon Roskill: Worldwide Partner Conference 2013 Introduction [Speech transcript, July 8, 2013]

JON ROSKILL: Now let’s turn our attention and look forward, because while WPC is about celebrating, it’s also about us coming together to build our business plans together for the next year and kick off the fiscal year. That’s what WPC is all about.
And we’ve made a few changes in WPC, some of which you’ve already noticed as you look at things we’ve done in MPN today, but changes based on your feedback.
One of the key ones we’ve made is in the keynotes. You guys told us that you needed to have all of the product strategy upfront in order to be able to go and build your business plans over the remaining days. And so we’ve taken the day two keynote and the day one keynotes, and we’ve combined them together into a WPC day one supersession. So that’s what we’re going to do this morning.
Then you have day two fully open to go and do networking, go to sessions, and build out those business plans.
And then on day three we’ll come back together here with me, Kevin Turner. And then Wednesday night we will celebrate. And boy, are we going to have an amazing celebration. And by Wednesday night I’m going to be so excited to go crowd surfing with you guys.
We’ve also made this year ‘s WPC, we’ve built it around a customer-centric notion, customers at the center of WPC. And we’ve done that by basing WPC around these four industry megatrends: mobility, enterprise social, cloud, and big data. These are trends that are relevant every day to customers, and they’re driving demand for all of our solutions. So you’re going to see these four trends reflected not just in the keynotes and the sessions, but also in the expo across the commons, in the BG areas, et cetera.
Windows 8 takes center stage at Worldwide Partner Conference [Blogging Windows blog, July 8, 2013]
At Microsoft’s annual Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) in Houston, Texas, executives discussed the company’s approach to services and devices. Tami Reller, Windows chief marketing officer and chief financial officer, announced that Windows 8.1 release to manufacturing (RTM) will be available for original equipment manufacturer (OEM) partners in late August, so they can prepare Windows 8.1 devices just in time for the holidays.

New Power BI solution for Office 365 delivers self-service business intelligence on nearly any device [The Fire Hose blog from Microsoft]

Today, at the Worldwide Partner Conference, Microsoft announced a new offering: Power BI for Office 365 – a cloud-based business intelligence (BI) solution that enables customers to easily gain insights from their data, working within Excel to analyze and visualize the data in a self-service way.

Developments from Worldwide Partner Conference: Partners can go ‘cloud first’ with Windows Azure [Windows Azure blog, July 8, 2013]
At Day 1 of the Worldwide Partner Conference, Microsoft made several announcements that highlight new ways for our partners and customers to embrace cloud computing using the Windows Azure platform.
Partners in the cloud for modern business [The Official Microsoft Blog, July 8, 2013]
From the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) in Houston, Texas, Microsoft President of Server and Tools Business Satya Nadella announced new programs and services that are designed to help Microsoft partners and customers embrace the challenges and opportunities associated with cloud computing and big data. One such program, Cloud OS Accelerate, brings together Microsoft and key partners – Cisco, NetApp, Hitachi Data Systems, HP and Dell – who will invest more than $100 million to help put thousands of new private and hybrid cloud solutions into the hands of customers.
Partners: Want higher profits and faster growth? Sell cloud solutions, new IDC study says [Microsoft press release, July 8, 2013]
Today from the Worldwide Partner Conference in Houston, Microsoft released a new study from IDC that shows partners selling cloud-based solutions benefit from higher gross profit, more new customers, higher revenue per employee and faster overall business growth. The study also revealed customer buying preferences that highlight the importance of the role of partners in the overall industry cloud transition.
Microsoft survey reveals SMB and enterprise opportunities for partners [Microsoft press release, July 9, 2013]
IPSOS study released at Worldwide Partner Conference highlights utilization of social tools and showcases opportunities for partners.

Windows Embedded partners to join Microsoft Partner Network [Microsoft feature story, July 9, 2013]

Resources will strengthen opportunities in rapidly growing intelligent systems market.


Details

Steve Ballmer at the Day 1 Keynote [msPartner YouTube channel, July 8, 2013]

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer provided opening remarks at the WPC 2013 Day 1 keynote.

From: Steve Ballmer: Worldwide Partner Conference 2013 Keynote [Speech transcript, July 8, 2013]

… There’s 15,000 of you here in the room today, and to all of you I want to start with a simple message of thanks. Thanks for your support, thanks for your good work, and thank you every day for taking care of our customers. (Applause.) We have a total of 750,000 partners around the world, but about 90 percent of the revenue that we do is actually represented in some way, shape or form with the partners who are here today: systems integration partners, resale partners, hardware partners, development partners, software partners, cloud partners, framing partners, distribution partners. The range in breadth of the activities in which you engage are amazing. This year, our partners in aggregate had really quite a good year. Growth in the businesses from our partners was about 6.5 percent year over year, but on a base of $650 billion. That’s the total revenue of our partner network, $650 billion, and you still manage to grow at 6.5 percent. Congratulations everybody. (Applause.) …
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We spend a lot of time as a leadership team thinking about the remaking of Microsoft. About a year ago in our annual report, we talked about the move from being a “software company” to a “devices and services company.” What that really means? It means that the world, and I’ve been saying this at our partner conferences here for a while, the world we grew up in was a world of software. When I dropped out of school and joined Microsoft, I had to explain to my mother and father what software was and why I was joining a software company. That was a long time ago.

And software development, I believe, is still the most valuable skill that anybody on the planet can possibly have. And yet the way in which software innovation gets really packaged and presented now is through a set of devices that include the software, and through a set of cloud services that deliver that software.

Just about six or seven years ago, I started talking about the cloud here at WPC. And it was highly unpopular the first time I talked about it, because it looked like an end around. And yet I think today everybody understands that this is the future of innovation. Even Windows, if you think about it, has really always been much more of a device than a piece of software.
Windows defined a class of devices called the PC. And we are certainly incredibly determined to have Windows define new classes of devices, tablets, phones, two-in-ones, living room devices, defined by Windows as a piece of software, but purchased and implemented by our partners as tested software. So we’re in the transformation from delivering our software value one way to delivering it in a new form, and we need our partners to come with us on that journey, whether you design and build computers, whether you deliver systems integration services, whether you provide custom development, there’s a place in this journey for all of us.

At Microsoft we say, what’s our unique point of view. Our unique point of view is on delivering high-value experiences through our software value-added devices and experiences. We think we understand the tools, the technologies that it takes to help people get work done better than anybody else on the planet, whether you are an employee, whether you are a customer or a trading partner, whether you are an IT person or a developer, we build experience that help people get stuff done. You need to do a piece of analysis, we’re going to have the best tools, the best devices and services for helping people do analysis. You want to participate in a virtual meeting, nobody is going to give you a better experience to participate in a virtual meeting than Microsoft does. You want to ensure information integrity in your customer, because no matter what happens with consumerization, it’s still the IT department that has to protect the integrity and value of corporate information. We together understand these things, and we together, Microsoft and our partners, will deliver the devices and services that really bring these things alive when people want to be productive.

Now, we have another side of ourselves at Microsoft, too. That’s the fun side. I refer to it as serious fun, because unless you’re hardcore about fun, the Xbox probably hasn’t been the product for you. But when it’s serious fun, or serious business, we’re going to make sure that we provide the core experiences through our devices and services, and through the value add of people in this room to really bring that alive. That’s not easy. It takes a lot of core technology investment in operating systems, in user interface, and particularly now natural user interface, in machine learning, in cloud infrastructure.


So what is on our customer’s mind? These are the four big trends that I think in particular our IT customers, but businesses in general, want to speak with us about every day. They come to us and they say, what about the cloud? They say it to you. They say it to us. They say, hey, I hear about big data, or I understand big data, or I’m afraid I’m missing out on big data, how are you going to help me get there, they’ll say to the two of us.

Social, part of the consumerization theme of the day is how do we apply techniques and software services that people get to know in their personal lives, how do we apply those to enable business productivity? And we’re going to show you a lot today of what we’re doing with social so that people can come together in what I would call human ways to do superhuman tasks at their work.

And last, but certainly not least, is mobility. I get to do something that the rest of you don’t do, because I sit on the stage, I get to count the number of mobile devices that go up for pictures and various other things during my speech. We’re at about 25 percent would be my gauge this year. I’m sure everybody has got a mobile device with them, but what it says is that the range of applications of mobility just continues to increase. And I want you to really understand just how rich our mobile offering has become, both in terms of the Windows devices that you can use as part of your solution, and the work that we are doing to support some non-Windows devices. So let me dive into each of these in turn.

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First is the cloud, the cloud remains a little bit of an amorphous thing. But, at the end of the day, the task of the cloud probably means, and it might be 5 years, 10 years, 15 years, 20 years, it is really a path that leads for almost all companies to the public cloud. And that puts a lot of pressure on providers, whether it’s Microsoft, folks we compete with, our service provider partners, it puts a lot of pressure on us to make sure that we have world-class scaled, low-cost, low latency, high-bandwidth cloud infrastructure across the world. How do we, from a public cloud application, deliver with incredibly low-latency and with exactly the right data security and privacy and protection? How do we deliver information, whether it’s in the U.S., or Australia, or China, or Malaysia, or any place else in the world? And we are investing in that infrastructure.
We actually started the investment process in that infrastructure in order to support our own applications, to support Bing, to support Office 365. And what we would tell you is that our cloud infrastructure, Azure, is being proven out, is being battle tested, and is being advanced on the backbone of our own first-party applications, but then that infrastructure, that Azure infrastructure, is there for all of you to use, to deliver solutions to your customers.
I claim there really are almost no companies in the world, just a handful, that are really investing in scaled public cloud infrastructure. We have something over a million servers in our datacenter infrastructure. Google is bigger than we are. Amazon is a little bit smaller. You get Yahoo! and Facebook, and then everybody else is 100,000 units probably or less. So the number of companies that really understand the network topology, the datacenter construction, the server requirements to build this public cloud infrastructure is very, very small, very small. And the number of companies that are at the same time seriously investing in the private cloud, which is not going away, and in these hybrid clouds is really just one and that’s us. We are building in a compatible way private cloud infrastructure based on Windows Server, and public cloud infrastructure based on Windows Azure, and we will talk to you about that today.
Sixty-three percent of customers surveyed will say they really want a single vendor who can provide them both public cloud and private cloud. We think we are the only solution and certainly the best solution for customers who want that. We continue to advance with our cloud applications, our Bing search service has made progress each and every month, improving not only its market-share and its quality, but also the speed and performance with which we deliver our results, which should be a key indication to you on just how rich our cloud infrastructure is.
Through your good work our Office 365 service has literally exploded. For the last few years we were saying SharePoint was the No. 1 fastest growing product at Microsoft. Then it was Lync, the No. 1 fastest growing product at Microsoft. Through your good work it’s Office 365. And what all of that means is our mutual customers are ready for the cloud, and our product line is ready for the cloud. People want full, familiar, world-class productivity tools in the cloud. Only we give people those tools that really let you get work done. There are pretenders who come from the consumer world, but there’s only one set of tools for your business customers who really need a productive, high-security, high-reliability, infrastructure in the cloud for their applications.

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No. 2, big data, big data is I think one of the areas that is still very, very early actually in its exploitation. Big data means a lot of things to a lot of people, and it’s very important that we continue to push forward on these big data themes. You’re going to see demonstrations today of some of our tools, some of the work that we’ve done with Excel, and SQL Server, I guarantee you for people who have a lot of data, there is no question that the No. 1 sort of most familiar, easy-to-use toolset to get insight out of data comes from Excel and SQL Server.
Ninety percent, literally, of the world’s data, this is a very interesting fact, ninety percent of the world’s data has actually been created in the last two years, 90 percent of all of the online data in the world in the last two years. What it says is there’s an explosion in this data. And so tools that let people mine it, get insights from it, and understanding from it are essential. We’re going to show you a demonstration of some of the things that you can do with our big data and BI suite later on today that I think will absolutely blow your mind.
But, we’re also providing you with the infrastructure that lets you build out automated solutions for your customers, because over time most of the value in big data will actually be in having the data learn from itself and take automated actions on our joint customers behalf. We’re building out our Hadoop infrastructure on Azure, so that you can do a mix of things with structured and unstructured data. We are certainly doing a lot of work on SQL Azure, so that you can access the structured data in the cloud. Because of our investment in Bing, we know we have a lot of data. We are putting that data in a structured form, where you can use it as part of the applications you deliver.
One of the key things that we showed at our developer conference a couple of weeks ago in Windows 8.1 is the way we’re starting to take entities that Bing understands and make them part of a platform for you to use as developers in your applications.
Last but not least is the Azure Data Marketplace. There is going to be a lot of data that people are going to want to use inside their applications that don’t actually live inside the enterprises you serve. If you want to write a forecasting application for one of your customers that forecasts how many raincoats they need in each of their retail stores, I guarantee you the weather data is a helpful input. And yet most of our joint customers don’t keep the weather data in their enterprise systems. And so we want to let you mix and match public data and private data. We want you to be able to bring that data together in structured and unstructured ways. We want to bring it together in ways in which humans get the insights, and we want to give you the machine-learning infrastructure so that the computers themselves can actually help your customers respond to their customers in real time. The work we’re doing here you’ll hear about throughout the morning, and particularly the demonstrations you’ll see I think will really bring these things alive.

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Social. Some people think social is one product. I don’t. Social is a way of working. How do four of us come together and collaborate on a project? How do we collaborate if we work in the same company? How do we collaborate if we work in different companies? How do I reach you if you are in my customer base and I want to do a seminar for you? Or I want to put on and have an event where we communicate real time? All of these are social activities that are involved in business. So it’s people to people, it’s people to businesses, it’s employees to employees, it’s all of the constituents, consumers, employees, customers, and partners. How do you bring them together naturally? Sometimes you want to do that on a real-time basis, and sometimes you want to be able to do that in a way in which people can participate asynchronously.
I’m glad to have 15,000 people here today, but many more people will watch the video of this section in our partner community around the world. And it’s part of, if you will, the social infrastructure, letting people participate the way they want when they want. And we’ve woven this into the fabric of everything we do. Windows devices come from the get-go with integrated communications and social capabilities like Skype. Skype and Lync are being brought together to allow the consumer and the businessperson to interact together in real time.
We continue to push forward in Outlook, adding more social capabilities directly into the e-mail client that is the base station from which most of us would communicate with other people. We acquired Yammer over a year ago, and you’ll see the way we’re using Yammer both inside companies and now enabling it to stretch between companies and their partners to involve real-time communication that feels very much like what somebody would do on Twitter or Facebook, but in a productivity context. We continue to push SharePoint social capabilities forward, and even in our Dynamics product line, even when we’re talking about line of business process, it is very important to collect the information from the social realm, and to be able to let people in formal line of business processes actually connect to social environments. And we’re going to show you some of that later on in the demonstration.

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Last but not least is mobility. This is an area where we’ve made huge strides in the last year. I had a chance to beat my chest a little bit, get excited about Windows Phone, but we’re also going to show you today what we’ve done with Windows 8.1, and what our hardware partners have done with Windows devices. You can buy beautiful Windows devices today in so many different shapes and forms. Windows PCs, everybody has a notion of what we mean by a Windows PC. But we’re going to show you small Windows tablets. They’re still all Windows all the time, but they’re hard to mistake for a PC.
We’ll show you Windows two-in-ones, devices, which depending on how you configure them at any time will feel like a PC or can feel like a tablet. I happen to think this will be the most popular configuration for business people because they’ll want the ability to seamlessly go back and forth between their productive life, their consumptive life, and their personal life.
I talked about Windows Phone. You’re going to get a chance to see the Surface. Hopefully many of you will choose to pick one up, but what we’re doing with Surface I think is also amazing. We’re trying to really lead the way on products like Surface Pro, and the use of the pen, which I think is pretty fundamental in mobility.
While we’re making these investments in sort of Windows mobile form factors, if you will, we also continue to do work to support non-Microsoft devices. You’ve seen us certainly move with SkyDrive, with Lync, with OneNote, with a number of our offerings to embrace Android and Apple phones. We’re going to show you some technology today for managing mobile devices that apply outside the Microsoft sphere. So our mobility strategy, as centered as it may feel in our Windows devices, and they are beautiful, and they are the most productive, for those people who just don’t happen to have one, we’ll also show you a little bit of some of the technology that we’ll give you so you can stay well anchored in Windows and Active Directory as the center point for managing devices of all shapes, sizes and forms.

At the end of the day we may see ourselves focusing on high-value experiences, and our customers may ask us collectively about cloud, and big data, and mobility, and social, but at the end of the day we deliver to you some products. And with those products in hand you turn around and try to serve our joint customers.
Windows, we’ll show you 8.1 and I couldn’t be more pleased with the progress. Windows Phone, if you haven’t checked it out recently you must. Surface, I hope you get the opportunity to delve in and really explore at the partner conference. Office 365, including Yammer, and Skype, and Lync, and SharePoint and Excel, and BI, and all of these phenomenal capabilities, the footprint of what you can do with Office is continuously expanding. And when you leave here, we want to make sure you leave here understanding completely the breadth of footprint that Office is embracing. Windows Azure, and when I say Azure today I include Windows Server, and the full on-premise product line. Your ability to go out and articulate a hybrid cloud story with Windows Server, SQL Server, and Windows Azure is incredibly important to us. So we are going to try to equip you to do that by the time you’re done today.
And then last, but not least, is Dynamics. Dynamics continues to evolve in its footprint, in its embrace of the cloud. Dynamics is an amazing business for Microsoft. I’ll bet we get less PR on the business that is billions of dollars for Microsoft, and where we probably have the most loyal committed partner base in the world, and the most loyal committed customer base. And for those of you who have not come back and looked recently at the amazing work that we’re doing in business applications I hope you’ll feel enthused to go do that by the end of the day.

We will only succeed as a company if we arm you to go approach these challenges. You need to see these products. You need to understand their potential. You need to believe that they can help you serve our joint customers. You need to know each other. Some of you are experts in hardware. Some of you are experts in systems integration, some are developers, some are resellers. Bringing you all together and equipping you with the common base, so you understand where we’re going, what we’re doing, and collectively how we can serve our joint customers that’s what WPC is all about, and if we take advantage of this opportunity and certainly with the phenomenal product lineup that we have today, and we’ll roll out over the next month, we know absolutely that we can succeed together.
Thank you all very much and enjoy WPC.

Windows 8.1 Product Enhancements [msPartner YouTube channel, July 9, 2013]

Tami Reller, CVP and CFO, Windows and Windows Live, provided updates and demos of Windows 8.1.

See also: Windows at WPC 2013 [Blogging Windows, July 8, 2013]
From: Tami Reller: Worldwide Partner Conference 2013 Keynote [Speech transcript, July 8, 2013]

Tami Reller: … everything that we are talking about today is anchored by this idea that we can do something that no other company can. And that is one modern and complete experience across the devices that matter today. Your experience, your data, everything can travel with you. And it’s connected through this trusted foundation of Windows. This is one experience that is unique to Windows, but it’s also uniquely yours.
I mean, we know that when a customer chooses an Apple product, they get a device that reflects Apple. When you choose an Android device, you get a device that reflects a dizzying number of points of view. But when you choose a Windows device, you get a device that reflects you.
Start a Word document from your laptop, then easily finish it on a Windows Phone. You get music, video, and games from Xbox. The best of the Web with Internet Explorer. The best cloud storage in SkyDrive. And of course the best way to stay connected, Skype. And the absolute best in productivity with Office. All of this across every device providing the most complete experience from the start.
Well, we’re believers, continue to be believers that user experience and the design is going to continue to be an important differentiator for Microsoft, and it’s also going to continue to be an important differentiator for the experiences that you are building for customers.
What we’re finding is that businesses are seeking trusted partners who can not only write great code, that’s critical of course, but they can also design beautiful and engaging experiences for customers.
Apps that are better designed, they absolutely achieve better ratings in the Windows store, and even equally as important, they are more engaging for customers, and they deliver greater monetization opportunities.
So to support all of this, I’m excited to announce that in January we will be launching a new [partner] competency: The user experience design competency. And the whole idea behind this competency is to give you the best way to train your designers and to get recognized for your expertise with the Microsoft design language and user experience for app building.
This competency will provide your designers with training and certification and gives your firm a head start in building great apps, and we think will help you recruit the best people. So I hope you’re as excited about this as we are, look for this in January.

So we’ve been talking about devices and services for about a year now. And while so much of the opportunity that we see for us and that we see for you is still ahead, there’s a lot of great momentum to talk about.
Let’s take, for example, Windows Phone, which Steve did such a great job talking about. Our sales are growing six times faster than the overall smartphone market. Safe to say that we are now officially the third ecosystem in mobility. (Applause.) Thank you. Thank you.
Windows. We are moving forward. Steve did a great job talking about that. We’re moving forward, and you heard us talk about 100 million licenses. I can also report that we have over 20 million enterprise evaluations. So great in consumer and a lot of enterprise traction starting.
And Windows 8, so far, has logged 60 billion hours of use. And our new customer activation continues at a consistent pace.
Office. It’s a great example of a product that is used multiple times every day and it is known and loved by more than a billion people. The new Office is our fastest-selling release in history. Worldwide, one copy is sold every second.
Additionally, one out of four enterprise customers are already on Office 365. And I love this next statistic. Partners lead three out of four enterprise Office 365 deployments, three out of four, great opportunity. Thank you so much for your role in moving businesses to the cloud. (Applause.)
Amazing momentum on Skype. More than 300 million people use Skype each month. And that’s a service that can see up to two billion minutes of use per day on some peak days.

So how our products come together really starts with the experience. And people are using our products as part of everyday life. Important parts of their life. And Steve talked about this as well.
So I have this short video that I think does a great job of showing what we mean by this. Take a look.
(Break for video segment.) [6:40 … 7:10 essentially for Office 365]
… [Office 365: complete Office in the cloud … this is the Office enhancement … +extension to the Open program … +investment in partner enablement]
… [Windows Phone: Lumias … suitable to build end-to-end enterprise solutions … tools to build enterprise solutions]
… [xBox: … newest xBox One …]
… [Surface and Surface Pro: … hand down more productive than iPad … better with Windows 8.1 …]
… [Windows: … mobility is top for CIOs … Windows 8 tablets are best for the business … SkyDrive … destination for developers … more than 100,000 apps … LOB customers need partners … 2 out of 3 enterprise enterprise organizations are investing today in mobile applications … great UI enhancements, great usability functionality … migration from XP opportunity … Windows Accelerate program continued … new Touch Win program incentives directly to authorized distributors as well as reseller partners …]
… [Windows 8.1: … 900 continuous improvements and hundreds of updates to our inbox apps … represents responsiveness, it represents rapid timeframe … feel natural on everything from a small tablet to a large work station …]


[21:18 Jensen Harris showing Windows 8.1 via a jam-packed demo here for the next few minutes, including some things that we have never publicly shown before]

… [Nokia Lumia 925 8-inch Acer Iconia W3 … in landscape games and productivity … +optimized Windows 8.1 specifically for portrait for working great on these small tablets e.g. Reading List, ergonomics …  ]
Now I’m going to move over here to a Surface and I’m going to show you one of the most important near features in 8.1. Every month, 20 billion searches are performed just in the United States on Windows PCs — 20 billion searches every month. We looked at this as an opportunity to say if we made search better in this product, we would be making 20 billion things every month better for people. And so we’ve introduced search in 8.1.
… [search hero: … curated, built-on-the-fly app that brings together information from Bing, information from your PC, files from the cloud, things from the Web, and puts it all together in one view … integrated with Maps functionality…]
… [xBoxMusic app: … redesigned totally to make it fast, to make it efficient, and to focus on your collection of music …]
[Dell all-in-one, 27 inches with touch the world’s best Skype device, a Windows 8.1 PC … Start screen changes: all the things that you love on one screen … new personalization options … multiselect … Reading List … SkyDrive … picture editing built-in … a lot of new [built-in] apps: e.g. Food & Drink … hands-free mode … Windows Store big-big update: e.g. recommendation engine built one Bing … … OneNote syncing with SkyDrive …]
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[Surface Pro: “play to Xbox One” … Miracast built-in … OneNote
Windows Phone: OneNote syncing with SkyDrive
]
… [desktop PC: … doesn’t need touch …bring together the best of the modern UI and the best of the desktop UI and harmonize them in Windows 8.1 … Start button .. enterprise cosumer dashboard … productivity (… multitasking) taken to next level: e.g. new version of Outlook … ]
Suddenly, I have something that is starting to look like a very productive work station. And I can move these windows around, I can put them where I want. We have maximize, we have resize, and all of a sudden you start to realize that there’s more than one way of doing awesome productivity. This uses all the pixels on my PC.
And on this sort of smallish monitor, I can fit three. But if I had something like a 2550 x 1440 monitor, I could show four apps on the screen at once. And all of a sudden, now you’re way more productive than you could have been on the desktop. You’ve got your Twitter feed, you’ve got your full running mail app, you’ve got multiple browser windows or multiple mails up at once.
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And it gets even better. If I attach a second monitor, then suddenly I can do the same thing on multiple monitors at once. So I have any collection of apps across my monitors in any configuration I want, any size I want, blending desktop and modern apps across my screens. I can bring the Start screen up on one and just leave it, and this doesn’t just work for two monitors, it works for three, four, five, six, seven, as many as I have. And so this sort of shows the power of Windows 8.1 and the modern UI even on a desktop engineering workstation making you more productive.

[1:02:06]


Tami Reller
: … I’m also quite happy to be able to confirm today that Windows 8.1 will be available for our OEM partners in late August. Meaning that holiday devices, many of them will have Windows 8.1. So late August available to OEMs. So very pleased to confirm that today.

What better timing to talk about our OEM devices? We’d like to do that. Please help me welcome to the stage Nick Parker. To do that, I’d like to open with a little video, a commercial we have on air that shows just why Windows 8 tablets are so special.

(Windows tablet commercial video.) [1:04:05 … 1:04:35 essentially iPad 32 GB $599 vs. Windows Tablet $299 (Dell XPS 10 32GB) Limited time offer at Dell.com]

Dell Tablet vs. iPad [WindowsVideos YouTube channel, June 13, 2013] here the limited time offer at the end stands at $399
See how the Dell XPS 10 with Windows RT stacks up against the iPad. Check out more at http://windows.com/compare

Nick Parker:

… Windows Storage Server: e.g. Western Digital Sentinel, a 16-terabyte small business server … Windows Embedded 8: e.g. IEI [?Institute for Emerging Issues?] display panel … large-format touch, or the all-in-one: e.g. Dell XPS 18 also as a desktop replacement … ultrabook: e.g. the world’s thinnest and lightest one Sony VAIO Pro 13 … tablets with touch, and convertible form factors: e.g. Lenovo Helix … tablet with stylus … docking tablet, also as a desktop replacement: e.g. Latitude 10Fujitsu Arrows Tab waterproof tablet … Hewlett Packard ElitePad 900 the choice of Emirates Air for their in-flight device, also with a very innovative sleeve … Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2 , not just a small app running a stylus capability, but ink immersed as part of your input mechanism … Panasonic FZ-G1, the Panasonic Toughpad ruggedized computer … Acer W3 one-handed Windows … thinnest and the lightest tablet that you can get, as well as having all-day battery and integrated 4G, and those are capabilities built on the ARM platform: Asus VivoTab RT … phones: Nokia 925 and Nokia 520innovation: Acer Aspire R7 with innovation in hinge, Toshiba KIRAbook a 221-pixels-per-inch device, HP Rove the 20-inch IPS all-in-one for both desktop replacements as well as great home devices + complete flat tabletop mode for using an application that’s maybe multi-orientational …

[1:22:24]

Note that Samsung was complete missing from this device OEM roundup despite of its leadership ATIV Q, ATIV Tab 3 and ATIV One 5 Style devices, as you could read in 20 years of Samsung “New Management” as manifested by the latest, June 20th GALAXY & ATIV innovations [‘Experiencing the Cloud, July 2-5, 2013]

Satya Nadella about Platform, Infrastructure, and Applications [msPartner YouTube channel, July 8, 2013] 

Satya Nadella, President of Server and Tools, speaks about the enterprise.

From: Satya Nadella: Worldwide Partner Conference 2013 Keynote [Speech transcript, July 8, 2013] 

… <before that: how to enable dynamic business … demoed across Office 365, Dynamics CRM Online Windows Intune, and System Center Configuration Manager, and Azure Active Directory … >
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[30:08] When you think about having lots of data and having lots of rich processing capabilities, the next step is to be able to empower your end users with the best tools to drive insights. This is where we collectively have really created one of the most amazing phenomena when it comes to BI with self-service BI. We took the most ubiquitous tool around data in Excel, combined it with the power of SQL Analysis Services, and started the self-service BI revolution, and especially in combination with SharePoint, we really have done a fantastic job of driving insight at the edge of all data, big or small.
Today I’m really pleased to announce the next giant leap, if you will, when it comes to self-service BI. We are announcing Power BI for Office 365 Preview. It takes all of the rich capabilities around data discovery, data navigation, visualization, collaboration, enterprise features around auditability, taking all of that, building it right into Excel and SharePoint, so that every user has friction-free access to it. They’re also delivering all of the rich cloud capabilities that power this natively in Azure. So that means all of the SQL analysis capabilities that power this experience are all there natively in the cloud.
So to show you a glimpse of what this new solution, Power BI for Office 365, can do I wanted to invite up on stage Amir Netz.
Amir.

Power BI Demo [msPartner YouTube channel, July 8, 2013] for those who want to watch only this part, watch especially from [8:10] on especially (incredible demo/performance)

Amir Netz demonstrates the new Power BI
AMIR NETZ: Thank you, Satya.
Power BI brings self-service analytics to the cloud and the power of the cloud directly into Excel. It opens amazing new ways for users to connect with data. So let’s take a look. We have here on the screen our Excel 2013. And I want to create a report about our datacenters. I don’t have the data. With Power BI we can actually go and find the data that we need. You see here online search, I am going to use it to go and find the data for my report.
I’m going to type in my search query and just here within Excel Power BI is searching for millions of public data tables, and finding the data that I might need. It comes from Wikipedia, it comes from the marketplace, it comes from Bing, but because I’m a Microsoft employee I’m also getting data not just from the public data sources, I’m also getting data from my enterprise data assets. Those were mapped into the catalogue of Power BI. So here we see a table from my data warehouse, and I can go and add that table to my Excel, and just like that Power BI connects and aligns the data directly to my sheet just like that. It’s so easy.
Now I want to create my report. I’m going to go and use PowerView. It’s also integrated into Excel 2013. So let’s go and create a nice report here. We’re going to take a look at the   let’s take the location of the datacenter, the square footage of the datacenter, let’s make it a bit larger. It’s Excel 2013 so we can just convert it immediately to a map. We can go and categorize my datacenters by generation. Just with a few clicks, a beautiful report and it’s not the only report I have here in my workbook. I have a couple more.
So this report here shows me the storage of Azure, just an amazing explanation of the growth in the business. This one here shows me the subscriber’s growth in the business. You see almost 200 percent in just over a year. I mean I can slice and dice and look at segments of users, and see the growth there. So I have this beautiful report, interactive, and I want to share it with other people and to do that I go to the file menu, I do a save as and I’m saving it to the Power BI side in Office 365.
And now what does this site look like? Let’s see how this site looks like in SharePoint Online. This is it. You can see how well organized it is. You see my Azure report, my Office 365 report. It’s clean. It’s crisp. It’s beautiful. I want to go and take a look at one of those reports. I click and of course, because the reports are all created inside Excel, Excel is the application used to be able to browse the reports in my browser. So you can see here the explanation of growth you see in the compute resources of Azure, you can go and look at the other reports of that, the database growth, and of course the whole thing is fully interactive. So I can go select different time slices and in the browser get the full interrogation of the data.
It’s very easy to share, very easy to explore, but it’s more than that, it’s a full enterprise offering. So let’s take a look and see all the options that we have here. So see this menu here, take a look at what we have. I can share with other people, I can protect the data, I can schedule data refresh, where Power BI will reach back from the cloud to the enterprise, go to the original data sources, bring the data on the regular basis up to the cloud, up to the report that we have here. I can track the data usage by my users. And one more thing I can do here, I can add that report to my mobile favorites. And you can see this mobile star here, now that report is here and it’s showing up on my mobile device. It’s a beautiful application Power BI. It’s fully interactive as you use it. And it’s not just this report. I have a full gallery of reports that I can use here. You can see I can browse through that. It’s just the best way you can have to consume reports on the go.
So you’re seeing what kind of a gorgeous, great offering we have here. But, there’s one more thing, one more capability that I think you need to see, because in my opinion it’s the true game changer. So for this I’m going to take a look at another Power BI slide. Look at this one here, and make it a bit larger. This one Power BI slide is for a media company. And you see it has these reports that we created in Excel. But, there’s another role here, we call it “Featured Answers.” And these are the most common questions my users ask about the data. For example, show our sales pipeline. I’m clicking on it and now Power BI connects automatically to the sales pipeline data source and shows me the results. Now it looks like a comp report, but it is not. It is the beginning of a conversation with Power BI.
So I can compute that, show our sales pipeline only with opportunity size greater than $20,000. And as I type I immediately get the answer. You can see that there are six opportunities greater than $20,000. It’s very easy, right. (Applause.) Now one of those opportunities is this rock-themed event series. And I want to continue the line of interrogation I want to ask questions about that, so I can go and ask maybe the top rock classics. And notice I’m using, something magical happens. As I was typing the questions the results came up and I actually realized I’m asking about songs. So I moved away from the pipeline data set, automatically it connects me to a different one. This one is the historical data set for all the music charts in the United States. So I can see that “Bohemian Rhapsody” here, by the way my favorite song of all time, is the top rock classic. And I know it’s right, because Power BI tells me what it understood from me.
Look at that. It tells me that when I said rock I meant rock songs. And when I said classic, I meant a certain period of time, the ’70s and the ’80s. It is not the oldies from the ’50s. And when I said top it said you probably want to rank it by something, so you rank it by the number of weeks it stayed on the charts. So I like that interpretation, but not exactly. And again, Power BI comes to help me. It says, hey, I know what you mean now. So how about instead of ranking by weeks on the chart, I offer other options, rank it by the weeks the song stayed at No. 1. And I can see that “I Love Rock and Roll” is showing at No. 1. And every other part of the sentence is understood with Power BI.
So you say, maybe you don’t want to look at songs, you might want to look at artists or albums. Maybe not rock, here’s other genres. How about pop? Let’s go with pop. And see “Physical,” Olivia Newton John, the top pop classic from that era. It’s just an easy and fun way to interrogate the data. Let’s take this for example; let’s ask for songs about true love. And I can see immediately five different songs, one of them by Bing Crosby, another by Elton John, all called “True Love” showing up on the charts. I can ask questions about people that I know. Songs about Bill Gates, and you’d be surprised there’s actually a song called Bill Gates showing up on the charts, three years ago. Yes, by Lil Wayne, one week on the charts. I looked at the lyrics. It actually is truly not a love song.
We can ask more business questions like number of songs. You can see we have 2,600 songs in the database. Let’s list it by year. And now notice how the system automatically detects what I’m asking, giving me a much better visualization. This is a better way to look at it as a chart, automatically. I don’t have to say anything. And you can see this very interesting chart. It shows how many songs showed up on the music charts every year. And you can see in the late ’60s and early ’70s over 700 different songs on the charts. And then we go to the new millennium you see how it’s kind of dropping gradually and it’s less than half of that when you get to the new millennium. And then there is some recovery. But, when you turn on the radio and it seems like it’s the same song playing again, and again, and again, well now you know, we actually do listen   you have the proof. We do listen to way less songs than people in the ’60s and ’70s listened to, very interesting.
Now the picture is even more interesting when you look at it by genre. And again, the system just changed the visualization for me on the fly, and look at that, this is the pop genre. And you see the peak that we saw before, the decline, and some of the recovery. Rock starts the same way, peak, decline, but it doesn’t recover. Something is going on here. And look at that hip-hop. From the mid-’80s hip-hop is growing and growing, and growing and it’s not taking from pop, it’s taking all the market share from rock. So you can see how the data is telling you this fascinating story of the music industry just like that.
[8:10] Now, of course you might want to know other questions. For example, what is the best song of all time? And you can see that we have here Jason Mraz with “I’m Yours.” The first time I saw that I said, who the heck is Jason Mraz? But I had to go look at the data three times and unfortunately it is Jason Mraz, scientifically speaking, it’s the best song of all times, over a year and a half on the chart, like no other song. It’s amazing. And of course, the age old question, who is the best artist? And now we get here, again, a different visualization, and you can see here that you have Mariah Carey, you have The Beatles, we have Usher, we have Elvis, really fantastic artists that we have here. But, these are very different periods of time and it’s really hard to compare The Beatles from the ’60s to Mariah Carey from now. So maybe other visualizations can help me. And with Power BI we can switch the visualization. Look at that, I have a whole list of visualizations. I can change it to a table, for example. It doesn’t help me to explain it. But, there’s one more visualization here that we call the king of the hill. And this one is just specifically designed to explain changes over time.
Now we can see here, let me just explain how it works. It’s kind of a bubble chart. In the middle we have the biggest bubble, it will be the artist that has the most weeks at No. 1 on the chart is the king, right. It’s going to be the center big bubble, around it will be the contenders, the people who want to take the center position from it, the other artists with less weeks on the charts. And we’re going to animate over the time dimension.
So we start with 1955, Frank Sinatra, Pat Boone, and we’ll see the Motown area, so we’re going to see here the Platters joining in. But, in 1957 something amazing happened, Elvis Presley breaks through with “All Shook Up,” and he is the king. This is Elvis in the center. He is going to have over 100 different songs on the Billboard 100. It’s just dominating. But, in the ’60s come and so over the pond the greatest band in the history of music, The Beatles are showing up. And they would have 26 No. 1 hits. They’re going to have eight consecutive ones. They just dominated the rest of the decade into the ’70s, and they’re breaking up. And this is kind of a weird condition. Look at that, Three Dog Night, never heard about them? Forget about them, because the next one is going to be Elton John, he’s a legend. Candle in the Wind is still the No. 1 selling single of all time. This is also the disco era. So we have the Bee Gees, I danced to their songs with my first girlfriend. And of course, it was Olivia Newton John, a giant mega-star in the early ’80s.
And now look at that, what do you have in the ’80s, Paul McCartney, going to be followed by Michael Jackson, going to be followed up by Madonna, going to be followed up by Whitney Houston. This is a parade of the greats we had in the ’80s, George Michael, Paula Abdul, I have no idea what she is doing here. Now, we’re seeing Mariah Carey, she is going to dominate the ’90s. She’s going to have a fight with Boys To Men. But, look at it, she’s in that fight and she’s pushing them out. She is going to continue with 79 weeks at No. 1. She is going to dominate the ’90s. But, the ’90s are coming to an end. Santana is taking over. He is going to take over and then it’s the hip-hop and rap, with Nelly, Kid Rock I cannot stand, and then Usher he is a genius, wonderful, wonderful. But, look at that, it’s Mariah. She’s over here again. She’s looking for a fight in the 2000s, and she’s pushing them out. And now we are getting ready for the era of the divas. Rihanna, look at it she’s taking over. Katy Perry is trying. Adele is trying. But, no Rihanna is here to stay. Thank you, Rihanna. Thank you Power BI.
Thank you all. [43:30]
SATYA NADELLA: Thank you, Amir.

Hopefully you got a good feel for the power of Power BI in Office 365, and now just imagine if you can sort of replace all of the pop data and music data with your business data and your customer data. Mix it up, in fact, with some of the public data inside of Bing, and doing these kinds of demos where people are able to get insights from all of the data that they have inside their organization, and doing a join of that with, in fact, information that’s available publicly. We think that this is the next big leap when it comes to BI and insight around big data. [44:16]


So let’s switch gears and talk about application development. I know many of you in the room have lots of projects that you’re doing application development for. This is something that we have historically done very well together with Visual Studio and .NET. And, in fact, all of our client and server runtime platform. But this is going through a sea change. And, therefore, we are building and retooling for the sea change a few apps that you want to build.

image
It all starts by having a platform that is capable of both infrastructure as a service and platform as a services. So that’s IaaS plus PaaS. And that means any mission-critical Web application you want to build, any mobile front-end you want to build, where you’re automating a business process with a mobile front-end; any cloud service you want to build, you want to have this rich capability of both infrastructure as a service and a platform as a service. And you want to be able to deliver that, by the way, in both Windows Azure, as well as on Windows Server. So that symmetry of development runtime is also very important, and that’s what we’re building out.
Since you’re building applications for enterprise customers, you’ll want to have real richness of business logic. And this is where we are making some changes, and innovations, which are going to fundamentally change the economics and the repeatability of your business application development, or mission-critical application development. From identity, you saw Azure AD already from an IT perspective, but from a developer perspective now you have a fully programmable identity management solution where you can handle multiple identities, consumer identities as well as enterprise identities.
We have BizTalk services in the cloud now where you can use that to be able to automate your enterprise application integration, or even B-to-B integration. We have all the richness of the data platform I talked about previously that now you can incorporate as part of your solutions without having to really build that all on your own, whereas you now will be able to make API calls.
And, lastly, perhaps most interestingly, is you can, in fact, incorporate all of Office 365 as part of your solution. Office 365 has a very modern API surface area across the entire length and breadth, both on the client side as well as on the server side, that you can now program as part of your solution. Think about all the document workflows within the enterprise business application context that you can incorporate.
Of course, at the end of the day, what matters to you as well as your customers is productivity. And that’s where we’ve always led with the fantastic tooling in Visual Studio. We’re taking that a step further to make rapid application development, especially with the Lightswitch features inside of Visual Studio 2013, we’re making it possible for you to build your Web applications or business applications with Web fronts that much more simple for you to do rapid application development, especially in combination with Office. So the combination of Visual Studio, Lightswitch, the services that go with Visual Studio, either on TFS or on Azure with source code control, project management, build, test, all of those services come together to really improve your productivity.
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And we have many, many customers and partners who are taking advantage of this. The one I wanted to highlight was a solution built by .NET Solutions for IT, a financial services company in the UK. And it’s a very cool solution in the sense that they were able to take a very innovative approach to doing codes where they were monitoring the in-car telematics getting back information to Azure, then rendezvousing that with a code system which was on premise to be able to do real-time codes, and do custom codes for their customers. So that’s a pretty innovative way to think about mobile applications, Web tier, as well as being able to service relay back to data inside of your enterprise. And that richness of both tooling and capabilities in the runtime are unparalleled and unique to what we do with the combination of Windows Server and Windows Azure.
So I’m really pleased to announce the availability of Visual Studio 2013 Preview. I really encourage those of you who have .NET practices, Visual Studio expertise, now you can take the tooling coming out, the runtimes that are coming out as part of Windows Server, Windows Azure, as well as Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone, and really build this next generation of mobile applications as well as Web applications, and cloud services.
I’m also pleased to announce SQL Services, or SQL Database Premium Services for Windows Azure. Windows Azure has been going through significant growth, and particularly there’s not a solution that’s built in Windows Azure that does not use SQL Azure. And we are now introducing some capabilities that allow you to make those reservations. That means you can bring your most mission-critical applications over to the cloud. This is, again, something that we are going to be very unique. We are unique already with the fact that we have a PaaS-based SQL Service. And now we are making it much more ready for mission-critical applications.

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[49:28] So the last piece of the presentation today is cloud infrastructure. Now all of the things that we talked about rely on cloud infrastructure. And our goal has been to build the most robust cloud infrastructure. And to live the cloud lifestyle we build Windows Azure using our server software. So when we sort of say we are serving millions of virtual machines on Windows Azure, it runs, in fact, on Windows Server 2012 hypervisor. So that’s an amazing feedback cycle. Not just that, but all of our first-party workloads, from Office 365 to Bing to Xbox Live, are all running on Windows Azure capabilities. So that this reinforcing feedback cycle is what battle tests our cloud infrastructure.
We are, again, unique in that we take that same cloud infrastructure that we are using on a day-in and day-out basis inside of Azure as well as our first-party applications, and making it available as part of Windows Server and System Center for others to be able to build their own cloud. And that’s what really gives us the ability to deliver a true boundary-less datacenter infrastructure with consistency to our customers.
We think that that is very, very important to be able to really service the needs that enterprise customers have around infrastructure and support of their applications, and this is something that we believe we are setting the pace, and no one else in the industry, neither Amazon nor VMware can promise or deliver this level of consistency, this level of mission-critical readiness because of the battle testing of all the diverse set of first-party workloads.
We have lots and lots of partners who are already taking advantage of it. One example that I wanted to highlight today is what Skyline Technologies did for Trek Bicycles. They really took advantage of all of the capabilities of this boundary-less datacenter. They built out a private cloud solution. They, in fact, used the IaaS capabilities inside of Azure to be able to deploy the retail management solution. They even built a PaaS solution on Azure to be able to automate all of the partner management. So again, you can see how having this consistency gives you the flexibility to be able to take advantage of all the resources in your datacenter, in your partner datacenter, and in Windows Azure, but still have the one consistent virtualization and management pane of glass from an IT perspective.
So now to really show you this boundary-less datacenter in action, I wanted to invite up on stage Jeff Woolsey from our team. Jeff. [52:08]

Related post: Partners in the cloud for modern business [Satya Nadella on The Official Microsoft Blog, July 8, 2013]

Today, at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC), I am excited to announce new programs and services that are designed to help our partners and customers embrace the challenges and opportunities associated with cloud computing and big data.
The first new program we are announcing is Cloud OS Accelerate. As part of this new program, Microsoft and key partners – Cisco, NetApp, Hitachi Data Systems, HP and Dell – will invest more than $100 million to help put thousands of new private and hybrid cloud solutions into the hands of customers. We are also announcing a new Windows Intune offer, effective Oct. 1, that will help connect partners and customers with the latest in cloud connected management at a 30 percent discount. These new programs, and others you will hear about throughout the Worldwide Partner Conference, are designed to help our partners realize the opportunities in cloud computing – today.
We are also announcing previews of new technologies– including:
· Power BI for Office 365 – our new self-service business intelligence (BI) solution that combines the data analysis and visualization capabilities of Excel with the power of collaboration, scale and trusted cloud environment of Office 365. This new solution will help partners deliver powerful BI solutions to small and medium businesses everywhere. Customers and partners can sign up here.
· New Windows Azure Active Directory capabilities that will make it possible for ISVs, CSVs and other third parties to leverage Windows Azure’s directory to enable a single sign-on (SSO) experience for their users, at no cost. Customers can sign up here.
· A Premium offer for Windows Azure SQL Database, which delivers reserved capacity for more powerful and predictable performance. This will allow partners to raise the bar on the types of services and products they can offer to customers. A limited preview will be available in a few weeks, so sign up today so we can notify you when it’s ready.
This news wraps up a wave of new enterprise cloud announcements from the Server and Tools Division, including: new versions of Windows Server 2012 R2, System Center 2012 R2, SQL Server 2014 and Windows Intune at TechEd North America and TechEd Europe; the general availability of Windows Azure Mobile Services and Windows Azure Web Sites at Build 2013; and a new strategic partnership with Oracle to improve customer flexibility and choice.
The technology to help our partners realize the opportunities in cloud computing and big data is here and the time to collectively help our customers embrace these mega trends is now. Together, Microsoft and our partners helped customers successfully navigate the client-server and enterprise IT technology transformations. Going forward, we’re committed to doing that again for enterprise cloud.