Companies are moving data centers to the cloud at an ever-increasing rate, often attracted to the pay-as-you-go cloud computing model. It’s been found that traditional enterprise data center servers only deliver, on average, between 5 and 15 percent of their maximum computing output over the course of a year. So rather than spend money on new hardware and a brick-and-mortar infrastructure – a capital expense for computing power that is under-utilized – a very attractive proposition is to instead rent compute and storage resources.

As a new-generation of (cloud) data centers are built out, and enterprise applications along with their supporting SDLC environments are put into place, the number of virtual machines, file and data storage, network, and security resources quickly proliferate into numbers by the hundreds or thousands. The management of these resources becomes a major concern because it is not necessary to keep the majority of them running on a 24 x 7 basis. Remember, its pay-as-you go. But with proper “care and feeding” cloud data centers can be well-managed so that their envisioned benefits can be realized.

If you work in an IT field, as an Executive, Manager, Architect, or Developer, you should be particularly interested because projects that involve migration to the the Cloud are all around you. Based on my experience in these endeavors, it is inevitable that the following fundamental questions will arise from those who have a stake in the success of the project and its ongoing operation.

  • How can we provision new data centers, or stand up an enterprise application instance with a click of a button? – Azure Automation
  • How can we segment resource usage costs by department/location/function and get these entities to pay for what they use? – Usage Charge back.
  • The cost of running potentially hundreds, even thousands, of compute and storage resources on a 24 x 7 basis is unnecessary, and can result in large bills. How can we manage these resources to keep costs under control? – Resource Management

The intent of this new blog is to provide technical insight and direction to help you address these important questions. But I certainly don’t presume to have all of the answers. In fact I’m blessed to be in a position of learning new things every day, including new and better approaches to last week’s work! I’m hopeful that this new blog will provide some useful guidance to help you in your journey to the Microsoft Azure Cloud, and that you’ll return the favor and share what you learn so that we can all benefit.

Let’s get started!