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The Importance of Abstraction in Cloud Computing

.NET developers can leverage their existing SQL Server database skills when developing against the Azure platform

Windows Azure at Cloud Expo

My colleague, Peter Palmieri, just penned a blog post about Microsoft’s recent announcement that the Azure platform will offer extensive and familiar relational database features via SQL Data Services (SDS).

In his post, Leveraging Skills, Peter discusses the fact that .NET developers will be able to leverage their existing SQL Server database skills when developing against the Azure platform.

In doing so, he has touched upon what I think is Microsoft’s most strategic advantage in the realm of cloud computing.

Microsoft has a ready-made ecosystem and developer community from which to draw its consumer innovators and early adopters.

And I believe it plans on leveraging that advantage to vanquish the competition. The sheer breadth and depth of these cloud consumer first-movers may prove to be game-changing.

From my perspective, abstraction is the key to wide-scale adoption of enterprise cloud services. One of the general advantages of cloud computing is the associated cost savings gained through economies-of-scale and pay-as-you-go economics. For CTOs, CIOs, and enterprise IT managers, re-tooling and re-training the developer and operations workforce cuts into that cost savings; weakening the cloud computing value proposition.

Further, said developer and operations workforce is aware of something called job security. The need to retool and retrain is not only costly to the enterprise, it takes a heavy toll on the workforce as well. My money says that the largest pools of cloud computing evangelists will come from the groups with the lowest hurdles, or barriers to adoption.

Providers of enterprise cloud computing services will do themselves a huge favor by minimizing the barriers to adopting their platforms. The name of the game is abstraction and Microsoft has a built-in advantage in this area.

  1. Windows is broadly trusted in the enterprise.
  2. Microsoft had the strategic savvy to use Windows as the abstraction layer; turning it into a very familiar gateway to the clouds.

As a result, all Microsoft .NET developers and engineers are now (potential) cloud developers and engineers. Update your resumes folks.

Photo Credit lrargerich.

More Stories By Walter Pinson

Walter Pinson is the Chief Software Architect at SMBLive; whose IAmFound social marketing platform helps SMBs (small and medium-sized businesses) get discovered online and generate inbound sales leads. In his role as CSA, Walter manages a globally distributed product development group and has SaaS products deployed at major telecommunications channel partners in the US, UK, Switzerland, Canada, and Mexico. Additionally, Walter is a co-founder and principal of Pinson3 Systems; a boutique software engineering concern serving the intelligence and defense sectors with solutions ranging from enterprise web-based multi-modal biometric analysis systems to information warfare training systems. Prior to his role at SMBLive and founding Pinson3 Systems, Walter was a Senior Strategy Consultant with Microsoft focused on SaaS, SOA, and .NET adoption in the telecommunications sector. Walter has published articles for Cloud Computing Journal, is a member of ACM and IEEE, and currently has one patent pending. He holds a bachelor's degree in computer science from The Volgenau School of Information Technology and Engineering at George Mason University, where he focused on distributed and parallel computing. Walter is currently working on his MBA at the GMU School of Management.