I’m Running Out of Cloud Metaphors: Also, Red Dog?

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Because the blizzard of cloud computing news shows no signs of abating. This time, it’s some details on Microsoft’s plans in the area, which I discovered via David Young. As he says, this is the most interesting tidbit from the job listing:

The Cloud Infrastructure Services (CIS) team is responsible for creating the Microsoft Utility Computing Platform, also known by its early codename Red Dog (RD). This platform is one of the lowest levels of the services software/hardware stack and includes an efficient, virtualized computational substrate, a fully automated service management system and a comprehensive set of highly scalable storage services. The platform will enable services to scale to millions of machines distributed globally throughout Microsoft data centers. Further, it will provide the lowest operating costs per-node, and will lead the marketplace as the best platform for rapid development, deployment, and maintenance of internet services and applications. CIS is a young and hungry team that is on the path to delivering a V1 product to external customers in the coming year.

Fascinating, n’est-ce pas?

The fact that Microsoft has such a project is not, of course, news. It’s been commonly assumed for months now, and Ozzie more or less confirmed it. But from one simple job listing we can extract a few pieces of interesting information:

  1. The project is called “Red Dog”
  2. The supported technologies, unsurprisingly, may be Microsoft centric: they’re looking for C/C++/.NET, along with ASP.Net, IIS, JSON, JavaScript, and AJAX skills.
  3. There are at least three pieces: a virtualized foundation, management technologies, and storage.
  4. It’s a full lifecycle effort, including development, deployment, and maintenance
  5. They aim to be “lowest cost per node,” which would seem difficult as Google already has set a floor of “free”
  6. Perhaps most interestingly, they expect V1 launched within the year

For those that don’t have cloud efforts underway, the clock is ticking. It’s a massive land grab at the moment, and the cost of real estate is going up by the day.

Disclosure: Microsoft is a RedMonk customer.


  1. “They aim to be “lowest cost per node,” which would seem difficult as Google already has set a floor of “free”

    I think they are aiming at lowest “operating cost” per node. I am sure google has costs even if it charges nothing.

    Google with free will probably have the lowest entry point to customer and my guess is that Microsoft will also have some sort of free option.

    I think the war is going to be similar to the traditional platform wars we have seen in the past(J2EE vs .NET types) with differentiators being the choice of programming language , IDE integration, automated deployments , monitoring capability, integration of services offered(batch job , asynchronous , Database , singlesingon)

    Like any market this market will evolve into three segments.

    Segment 1- Amazon , SUN , HP , IBM – there strength coming from exposing the Datacenter

    Segment 2 – Google , MSFT , Amazon , SUN – Application development

    Segment 3 – SalesForce.com , SAP and lot more – packaged applications with the ability to customize them in the cloud.

    I am sure that the vendors will try to cross cut the segments(just like you have Honda Accord is in mid and luxury segment) and have offerings spanning across all three segments.

  2. Google won’t be free once they’re in production status and you have an app that surpasses the threshold.

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  4. […] to change. Microsoft will not willingly cede such a crucial market to a rival platform, hence the pending arrival of Red Dog and a few other Microsoft cloud initiatives. So we’ll have at least Linux and […]

  5. […] So Azure isn’t all that new. It’s just Red Dog with a new name?     Comment     RSS Feed     […]

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