Atos Origin signs the first local e-government public-private partnership contract with GIP e-Bourgogne

News:

Innovative technologies contributing to a stronger local government

Paris, 25 November 2009 – Atos Worldline, which brings together Atos Origin’s expertise in high-tech transactional services, and GIP e-Bourgogne have signed the first French public-private partnership contract for IT solutions for a duration of 10 years. Atos Worldline will ensure the development, operation, hosting and maintenance of the first local e-government platform implemented to support the public sector and private businesses in the region. Bourgogne is the first region in France to implement this project, which forms part of the French government’s modernization policy. The objective of this policy is to provide its users with paperless services, with a view to simplifying administrative procedures. [more…]

Microsoft Launches Azure on PDC Conference

News:

Azure goes live on January 2010.

LOS ANGELES — Nov. 17, 2009 — Microsoft Corp. today announced the availability of the Windows Azure platform at the Microsoft Professional Developers Conference (PDC). In his opening keynote address, Ray Ozzie, chief software architect at Microsoft, described Windows Azure and SQL Azure as core elements of the company’s cloud services strategy. The company also announced a set of new Windows Azure features, Windows Server capabilities, and marketplace offerings that will make it easier for developers to build profitable businesses from their Microsoft-based solutions. [more…]

Azure Launch Calendar 

(Picture taken from Long Zeng Flickr Photos)

Azure VM Pricing

(Picture taken from Long Zeng Flickr Photos)

Opinion:

At last Azure is now announced to be live (no pun intended) in January 2010. There are a couple of things noteworthy:

  • This is targeting the Enterprise market, where Microsoft already has a strong position. This is contrary to other Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) providers who started from the consumer and small businesses market.
  • Microsoft owns the platform. The technical environment is build on top technology that has been developed and engineered by Microsoft themselves; including the hypervisor and the management software. I am told they even designed some of the server hardware, but that was probably just a rumor.
  • By adding the .NET platform Microsoft taps into a large community of existing .NET developers and existing applications that almost immediately can become ‘cloudy’.
  • Microsoft is tapping into their large existing partner network of SI’s and ISV’s to sell Azure. They will give incentives to this networks thus unleashing a large sales-force (again no pun intended) onto the corporate world.

Azure is providing the internet with some very powerful stuff, but enterprise class processing and database scalability, security and data compliancy will remain risky areas that any customer or partner needs to be aware of.

BTW before you start up your calculator: running a ‘X Large’ – server 24/7 for a year will cost you $ 8,409.60. January seems to be free of charge.