You can provision and deploy entire cloud-based Windows Server images in just minutes with services like Amazon, GoGrid, and BlueLock. That’s nice enough if you need one or two images. But what if you’re a burgeoning data center cluster?
Although it was born of the need to relocate existing resources seamlessly, the category of cloud computing services called Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) manages on its own to change the characteristics and texture of an enterprise network. Businesses now have both the means and the incentive to subdivide their server functionality into discrete roles rather than physical boxes. They can then deploy, using IaaS, roles that can reliably be managed remotely — for instance, the customer-facing Web server and the SharePoint server. That’s a fundamental architectural difference from the days when businesses had 16 or so processors here, and 10 or so there, distributed the functions among them as evenly as possible, and used load balancing techniques to make sure none of the servers were overworked.
As a result, the emerging image of the server image — that virtual, entirely digital, construct that’s the principal agent of cloud-based functionality — looks altogether different from the server that once resided on premises, even after the server started becoming virtualized. Unlike a typical virtual processing cluster in data centers today, an IaaS cluster of server images is apportioned and managed entirely differently, with the objective being to enable the customer to administer the business function assigned to the server image, rather than the server itself. READ MORE