This morning cloud services vendor Rackpace announced that it was opening cloud servers for Microsoft Windows, with distinct focus on system administrators and .NET developers as well as, of course, the SMB market—which seems to be the focal point of attack for Microsoft’s current cloud initiatives as of late.
As eWeek reported today, “Rackspace’s Cloud Servers for Windows have been developed with Microsoft, using images for various versions of 32-bit and 64-bit Windows Server 2003 and 2008. Theyy are intended for small to medium sized businesses for hosting in-house IT, as well as testing and launching online services.” While this news does appear to be focused on a market that does not yet touch HPC in any dramatic way, the introduction of Windows into the Linux-dominated space is noteworthy as some predict that the giant will overtake the existing paradigm over time.
According to Fabio Torlini, who heads Rackspace’s EMEA cloud divison, “we think Windows will be as strong in the cloud as Linux.” Torlini went on to note that, “Windows servers can be scaled up on-demand with servers added or deleted on the fly, and paid for on a utility model, by the hour, with back-up and snapshots, and no contracts or up-front costs.”
Users will need to pay for a license, however, which certainly chalks up a point for the Linux camp, but Torlini insists that the option is not expensive, amounting to only pennies each hour. He stated that Microsoft understands that the world is going the way of the cloud—and this explains their rush to enter the market via Rackspace to gain an early competitive advantage.