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InfoQ Homepage News Microsoft Uses Cloud Platform System to Run Internal Production Workloads

Microsoft Uses Cloud Platform System to Run Internal Production Workloads

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According to an official blog post, Microsoft’s Cloud Platform System (CPS) is running its IaaS private cloud codenamed “Nebula”. The platform is used by internal engineering teams to run 45,000 VMs on 200,000 cores with over 20,000 VMs getting launched and terminated each day.

The Nebula platform offers self-service capabilities via WAP portal. It is highly customized to meet the requirements of internal engineering teams dealing with small deployments to larger deployments dealing with 100s of VMs. Users expect high reliability of the system which is delivered through tighter integration with Microsoft System Center Operations Manager (SCOM). SCOM is a monitoring infrastructure used by enterprise customers and hosting service providers to monitor their datacenter server, network hardware, infrastructure software, and applications. They customize the monitoring environment by importing SCOM Management Packs either from Microsoft or partner ecosystem to add specific monitoring capabilities. Customers can create custom management packs to tune existing monitors or add custom monitors and visualizations. CPS utilises SCOM to deliver a comprehensive view of the deployments.

Based on Software Defined Network (SDN), Nebula has a flexible networking solution that makes it easy to expose endpoints to connect to common workloads such as Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft SharePoint and Microsoft Dynamics.

New CPS appliances are added to Nebula by connecting the VM request infrastructure and account creation. Azure operational insights data makes it possible for the CPS support team to diagnose and fix problems in real time. The support operations are done in coordination with Dell.

Nebula relies on live migration of Windows Server and with over 4000 production servers running on the platform, administrators take a couple of days to patch the running VMs.

Launched last fall, Microsoft Cloud Platform System is positioned as Azure in a box. Powered by Dell servers, the platform runs Windows Server 2012 R2, System Center 2012 R2 and Windows Azure Pack. Customers deploying CPS get on-premises equivalents of a variety of Azure technologies, including a self-service portal for managing Web Sites, VMs and Service Bus along with a portal for administrators to manage the deployments.

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