Microsoft announced addition of a new option in its upcoming service pack for Windows HPC Server 2008. This new option is the addition of Cloud for its users which will allow the users to connect their systems with Windows Azure. This will eventually give the users liberty to share the workload between the in-house computers and clod servers. This is great news for companies which get large but short term calculation spikes on their servers. Companies like Google and Amazon have been targeting such companies for a while now by offering them high speed calculations and processing power from their cloud servers. With this approach gaining popularity how can Microsoft stay behind? Microsoft has added this option in its HPC Server 2008 and thinks that this integration will be a key differentiator in letting the networks to connect with their cloud servers and do the processing.

The challenge that most of the technology Managers of companies face is to decide between the in-house servers and the cloud servers. Both these technologies have their own pros and cons. They both have their own financial and strategy benefits and ad the same time it really makes hard for companies to make the decision. Probably keeping this in mind Microsoft would have made this move of integrating cloud technology in the in-house servers. Now with this service pack, the server itself can decide what to do itself and what to pass on to the cloud. This will lower the cost of acquiring the third party cloud servers and will benefit companies in a decent way. The cost of ownership and maintenance of third party cloud servers will drastically go low and everybody would love this move of Microsoft other than competitor cloud service providers like Google and Amazon.

Sending self data to some other server for computation has always raised a question on the terms of security and data integrity. Many companies which have the need for cloud computing don’t go for it keeping the data security in mind, but with Microsoft integrating the cloud in its Server model will certainly make them to change their minds and adopt the cloud technology. With this move even the Government agencies and organizations will start relying on the immense computing power of the cloud. Earlier this was not the case because of the security related concerns. Now many or most of the companies will try to have this hybrid mode of computing rather than investing on costly servers in-house. The transition of old and established companies towards the cloud will certainly be slow but the new and upcoming companies which can afford the transition will transit quickly towards cloud.

Integration of cloud in in-house servers will certainly pave the way for many new opportunities as it will result in reduce cost for maintenance and installation of applications on the cloud servers. The user response and feedback of this integration is still to come but it seems that companies already using Windows HPC Server will give this technology a warm welcome.