Memo to Microsoft's Nadella: 10 Cloud & Enterprise Questions

Satya Nadella, head of Microsoft’s Cloud and Enterprise business and CEO Steve Ballmer's potential successor, is receptive to media questions. So, here are 10 of them from The VAR Guy.

The VAR Guy

October 4, 2013

3 Min Read
Satya Nadella Microsoft39s cloud and enterprise leader
Satya Nadella, Microsoft's cloud and enterprise leader

Dear Satya: The VAR Guy heard a rumor that you're receptive to media questions about Microsoft's (MSFT) cloud and enterprise business. (Wink, wink. Nudge, nudge.) Rather than use the proper channels (does The VAR Guy ever?), our resident blogger figured he'd simply share his questions with the broader world. So what #MSFTCloud questions are on The VAR Guy's mind? Here are 10 of them.

Before we get to public cloud stuff, let's start with on-premises and enterprise questions.

1. Windows Server 2012 and Hyper-V: It sounds like Microsoft has good momentum. But rivals like VMware (VMW) are pushing beyond server virtualization to the left (software defined storage) and to the right (software defined networking). Add it all up and you get the software defined data center (at least in VMware's mind). What's Microsoft's take on software-defined everything?

2. Big Data: In theory Windows Server and SQL Server could be a great combo for Big Data applications. But The VAR Guy keeps hearing about NoSQL, Hadoop, etc. Our resident blogger knows Microsoft has made some support moves in those areas. But could you briefly explain Microsoft's Big Data strategy — especially as it relates to third-party solutions like NoSQL and Hadoop?

3. Oracle? Oh My: The VAR Guy knows Microsoft and Oracle have worked together for more than two decades. Somebody, after all, had to make sure Oracle on Windows NT Server got off to a great start in the mid-1990s. How many Oracle on Windows Server deployments are out there? And what are the near-term opportunities for channel partners to virtualize Oracle on Windows Server/Hyper-V?

4. Surface in the Enterprise: The VAR Guy realizes that your core focus does not include Surface tablets. But here's how the question relates to you: Is Microsoft doing anything special with its enterprise and cloud applications to deliver a great user experience on Surface tablets?

Now, onto the cloud questions…

5. Price Wars, Profit Wars?: Amazon, Google and Microsoft seem to cut IaaS prices every few weeks. Is it possible  for Windows Azure to be profitable, especially in the IaaS market?

6. OpenStack and Red Hat?: Do you care or is OpenStack, the open source cloud platform, not very interesting to Microsoft? On a somewhat related note, Microsoft is quick to say  Windows Azure supports both Windows Server and Linux. But wait a minute: The VAR Guy hasn't seen Red Hat as a supported Linux distribution in Azure. Will that ever change?

7. Are You Microsoft's Next CEO?: Will it be you? Admittedly, The VAR Guy tried to casually sneak this question into the conversation. The concept was to ask you six questions to get the conversation going, make you let your guard down, then hit you with the magic #7. Did The VAR Guy's approach work? Are you the next Microsoft CEO?

8. Do You Want to Be CEO?: Okay, you likely dodged question #7. Maybe you politely sidestepped it or perhaps a PR representative jumped into redirect the conversation back to the cloud. But of course, The VAR Guy would be a slacker if he didn't re-work the question — you know, the "new" question that's actually the "same" question — to potentially get your response. So, do you want to be Microsoft's CEO?

9. Azure and Office 365?: Are you starting to see customers developing synergies between the two cloud platforms? If so how?

10. Partners, please?: The VAR Guy continues to hear about Office 365 and Windows Azure momentum. But can you give The VAR Guy and his readers some context? How much of Microsoft's cloud momentum involves channel partners — VARs, MSPs, CSPs and cloud integrators?

11. Bonus: New Channel Chief?: Microsoft recently named Phil Sorgen as its new global channel chief. Do you see opportunities to work with Phil, basically strengthening the link between Microsoft's cloud platforms and the channel? If so how?

That's all for now. The VAR Guy hopes this message reaches you. (Wink, wink. Nudge, nudge… yet again.)

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