Microsoft’s Service Deployment and Operations (SDO) team, a division within the company’s internal IT department detailed its cloud strategy and implementation roadmap, as it looks to consolidate its datacentre footprint and retire thousands of servers reaching end of life. The SDO division, which operates the hosting and support services for IT, plans to move the majority of its IT estate, which currently sits in a combination of on premise and third party datacentres, over to Azure over the next five years.
The project scope includes shifting more than 35,000 operating system instances that host applications and services for employees and external partners, including HR applications, training systems, financial applications as well as the back-end systems powering consumer applications used by external customers.
The company plans to decommission two datacentres over the next 24 months, and wants to retire thousands of servers reaching their end of design life – which would cost upwards of $200m to replace. The strategy will over the next five years see the division move all commodity workloads to software as a service, ensure any new applications being developed will move to platform as a service, and move existing applications and workloads over to either Azure or Microsoft-based private clouds. But the company explained that there were initial challenges involved with migrating the workloads over from on premise servers, primarily to do with bottlenecks in the network.
To remedy this issue the company procured a separate connection dedicated to Azure then segregated typical corporate traffic through different links. In a separate document detailing the strategy Microsoft explained it could save over $118m in capital costs over 4 years by shifting most of its systems into the cloud, while on premise optimisation and replacement would only yield $75m in savings. In addition to increased efficiency through virtualisation and tiered infrastructure costs (the availability of lower cost options in particular) the company could also reduce on premise power demand, lower depreciation expenses and improve systems automation.
Microsoft has reported 5% growth to $22.6 billion as the Intelligent Cloud business unit led the charge, with the Azure public cloud offering more than doubling in revenues and compute usage. NTT Communications has announced the deployment of managed private cloud solutions to HPE and NTT customers in the US in a play for the IaaS market.
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Experts believe that like home printing again, 3D printing technology is just waiting for one innovative company to come up with a product that will make the technology accessible and usable to the general public, and we’ll have 3D printing suddenly become an indispensable part of the industry. Broderbund did it with their Print Shop software in 1984, which allowed users to print various entertainment and celebratory related items using their run-of-the-mill dot matrix printer. Many may argue that 3D Printer history actually started in 1976, when the first inkjet printer was developed. In 1990, Hull launched what is generally accepted as the first SLA (stereolithographic apparatus) in 3D printing history. Imagine if instead of companies manufacturing parts or products in their factories in bulk and selling it to consumers, consumers can instead just buy said parts of products per piece through a company that will create a single one through 3D Printing? As young as the technology is, disruptive cloud-based 3D printing services are already in place. However, the cost could prove too much for small businesses, visionaries or new entrepreneurs that simply need to prototype their vision and turn them into reality to get funding and be used for presentations.
Probably the best part in all these is the fact that these people who have 3D printers also offer CAD services or other software services. Suffice to say that it’s just a matter of time, and that the future of cloud and 3D Printing is bright, with the latter taking advantage of the convenience and cost efficiency of the former in order to jump through hurdles that have prevented it from making a breakthrough in the past.
In 2012, more than 1.7 million jobs in the field of cloud computing remained unoccupied, according to analysts firm IDC. Cloud marketing has the ability to drastically change the ways in which they reach and engage their audience, particularly with regard to distributing and storing mission-critical data. More and more companies encourage their employees to work on their devices, thus reducing the cost of computer equipment, but also increase the cost to maintain licenses and safety.
Despite the inclination to wait until all of the cloud’s kinks have been worked out, holding off on cloud initiatives until the industry matures won’t guarantee success. The software industry is undergoing major changes by trends such as cloud, SaaS, mobile technology and the “consumerization of IT”. Our clients are demanding agility, our budgets are flat, and we want to drive efficiency in the infrastructure,” the company explained.

That's even made some consumer tech companies change gears and pursue the lucrative business user market. Currently, there are companies such as Sculpteo that is offering 3D Printing services via the Cloud.
Now imagine if a person can actually design and render his own item, using tools and computing power leased by a service provider, have it printed and delivered? The beauty in this model is that 3D printing becomes so accessible that even people who only have access to a decent smartphone or tablet can have their ideas realized through Sculpteo’s cloud-based 3D printing services. Now, architects don’t need to manually build a miniature of their building designs, they can simply print it. With enough fine tuning from companies like Sculpteo, 3D printing may do for manufacturing what Paypal did for online payments in the past – made it more accessible and viable to mainstream users. 3D Printing is being used mainly for manufacturing of various parts, to actual rendering of CAD output, and as a recent incident proves, can also be used to make and test pistols (the incident resulted in the 3D printing company canceling the project, but the designs and plans were viable).
That’s basically 3D Printing through the cloud in a nutshell, or at least the idealized version of it should it mature enough. Additionally, the company can also offer the services to other companies, giving said companies 3D modeling capabilities even without the requisite infrastructure in place. People who want their product printed can submit their design and their address and be able to access someone who is near him and has a 3D printer.
3D printing now carves the raw material layer by layer until it simulates the desired output in 3D. The SLA proved that rapid prototyping may now be taken to the next level with the development of better quality raw materials.

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