John, I don't mean to be pedantic, but when talking about cloud services such as Microsoft Azure I think it's important to distinguish between their "Virtual Machine" service, their "Storage", and other services. Your post lumped them together.
Your reference to "3 disk arrays" appears to be in reference to Azure's Storage service which is configured, priced, and operates independently of all other services. Some people only use Azure for offsite storage of local PC backups, for example.
The Azure web site indicates that their Storage service utilizes 3 replicas of your data in 1 data center. Remote mirroring is an optional service. Microsoft offers a 99.9% up-time guarantee of their Storage service, but if you want the same service level for their Virtual Machine and other services, then you must configure multiple Virtual Machine instances, multiple Role instances, multiple Availability Sets, multiple Deployment Environments (staging and production). Achieving high availability on Microsoft platforms becomes quite costly.
Azure's provisioning interfaces are pretty slick, but you can find something quite comparable by using IBM Smartcloud Entry, on Power Servers.
----- Original Message -----
From: John Jones <chianime@xxxxxxxxx>
To: Midrange Systems Technical Discussion <midrange-l@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Friday, March 15, 2013 2:54 PM
Subject: Re: Anybody know the record for the longest an AS/400 has been contiuously up?
If you think Windows isn't mature, consider Microsoft's Azure cloud.
Within 5 minutes you can have a provisioned server up & running using
Windows Server, Linux, or any of a number of pre-built images that MS makes
Once running, that server is mirrored to a minimum of 3 disk arrays in the
selected Microsoft data center. Each array will be in a different rack
with a separate power feed. The image is also mirrored to at least one
geographically dispersed data center (east-coast west-coast or similar if
in the US).
This costs a few pennies for the user. Going from 1 to 4 cores per VM is
done with a few clicks. Going from 2 to 16GB RAM takes a few clicks.
Adding disk takes a few clicks. Adding more VMs again takes just a few
minutes each. Each increase only costs a few cents. BTW you can do a 90
day test drive free.
You have cheap, fast, scalable redundancy. None of which you have to buy &
maintain hardware for. No OS costs either. SQL Server is readily
available (not sure if there's an added cost). You can admin everything
from your browser of choice. In that scenario, who the heck cares if you
have 5 9s or 6 9s reliability? The service is so cheap you just run more
than one in a cluster and let it load balance/fail over (clustering is
included in the base cost structure as are infrastructure services like
internal DNS, VLANs, etc.).
The smart IT professional isn't badmouthing Windows; they're learning how
to exploit it for their employer (regardless of any preferred platform).