The Cloud OS Network will let organizations create hybrid clouds by extending their Windows Server datacenters to Windows Azure and/or any of Microsoft's Cloud OS Network providers. When Microsoft introduced the Cloud OS term last year upon the release of Windows Server 2012 and System Center 2012, many criticized it as the company jumping into the latest buzzword.
Microsoft indeed was laying the groundwork by positioning Windows Server and System Server as a platform that would let IT managers add capacity to their datacenters by bridging their infrastructures to the public cloud to create a hybrid cloud. But the pieces of Cloud OS weren't there at the time.
This year Microsoft has made some steady progress with the release of Windows Azure Infrastructure Services and the R2 upgrades to Windows Server 2012 and System Center 2012. With a major upgrade to Hyper-V, observers said Microsoft finally had a competitive virtual machine.