Formula Cloud: Azure Lives on "Edge", AWS Owns "Net-New" while IBM, Alibaba and Oracle Give Chase

By: Tech Video Project
“Azure is the only hybrid, hyperscale cloud that extends to the edge... ”
“Azure is the only hybrid, hyperscale cloud that extends to the edge... ”
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NEW YORK - April 26, 2019 - PRLog -- We don't have to tell you, the Azure Cloud is vital to Microsoft, and if you are like us, you listen closely anytime the company touches that base. So when CEO Satya Nadella recently spoke of Azure's "differentiated" approach to the cloud, and how that strategy is helping to drive its business, we were all ears.

"Our architectural advantage is a clear reason for our success" Nadella said. "Azure is the only true hybrid, hyperscale cloud that extends to the edge".

Nadella says "operational sovereignty" is increasingly critical to customers, and Azure uniquely provides consistency across development environments, operating models and technology stacks — whether connected or disconnected to the public cloud.

"We always believed that in distributed computing you need a cloud and an edge" added the CEO. "You need hybrid… and guess what, today in 2019, hybrid's become much more mainstream. But we were talking about this even five years ago."

But Wall Street mostly wants growth and results today, and the Redmond, WA-based company delivered. Revenue in Microsoft's intelligent cloud segment rose to $9.65 billion during the fiscal third quarter, up 22.2 percent from $7.9 billion during the same period a year earlier. The results were driven in large part by 73-percent growth in Azure revenue.

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Going forward, the company expects "'continued strong growth in our consumption-based business and moderating growth in our per-user business given the increasing size of the installed base" added CFO Amy Hood.

Whether Azure's market differentiation will move them up the leaderboard to the top of the podium anytime soon seems unlikely. AWS, Google Cloud and other providers like IBM Cloud, Alibaba and Oracle Cloud are also feeling the benefits of such a fast-growing space, reports Channel Partners Online.

Cloud providers are maneuvering to get on both sides of the hybrid cloud trend. Not only are they offering access to services on their public clouds, but they're also now enabling customers to bring those services on-premises.

It is well trumpeted that Amazon Web Services stands on the top of the podium with the largest market share in public cloud, but dive a bit deeper into the numbers and you will start to see shoulder to shoulder competition.

In fact, solution provider Anexinet recently told CRN that it has been seeing comparable demand among customers for Azure as it is for AWS.

"AWS seems to be the cloud of choice for developer-driven companies that are building net-new solutions," says Ned Bellavance, director of cloud solutions.  "Azure, on the other hand, seems to be the choice for infrastructure-led and enterprise organizations that are looking to migrate their existing resource to the cloud."

Many of these organizations "are very comfortable using VMware as their virtualization platform and Windows as their primary OS today," Bellavance said. "For them, the look and feel of Azure is immediately more comfortable and they already have an Enterprise Agreement with Microsoft that makes the procurement process for Azure simpler."

CRN reports solution providers have a massive opportunity for migrating Windows Server and SQL Server instances to the Azure cloud. This helps make Azure a savvier choice for partners than AWS.

As support ends for SQL Server 2008 in July—followed by Windows Server 2008 in January 2020—there are tens of millions of SQL and Windows Server instances available to be migrated to Azure.

"That is, bar none I think, the biggest opportunity for our partners," Microsoft Channel Chief Gavriella Schuster has previously said. "We talk to [partners] about that, and we talk to them about how it is five times more expensive for a customer to choose to migrate those servers to AWS versus Azure."

Meanwhile, moving to cloud is seen as the price of admission for doing business today and being competitive in your chosen market. But the actual migration process has to be viewed as part of an organisation-wide transformation that will take time, and perhaps more importantly, patience.

Alongside the technology change, adapting to any transformation is a "people" issue that requires effective collaboration between cross-functional teams. It involves changing the mindset of your employees and helping them to upskill. In other words, structures will need to adapt, says Tech Radar.

"Whether you are in the midst of a cloud migration, or looking at multi-cloud, it's important to consider the overall journey rather than seeing cloud as a destination" says the site.

Based on new data, nearly 70% of users continue to adopt AWS alone. Most companies have never switched cloud providers, but a multi-cloud approach is emerging, says Tech Radar.

Of note, approaching multi-cloud isn't often a case of "lifting and shifting" the whole company from one provider to another, it's a question of selecting where you are going to achieve the most impact. Multi-cloud isn't going to be a one size fits all solution.

From these initial projects, companies can use these lessons to educate other teams on the potential opportunities. But know going it it won't be all rainbows and unicorns. Cloud migration outcomes aren't always happy. Experts say only about half of companies migrating to the cloud achieved their goal of enhanced business agility.

Formula Cloud is produced by TVP, and sponsored by RestonLogic, cloud wizards leveraging over 10 years experience helping companies automate, transform and build highly-secure and stable systems. Click over to RestonLogic dot com to book a strategy session today.

Disclaimer: The blurbs highlighted on Formula Cloud are available for information purposes only, and don't necessarily reflect opinions of our editors.
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