RightScale has published latest State of the Cloud report, which shows Azure is growing fastest among public cloud providers while the growth of AWS is flat. With over 5 years of experience in helping companies migrate to cloud, I want to highlight a few points that I believe are driving this growth:
- Microsoft knows the enterprise game. Well, you may say that IBM and Oracle do too. In the cloud race, Microsoft was initially late to the party but had their wake-up alarm soon. They lost the smartphone race with Apple and Google but moved fast within the cloud space. Microsoft quickly got to work and utilized their enterprise relationships. Contrary, Amazon had to start from scratch building their enterprise customer base.
- Microsoft has a robust and large partner ecosystem that is helping to push Azure growth. Let me explain why it matters. Start-up companies with DIY style founders, who are coding in their basement are not as much concerned about enterprise security or disruption to business users as a banking or manufacturing company. But when enterprise companies are looking to move their ERP or production systems to cloud, they cannot afford any downtime or lapse in security. That’s why having trusted partners that act as your solution advisers is critical. AWS or Google both lack the strong partner base within the enterprise space.
- Hybrid cloud: Microsoft knew that enterprises might not want to move their production systems or all of their applications to public cloud. Their trump card is hybrid cloud backed by Azure Active Directory.
- Office 365 is a major success for Microsoft (it was the fastest growing business ever for Microsoft), and Azure seems like a natural extension for companies who are already using Office 365 making it easier for an enterprise to make the transition to cloud.
- Azure has become a broad and comprehensive platform which provide basic services like WordPress hosting to very advanced workloads like Machine Learning or Natural Language processing or Blockchain.
- Microsoft is more open now and has strong support for both Linux and open source software. In fact, I have heard that 50% Azure workloads run some type of Open Source Software and 1/3rd of overall VMs run Linux OS.