Category Archives : Cloud Strategy



New Azure Migrate and Azure Site Recovery enhancements for cloud migration

We are continuously enhancing our offerings to help you in your digital transformation journey to the cloud. You can read more about these offerings in the blog, “Three reasons why Windows Server and SQL Server customers continue to choose Azure.” In this blog, we will go over some of the new features added to Microsoft Azure Migrate and Azure Site Recovery that will help you in your lift and shift migration journey to Azure.

Azure Migrate

Azure Migrate allows you to discover your on-premises environment and plan your migration to Azure. Based on popular demand, we have now enabled Azure Migrate in two new geographies, Azure Government and Europe. Support for other Azure geographies will be enabled in future.

Below is the list of regions within the Azure geographies where the discovery and assessment metadata is stored.

Geography Region for metadata storage United States West Central US, East US Europe North Europe, West Europe Azure Government U.S. Gov Virginia

When you create a migration project in the Azure portal, the region for metadata storage is randomly selected. For example, if you create a project in the United States, we will automatically select the region as West Central US or East




Three reasons why Windows Server and SQL Server customers continue to choose Azure

For the past 25 years, companies of every size have trusted Windows Server and SQL Server to run their business-critical workloads. In fact, more than 70 percent of on-premises server workloads today run on Windows Server1. As more customers use the cloud for innovation and digital transformation, the first step is often migrating existing Windows Server and SQL Server applications and data to the cloud. Many of you have shared why you continue to choose Microsoft and stay with the vendor you trust. Below are the three main reasons that we hear.

Reason #1: Pay less with Azure

We understand that moving to the cloud needs to make sense for your bottom line, and we’re committed to making Azure the most cost-effective cloud for your Microsoft workloads.

The Azure Hybrid Benefit for Windows Server and SQL Server and reservation pricing have been helping customers save when moving to Azure. We are committed to keeping your server workloads secure and Azure now offers free Extended Security Updates for Windows Server and SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2. When you add it all up, AWS is 5 times more expensive than Azure for Windows Server and SQL Server. With savings like this,




Simplifying confidential computing: Azure IoT Edge security with enclaves – Public preview

Enabling Open Enclave SDK for the intelligent edge and simplifying the development of trusted applications across operating systems and hardware platforms.

Today we are excited to announce the cross-platform availability of the Open Enclave SDK for devices at the intelligent edge, as well as the preview of integration of Open Enclave and the Azure IoT Edge security manager. Together with our partners, we help organizations solve a very challenging security problem in the Internet of Things (IoT) – protecting code and data while in use at the edge. This includes securing compute workloads within the confines of Trusted Execution Environments (TEE) or simply enclaves, a concept called Confidential Computing.  We offer a platform for developing applications that execute in enclaves, also known as trusted applications (TA), in a way that simplifies TA development for all audiences from hardcore hardware security experts to edge and cloud software applications developers.

With today’s announcement, Azure IoT Edge application developers can write TAs that root trust in any secure silicon TEE built on such enclaving technologies like ARM TrustZone®, Intel SGX, and embedded Secure Elements using Windows or Linux operating systems. This broad applicability across different enclave technologies and integration with IoT Edge greatly




Five lessons for building your roadmap to a secure hybrid cloud future

This blog post is a part of our security series for National Cybersecurity Awareness Month where we discuss how federal CIOs can best prepare for a cloud environment that works securely with your on-premises datacenters.

The need for federal agencies to get their hybrid cloud roadmaps in place has reached a tipping point over the past year, especially as pressures mount to modernize the government’s vast portfolio of aging legacy IT systems and make smarter use of available IT funding.

Agency IT leaders however, face a deeper challenge. Deciding which applications to move to the cloud and which should be rebuilt or replaced to function securely in a hybrid environment. They must do so while planning for a rapidly-changing cybersecurity landscape.

That’s why rationalizing and rightsizing your applications deserves careful attention. This is also why aligning with the right partners who can support your applications, whether in the cloud or on-premises, can be the difference between successful IT modernization versus just lifting-and-shifting to the cloud.

That’s one reason a growing number of agencies are choosing the flexibility and built-in security features of cloud platforms such as Microsoft Azure Government. Azure Government gives leaders a flexible way to test out their




Enabling intelligent cloud and intelligent edge solutions for government

We are going through a technology transformation that is unlocking new mission scenarios for government agencies that were simply not possible before. Smart sensors and connected devices are changing the way agencies approach problems from equipment maintenance to measuring air quality, smart cities to military outposts, while new devices are increasingly cloud connected by default – whether it’s a traffic light or a rescue vehicle.

Simultaneously, hybrid cloud is evolving from being the integration of a datacenter with the public cloud, to becoming units of computing available at even the world’s most remote destinations working in concert with public cloud. Now, more than ever before, government can bring the power of cloud to missions around the globe.

Bring these two technology trends together, with AI running across all systems, and we enter the era of the intelligent cloud and intelligent edge. And while we expect every industry to benefit as these technologies advance, the work of government in particular will be changed by the ability to plan farther, gather information more efficiently, and deliver insight where it is needed most.
The intelligent cloud is ubiquitous computing enabled by public cloud and powered with AI. In this way, we refer to




Microsoft Azure: The only consistent, comprehensive hybrid cloud

When we talk to our customers about their cloud strategy, we continue to hear loud and clear from many of them that a hybrid approach to cloud makes the most sense for their business. Organizations choose a hybrid strategy for many reasons including to take advantage of the cloud while leveraging existing on-premises technology as an asset, to help them achieve greater flexibility, or to meet regulatory requirements.

Customers tell us they look for a cloud platform that enables choices, flexibility, and consistency of experience across their full environment. Microsoft deeply understands this reality. Based on our decades of enterprise experience, we designed Azure to be hybrid from day one, to offer true consistency across cloud and on-premises with the broadest set of hybrid capabilities in applications, data, identity, security, and management.

Customers choose Azure to power their hybrid cloud strategies

More than 95 percent of Fortune 500 companies trust their business on Azure today, and many of them take advantage of Azure hybrid capabilities to fuel innovation and deliver great business outcomes.

Running its $15 billion business on Azure using a hybrid cloud model, Smithfield Foods slashed datacenter costs by 60 percent, accelerated application delivery from two months to




SAP at Microsoft Ignite: Announcing SAP Data Custodian for Azure

Enterprises are accelerating their digital transformation. We have seen this momentum over the last year as evidenced by customers moving their mission critical SAP applications to Azure. This digital transformation is being powered by the adoption of SAP’s intelligent ERP, S/4HANA, running on the agile cloud infrastructure offered by Azure. For example, Daimler AG is transforming its mission critical procurement system with S/4HANA and chose Azure for its agility, cost savings, and speed of deployment.

Since last November, both Microsoft and SAP have been embarking on our own journeys to run internal SAP S/4HANA systems on Azure. We announced at SAP’s Sapphire NOW that Azure supports the largest scale and broadest choice for SAP HANA including our Azure M-series VMs and BareMetal offerings. In addition to this, we have launched a managed services option for customers with SAP’s HANA Enterprise Cloud with Azure and enabled SAP developer productivity with the general availability of SAP’s Cloud Platform on Azure.

Microsoft and SAP share a common goal of enabling customers to build secure and compliant solutions in this journey. Microsoft is a leader in protecting customer data in the cloud and Microsoft Azure offers a comprehensive set of security and compliance tools




Ignite 2018 – Making AI real for your business with Azure Data

Today at Microsoft Ignite in Orlando, I shared how the confluence of Cloud, Data, and Artificial Intelligence (AI) is driving unprecedented change and is rapidly becoming foundational to innovation in every industry. The driving force behind powerful AI applications is data – and getting the most out of AI requires a modern data estate. Unlocking the potential of data has become an imperative for organizations that want to leverage AI to uncover new insights and create new business opportunities.

Today, we shared a number of exciting announcements that will enable organizations to build data and AI solutions that transform their businesses. For over two decades, organizations have relied on SQL Server to manage all facets of their relational data. Last year at Ignite, we announced the general availability of SQL Server 2017, which brought the much beloved SQL Server engine to Linux. With over 5.6 million downloads in just the first 6 months, it rapidly became our most popular SQL Server version yet. Today, we are building on that momentum with the announcement of the SQL Server 2019 preview. With SQL Server 2019, organizations can now seamlessly manage their relational and non-relational data in a single, integrated solution. It comes




New investments in Azure Stack extend Microsoft’s hybrid cloud leadership

It’s hard to believe, but it’s been a whole year since we officially launched Azure Stack! Our customers have been with us through the journey this past year providing great feedback, and we’ve been listening. Last year at Ignite was a huge milestone for our customers who consider Azure Stack a part of their core cloud strategy as they move faster than ever. Azure Stack changed the game for our customers, allowing them to leverage the benefits of a consistent hybrid cloud and innovate at a rapid pace.

At this year’s Ignite conference, there is so much to be excited about. Customer interest and adoption of Azure Stack is high, with customers already capturing business value from its unparalleled capabilities.

I’m delighted to share more today and throughout the week at Ignite about the innovative capabilities we continue to bring to Azure Stack, all to provide value to our customers and partners so they can do more.

New innovation and Azure services coming to Azure Stack IoT and Edge

Microsoft offers one of the most comprehensive end-to-end IoT solution platforms in the industry, from Azure Sphere, to Azure IoT Hub, and Azure IoT Central. Our solution portfolio has resonated well




Retail brands: gain a competitive advantage with modern data management

Retailers today are responsible for a significant amount of data. As a customer, I expect that the data I provide to a retailer is handled properly following the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and other compliance guidelines.

I also expect that the data I give to a retailer is being leveraged in a way that improves my shopping experience. For example, I want better recommendations given my purchase history, my “likes,” and my browsing. I expect the retailer to know my email and payment information for a single click checkout. These are small and trivial frictions that can be eliminated, as long as the data is handled properly with the right permissions. And the capture and analysis of big data (general information aggregated from all customers) is an opportunity for the retailer to fine-tune the overall customer experience.

However much of the data collected goes unused. This occurs because the infrastructure within an organization is unable to make the data accessible or searchable. It can’t be used to improve decision-making across the retail value chain. The unused data comes from many sources: mobile devices, digital and physical store shopping, and IoT.