Category Archives : Cloud Strategy



Microsoft continues to be a leader in Gartner’s Cloud IaaS MQ

We’re in the midst of the cloud revolution. Customers – big and small – are betting on Azure and undergoing massive digital transformation. While industry stalwarts like Rio Tinto are powering their mission critical SAP deployments with powerful Azure infrastructure, startups like Audioburst are envisioning entire new businesses on Azure with AI technologies, and many others like Adobe are delighting their customers with better digital experiences. Every customer has a fascinating story on what they’re doing with Azure. And we’re proud to be the cloud – across IaaS and PaaS – underpinning this transformation and enabling IT.

Today, we’re honored to be recognized as a leader in Gartner’s IaaS MQ for the fifth consecutive year.

Many of our customers choose IaaS as the entry point to Azure and I am happy to note that the recent Right Scale State of the Cloud survey placed Azure ahead of any other cloud for enterprises beginning their cloud journey. The reason customers are choosing Azure is not just because Azure offers unparalleled security, the largest global datacenter footprint, true hybrid consistency and a rich set of application services. It’s also because Microsoft leads across a broad spectrum of cloud services. This gives our



Customer success stories with Azure Backup: Somerset County Council

This is a continuation of our customer success story blog series for Azure Backup. In the previous case study we covered Russell Reynolds, here we will discuss how United Kingdom’s Somerset County Council are able to improve their backup and restore efficiency and reduce their backup cost using Azure Backup.

Customer background

United Kingdom’s Somerset County Council provides government services to its 550,000 residents. It is one of the oldest local governments in the world, established about 700 A.D. Somerset had been using an in-house storage manager platform for their data backup and restore on-premises.

“The biggest problems we had were with flexibility and scalability. We had racks and racks of disks, and we had to wait a long time to get new hardware. The complexities with the product itself also introduced many challenges” says Dean Cridland, Senior IT Officer at Somerset County Council. In addition, as the data footprint grew, IT staff struggled to hit daily backup SLA. So, they were looking for a modern backup solution that could meet their ever-growing data footprint requirement, meet their backup SLA, and aligns with their strategy of moving to the cloud.

How Azure Backup helped

Somerset deployed Azure Backup Server to



Azure confidential computing

Last September, I had the privilege to publicly announce our Azure confidential computing efforts, where Microsoft Azure became the first cloud platform to enable new data security capabilities that protect customer data while in use. The Azure team, alongside Microsoft Research, Intel, Windows, and our Developer Tools group, have been working together to bring Trusted Execution Environments (TEEs) such as Intel SGX and Virtualization Based Security (VBS – previously known as Virtual Secure mode) to the cloud. TEEs protect data being processed from access outside the TEE. We’re ready to share more details about our confidential cloud vision and the work we’ve done since the announcement.

Many companies are moving their mission critical workloads and data to the cloud, and the security benefits that public clouds provide is in many cases accelerating that adoption. In their 2017 CloudView study, International Data Corporation (IDC) found that ‘improving security’ was one of the top drivers for companies to move to the cloud. However, security concerns still remain a commonly cited blocker for moving extremely sensitive IP and data scenarios to the cloud. Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) recently published the latest version of its Treacherous 12 Threats to Cloud Computing report. Not surprisingly,



Private Offers on Azure Marketplace
Private Offers on Azure Marketplace

At Build 2018, we announced the public preview of Private Offers on Azure Marketplace for single virtual machine offers, enabling publishers to create SKUs that are only visible to targeted customers. Azure Marketplace publishers are now able to create these private offers via the Cloud Partner Portal.


Private offers unlock the ability for publishers to create exclusive offers for their closest customers and offer customized software and terms to them. These customized terms enable publishers to light up a variety of scenarios.

Private Offers can provide specialized pricing such as discounts, long term pricing, and bulk software deals to targeted customers. Publishers can broaden the audience for the private offers as they make updates, thereby allowing them to run limited BETA releases. These releases can then be made public later with a few mouse-clicks. Special terms and offers can be entered into these offers enabling publishers to offer software with special agreements which must be agreed to while deploying software. Creating Private Offers and SKUs

For existing offers, publishers can easily create new private variations only visible to and purchasable by the targeted customers by creating new SKUs and marking them as private. Private SKUs must use a new



Announcing first-class support for CloudEvents on Azure

As more and more serverless applications are developed, events are now the glue connecting all aspects of modern applications. These events can originate from microservices, from VMs, from the edge, or even from IoT devices. They can be fired for infrastructure automation, for application communication, as triggers from data platforms, or to connect complex analytics and AI services. The value of events is growing exponentially, there are a plethora of diverse sources and consumers of events across public clouds, private clouds, and even at the edge.

One of our major Azure innovations last year was the creation of an event-centric serverless platform, Azure Event Grid. To support the growing diversity of serverless applications, Event Grid was launched with support to use Azure’s native serverless platforms, like Azure Functions, and with support to use custom events, enabling applications to send and receive events whether on Azure or another platform.

We are now taking this open and diverse event approach further by being the first major public cloud to offer first-class support for CloudEvents as part of Event Grid. CloudEvents is a new open specification and standard for describing event data in a common and consistent way. Building on this standard will



The Azure Cloud Collaboration Center: A First-of-Its Kind Facility

As businesses around the world continue to adopt Azure, it’s our mission to ensure our customers can trust our cloud. Today in Redmond, we invited the world to see how our teams are innovating in the Azure Cloud Collaboration Center, a first-of-its-kind facility that combines innovation and scale to address operational issues and unexpected events in order to drive new levels of customer responsiveness, security and efficiency.


Microsoft unveils Azure Cloud Collaboration Center

We’re using the Cloud Collaboration Center to take a proactive approach to delivering responsiveness for our customers, who count on our cloud services in 140 countries and on all inhabited continents. To meet the mission-critical requirements businesses trust, we need to be always looking ahead. Delivering innovation in Azure services means identifying new efficiencies and finding new ways to streamline connections with the intelligence we have at every level of the cloud.

The Cloud Collaboration Center space gives customers a snapshot of what is happening with their data 24/7 and enables real-time troubleshooting of any issue by multiple teams simultaneously from across the organization. It is a space that’s purpose-built for collaborative work, with a 1,600 square foot video wall that enables a comprehensive view



Organizing subscriptions and resource groups within the Enterprise

Special thanks to Robert Venable, Principal Software Engineer in the Finance Engineering team of Core Services Engineering (formerly Microsoft IT) for sharing their story of enabling development teams while ensuring security and compliance. Thanks also to Scott Hoag, Principal Cloud Solutions Architect at Opsgility and Rob Dendtler, Account Technology Strategist at Microsoft for reviewing and providing invaluable feedback.

One of the common questions members of the Core Services Engineering and Operations teams frequently get when speaking to customers at the Executive Briefing Center here in Redmond is how do our engineering teams secure our Azure footprint for our Line of Business applications while still giving developers the freedom to go fast, have visibility into our environment and use the capabilities of Visual Studio Team Services for CI/CD, Release, and much more.

At the core of this answer is how we use the combination of subscriptions, resource groups, and Role Based Access Control to ensure compliance with a set of guidelines.

Let’s start at the top level: Azure Subscriptions. CSEO, as you can imagine has a lot of Line of Business applications, currently over a thousand. We loosely follow the business unit pattern from the Azure enterprise scaffold – prescriptive subscription



Gartner recognizes Microsoft as a leader in enterprise integration

This blog post was authored by Rodrigo de Carvalho, Product Marketing Manager, Microsoft Azure.

Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Integration Platform as a Service (eiPaaS), 2018 positions Microsoft as a leader and it reflects Microsoft’s ability to execute and completeness of vision.

Microsoft’s global presence, strong growth, and platform versatility provides customers the confidence to choose Azure as the cloud platform to automate, integrate, and optimize their business processes by connecting on-premises applications, SaaS, data, and to API-enable applications with managed integration services.

Integration Platform-as-a-Service at enterprise-scale

By integrating applications and data with partners, suppliers or customers, organizations optimize trade and information exchange driving business agility. Process automation, Enterprise Application Integration (EAI), Business-to-Business (B2B) transactions, Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), and Application Programing Interface (API) management are all areas in which organizations leverage Azure’s integration capabilities.

With Azure, organizations enhance productivity with business processes automation, SaaS, and on-premises application integration leveraging the most common out-of-the-box connectors for Azure services, Office 365, Dynamics CRM, among others.

“To build the highest quality product causing the least amount of harm.”

– Drew Story, Solution Architect, Patagonia

Also, organizations use Azure to optimize the exchange of electronic messages in business-to-business transactions, even



A years’ worth of cloud, AI and partner innovation. Welcome to NAB 2018!

As I reflect on cloud computing and the media industry since last year’s NAB, I see two emerging trends. First, content creators and broadcasters such as Rakuten, RTL, and Al Jazeera are increasingly using the global reach, hybrid model, and elastic scale of Azure to create, manage, and distribute their content. Second, AI-powered tools for extracting insights from content are becoming an integral part of the content creation, management and distribution workflows with customers such as Endemol Shine Group, and Zone TV.

Therefore, at this year’s NAB, we are focused on helping you modernize your media workflows, so you can get the best of cloud computing and AI.  We made a number of investments to enable better content production workflows in Azure, including the recent acquisition of Avere Systems. You can learn more about how Azure can help you improve your media workflows and business here.

Read on to learn more about the key advancements we’ve made – in media services, distribution and our partner ecosystem – since last year’s IBC.

Azure Media Services

Democratizing AI for Media Industry: Since its launch at NAB 2016, Azure Media Analytics has come a long way. At Build 2017, we launched Video Indexer,



Accelerate Data Warehouse Modernization to Azure with Informatica’s AI-Driven Platform

Data is central to digital transformation. We have seen many customers moving their data workloads to Azure which benefits from the inherent performance and agility of cloud. Enterprises are moving on-premises workloads to public cloud at an increasing rate. Results from the 2016 Harvey Nash/KPMG CIO Survey indicate that cloud adoption is now mainstream and accelerating as enterprises shift data-intensive operations to the cloud. Specifically, Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) adoption is predicted to be the fastest-growing sector of cloud platforms according to KPMG, growing from 32 percent in 2017 to 56 percent adoption in 2020.

Cloud data warehouse is one of the fastest growing segments. Azure SQL Data Warehouse (SQL DW) allows customers to unleash the elasticity and economics of cloud while maintain a fast, flexible and secure warehouse for all their data.
Microsoft has partnered with Informatica, the leader in Enterprise Cloud Data Management, to help you modernize your data architecture with intelligent data management. So that you can build a cloud data warehouse solution that easily adapts and scales as your data types, volume, applications and architecture changes.

Informatica’s AI-driven Intelligent Data Platform, with solutions purpose-built for Azure, is a modular micro services architecture that accelerates your Azure SQL