11 years ago, Amazon announced that it was relaunching its cloud storage division into what is now known as Amazon Web Services (AWS).
Is the new non-cloud, cloud the product to unseat Amazon Web Services?
Microsoft made big news this week by announcing their long-awaited, not-so-secret weapon in the ongoing mission to unseat Amazon Web Services as the leading player in the cloud computing market. Simply put, the Azure Stack is a new non-cloud, cloud offering that targets organizations with elevated security concerns that have traditionally been cautious about migrating their data off premises.
Microsoft’s answer is to make the cloud available locally by offering the class-leading capabilities of Azure in an on-premise version. While that might sound like an oxymoron, it actually makes a lot of sense for the kind of deep pocket, enterprise class customers—as well as other, smaller specialized needs—that will fuel the continued growth of the Azure platform.
Azure itself has been on a tear recently, up 93% year over year and growing faster than the competition, but security and other barriers remain in certain markets like financial and healthcare, and Microsoft believes this new hybrid cloud model is the answer. The technology is very complex, but the reasoning is very simple: Empower each individual organization to choose where to locate their infrastructure on an application by application basis, based on the data needs of each application, and allow them to take advantage of the extended cloud for additional horsepower or other, less sensitive needs.
The Azure Stack achieves this by running Azure services locally, and integrating with the “traditional” Azure cloud as needed. Think of it as Azure in a Box. In addition to enabling organizations to easily extend their capabilities by leveraging the cloud-cloud, it streamlines technical skills, resource management, and governance by offering the same platform on-premise and off-premise—an important factor that shouldn’t be overlooked into today’s incredibly complex technology ecosystem.
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