This is a new series of blogs on Microsoft Azure, the purpose of which is to introduce the strategy and the capabilities of Microsoft Azure. In this first issue, we are going to highlight the strengths of Azure, and map out topics for future blogs.

Today, many organizations are moving their software to the Cloud. While Amazon remains dominant, its advantage is narrowing. According to Synergy Research Group, Amazon Web Services (AWS) held a 27 percent market share in the third quarter of 2014, compared to 10 percent for Azure. However, Azure grew 136 percent on a rolling annualized basis in the quarter, while AWS grew 56 percent1.Why?

First of all, AWS may have its advantages in capabilities, but over time, Azure will be the choice of most Microsoft customers, and hence Citrix customers

Enterprise Focus and Customer Familiarity

Most Citrix customers and partners are tied to Microsoft infrastructure and their IT professionals are already familiar with Microsoft systems and tools. Azure integrates closely with Microsoft tools and workloads, such as Visual Studio and Active Directory, and System Center, to provide enterprises a friction-free path the cloud.

 Personally speaking, Microsoft’s cloud is just a lot easier to use than Amazon’s.

@Reuven Cohen, Sr. Cloud Evangelist, Citrix

 

“Hybrid” model

Even though the Cloud has evolved significantly, it is still very early in the adoption cycle. Most enterprise customers are not willing to give up control of the core business apps that may have sensitive corporate data contained within, such as ERP. Nor are they ready to abandon their on-premises infrastructure investments. Microsoft’s hybrid cloud provides a more conservative and graduated approach to integrate cloud capabilities into an Enterprise’s existing data centers. The controllability and security hybrid model offers makes it an easy choice for enterprise IT.

Partnership and Pricing

Citrix partners and customers are usually also Microsoft partners and customers. A number of them have Enterprise Agreements, which include very favorable discounts on top of Azure’s already competitive pricing.

We mostly build on Azure, because our customers, like P&G, want to use Azure. Their IT skillset and their legacy investments are with Microsoft. Plus, they have also been Microsoft partners for a long time.

@Jinto V., Principal architect at Mindtree, an IT consulting company

Secondly, Citrix’s long and close collaboration with Microsoft allows us to engage with them in both technology advancements and joint marketing strategies. For example, Citrix is an active participant in the Azure Advisory Group, which keeps us updated with Azure’s latest product roadmaps and provides regular bi-directional engagements for them to listen to our priorities. Microsoft’s cloud platform commitment drives its openness to requirements, constant improvements and speedy implementation.

Last but not least, Azure enables significant opportunities for this market.

HyperScale – Azure has a global footprint in 19 data center regions, twice that of AWS and six times that of Google. This enables Citrix to reach a broader segment of world’s population.

PaaS – Azure started from Platform as a Service (PaaS), which allows us to leverage the latest technologies, focus resources on the core of building applications, while Azure takes care of all the rest, including resiliency and scalability.

Government Cloud –  The special Azure cloud for government that Microsoft has implemented will be a big opportunity for Citrix, which is strong in government sector. Besides that, Azure is the only US cloud provider licensed to work in China2 today.

Hopefully you are now interested in Azure and ready to begin your Azure journey. Here are some useful resources for you to get started!

In future newsletter issues we will be covering a broad set of Azure topics, including:

  • IaaS
  • Hybrid Cloud
  • Azure Networking
  • Storage
  • Identity and Access Management with AAD
  • Azure Service Bus
  • PaaS
  • Ops/Management

We hope that you enjoy the Super Bowl on your device with NBC, streamed to you through Azure Media Services!

Reference:

Synergy Research Group Cloud Market Research [link][1]

Microsoft Launches Azure in China Via 21Vianet Group [link][2]

Amazon’s cloud business a harder sell in post-Snowden era [link]

Gartner’s cloud showdown: Amazon Web Services vs. Microsoft Azure [link]

Microsoft gains on Amazon as IT pros weigh AWS vs. Azure [link]

Hidden Cloud Costs: AWS, Azure Management Costs Compared [link]

Managing Hybrid Clouds with Microsoft Azure and System Center 2012 R2 [link]

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