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Azure News & Analysis

Microsoft to Host Next-Generation BizTalk Server on Azure

Microsoft is deploying a new, Azure-based platform for applications designed to handle business transactions on mobile devices – apps that can be both designed and deployed in the cloud, by non-professional developers.  Azure App Service will be a web apps platform for the business process management (BPM) market.

As the business world moves away from the monolithic client/server model to a cloud infrastructure based on microservices, the transactional system upon which the world’s financial structure is based, must move with it.

The brains of the world are relocating.  Now it’s time to move its cardiovascular system.

Microsoft Azure IoT Suite: Will It Speed Your Journey? #Conv15

Microsoft is releasing the Azure IoT Suite. Coupled with two new programs, it is intended to take users to the Internet of Things (IoT) quicker.

The new suite and programs dovetail with the development of the new Windows 10 IoT operating system, as well as a number of Azure services. All of it is intended to help business that use digital technologies transform to digital businesses.

While that distinction appears subtle, it is actually pretty significant one. It flags a new business environment that will be driven by the IoT, with other applications feeding into it.

The announcements were made at this week's Convergence conference in Atlanta.

Say What? Cisco, Microsoft Want to Help Your Cloud Talk to Customers

Cisco is expanding its long-standing relationship with Microsoft. It's a new effort to automate hybrid cloud service provisioning for service providers. 

Normally, when we say “service providers” and we don’t mean cloud providers like Amazon, we mean communications providers like Verizon. But in this case, we mean both.

We’re also referring to any business that sells computing capability, storage capacity and software services to its customers. 

If your business provides a service for your customers to, say, contact your support agents directly and share their troubles with products or other services, then by definition, you’re a service provider.

Congratulations: You, Verizon, Netflix and Amazon are in the same boat.

Microsoft Confirms 'Dramatic Refactoring' of Windows Server

During a Twitter-hosted tweet jam today, Microsoft’s lead architect for Windows Server, Jeffrey Snover, acknowledged what he called “crazy innovation” happening with his key product. In response to a question from CMSWire, Snover told the crowd that his team was “working on a dramatic refactoring of the server.”

Though Snover declined to provide many further details, the question involved a specific evolutionary path which both Snover and the jam’s co-host, Azure technical fellow Mark Russinovich, skillfully refrained from denying.

Microsoft may be steering Windows Server away from its traditional role as a provider of monolithic applications on a desktop — toward a radically different scheme much more similar to what’s being done in recent months with Linux and Docker.

Can You Name the 3 Leaders in the Public Enterprise Cloud Space?

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Put your money on hybrid cloud computing — and Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft and Rackspace.

But be forewarned: Security (or lack thereof) is still a concern and one of the chief reasons for underuse of cloud resources.

The findings, contained in RightScale’s State of the Cloud Report for 2015, paint a picture of a technology space that is well established but still immature in some respects.

It also confirms that hybrid cloud deployments are the preferred path for enterprises movement to the cloud, which explains why leading vendors have invested so many resources into their hybrid cloud portfolio.

3 Reasons Amazon's Email Could Dent Google, Microsoft

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Think Microsoft and Google have the business email market tied-up? Think again. Amazon has come up with a new business email service called WorkMail that ties in nicely with its file-sharing service Zocalo, and WorkSpaces, a Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) solution.

The new service, launched in preview late last week, provides an email and calendar service that aims to cut into a market that has been dominated by Microsoft’s Office 365 and Google for Work Apps. It has three key features that just might help it dent the market leaders.

Google, VMware Partner for Hybrid Cloud Computing

Google announced today that it has inked a new partnership deal with VMware that should give its public cloud services a considerable boost in the enterprise.

According to a statement issued by the two companies, VMware is making four Google cloud services available to enterprise customers through its vCloud Air hybrid cloud. The services include Big Query analytics, Google Cloud Storage, as well as Google Datastore and DNS services.

Will Microsoft Land the Federal Market with Azure Government?

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Remember when Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announced his Cloud First Mobile First strategy? He really wasn’t joking.

On Monday, he announced a new hybrid cloud initiative with Accenture. Last night, he announced that Microsoft’s Azure Government cloud is now generally available, and that Dynamics CRM Online for government will be available next month.

This follows hot on the heels of the recent announcement that Office 365 for Government has been awarded some major security certifications and that the Feds are now happy to work with it.  

Accenture, Microsoft Team Up to Take Enterprises to the Hybrid Cloud

Enterprises are increasingly willing to weigh the commercial advantages of cloud computing against potential security issues, yet many are still uncomfortable with making the leap.

To help them get over any lingering reluctance, Accenture and Microsoft have extended their existing partnership with the introduction of Accenture Hybrid Cloud Solution for Microsoft Azure. The hybrid cloud solution enables enterprises to manage applications between private and public clouds.

Hey SharePoint Users, You Can Now Get Busy on Google's Cloud

What will it take for Google to win business from companies that have gone all-in on Microsoft? A better Gmail/Inbox (reviews on the latter will be coming soon) or Google Docs experience doesn’t seem to be the answer.

But one good option may be to give enterprises that want to mitigate risk in the cloud an alternate platform – in this case, Google cloud -- that makes it easy to keep SharePoint document repositories and run Exchange Server mail without having to cough up additional licensing fees.

That’s why earlier today Google introduced Microsoft License Mobility for Google Cloud Platform with a pretty strong pitch. 

Outage Outrage As Microsoft's Azure Stumbles

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Microsoft is trying to recover from a widespread outage that affected its Azure cloud platform across multiple regions. The company acknowledged that 11-hour issue, which started last night, affected customers with virtual machines in all regions other than the new Australian data center.

The unanswered question now: What's the long-term impact of the outage, which knocked many third-party sites offline and created problems with Microsoft's Office 365 suite?

SharePoint in the Clouds: Choosing Between Office 365 or Azure

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Every time I read about “the cloud” I want to drag out a red pencil and edit the sentence. Why? Because we should really be talking about “the clouds,” plural.

There are dozens of cloud hosting options for SharePoint, beyond Office 365. Amazon, Rackspace and Fpweb offer compelling alternatives to Microsoft’s public cloud for SharePoint online with a mix of capabilities.

Following SAP and Oracle, IBM Latest to Jump to Microsoft Azure

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Microsoft already partnered with SAP and Oracle on its cloud-computing platform. Why not toss in the fourth player in the Big Four?

IBM is the latest partner in Microsoft's enterprise software layer, a deal that includes:

  • IBM and Microsoft making IBM middleware such as WebSphere Liberty, MQ, and DB2 available on Microsoft Azure
  • Windows Server and SQL Server being offered on IBM Cloud
  • IBM and Microsoft working together to deliver a Microsoft .NET runtime for IBM’s Bluemix cloud development platform

Microsoft Azure welcomes the business.

The news announced yesterday comes five months after Microsoft officials said SAP will certify a number of its business applications to run on Microsoft Azure, including SAP Business Suite software, SAP Business All-In-One solution, SAP Mobile Platform, SAP Adaptive Server Enterprise (SAP ASE) and the developer edition of the SAP HANA platform.

And about a year and a half ago, Oracle jumped into the Microsoft Azure cloud. 

Take a Seat Google, Amazon: Microsoft's Cloud Wins the Day

Though the new mobile-first, cloud-first Microsoft is more open and plays nice with everyone, it also wants to knock the socks, shirt and hat off of the competition. And, if CEO Satya Nadella is right, it has everything it needs to do so.

While mobile, as Microsoft now defines it, is “not about the device” whether it’s a sensor, small screen or large screen, but about “powering mobility with intelligence,” the productivity and collaboration tools are all Microsoft (Office 365 and Dynamics).

And when it comes to the cloud, Microsoft may have one few others can match. We’re not talking only about a super-charged, hyper-scale cloud in the heavens, but also about a new Azure-like appliance that Enterprises can deploy in their own data centers. It has been designed specifically to handle big data workloads (32 cores, 450 gigabytes of RAM and 6.5 terabytes of local solid-state drive storage). Officially named the Microsoft Cloud Platform System (CPS), powered by Dell it is, in essence, an “Azure consistent cloud in a box” with pre-integrated hardware from Dell and software from Microsoft.

Building a Hybrid Bridge to the Microsoft Cloud

2014-29-August-Rope-Bridge.jpgWhen Satya Nadella announced Microsoft’s new Mobile-First, Cloud-First strategy, he drew a line in the sand with Microsoft employees and set the company on a new course. When Microsoft COO, Kevin Turner reiterated the message at the World Wide Partner Conference in July, he sent partners scrambling to get cloud certified, saying “Selling on-premises software was good for you and us for a long time but the future lies in the cloud and mobility, and Microsoft plans to go in that direction with our partner community intact.”

Customers have felt the shift as well as they ponder what solutions can be cloud based and how to integrate them without significant effort and cost. Some organizations look at Office 365 and feel insecure about moving to a multi-tenant environment. Many organizations have significant investments in on-premises applications and infrastructure so moving to the cloud will not be an easy process.

These critical business systems have kept the wheels of commerce running for some time and have been built up with many layers of complexity and integration. Strict compliance regulations prevent many companies from exposing data in a cloud environment. With these constraints and issues in mind Microsoft has created a number of hybrid options that allow companies to selectively migrate enterprise solutions or build new applications that use cloud services while maintaining an on-prem infrastructure.

Let’s look at the options.

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