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London Calling! Microsoft follows AWS into the UK

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Less than a week after Werner Vogels announced AWS’ third region coming to the UK, Microsoft has followed suit. Looking to attract more customers as the cloud vendor war heats up, CEO Satya Nadella revealed today in London that Azure, Dynamics CRM and Office 365 services will be available from a UK data center region by the end of of 2016.

Both moves confirm the importance of the UK in the cloud computing landscape and qualm EU fears of PII leaving the Union, especially in light of the EU top court’s ruling of the U.S.-EU Safe Harbor Framework last month. 

It will be interesting to see how the customer adoption battle plays out. AWS regions typically consist of multiple, physical data centers making up their multiple Availability Zones (AZ’s) and Direct Connect (DX) locations.  Microsoft’s regions, however, appear to consist of only one  distinct data center per location, i.e. Japan “East” and Japan “West”. Which strategy is better for hosting cross-site high availability applications in the UK?

All in all, 2016 is already shaping up to be a very interesting year for cloud computing in the UK. Let’s see what the New Year brings!azurevsaws

 

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2015 and the Cloud

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With the New Year just days away, I hope that everyone is enjoying the holidays in the company of family and friends.

As we near the end of an exciting year in cloud, I’d like to reflect a little on what has been and what is to come. Since its introduction in 2006, there’s no doubt that the cloud is growing up. In 2012, the cloud was still a buzzword downplayed by naysayers. In 2013, cost analysis tools sprung up to help organizations leverage the cloud the way it advertised itself: cost effectively. This year, we witnessed the rise of AWS competitors like Microsoft, IBM and Google and DevOps became a part of enterprise vocabulary.

Here at the end of 2014, it’s clear that not only is the cloud here to stay, but it is a prevailing technology changing the way that businesses operate, enabling scalability at a level never before possible.

With AWS still the dominant cloud provider (see image below), 2015 will usher in a year of increased competitiveness as many businesses look to diversify their cloud (private and public) and run them in tandem based on workload.

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While Microsoft and IBM’s entrance into the cloud vendor space validated the cloud’s existence, it also underlined a new shift – enterprise adoption. Although AWS built itself upon startup infrastructure, this year’s re:Invent conference featured plenty of “all-in” stories and enterprise lingo (predictability, manageability, security, availability, etc) as Amazon seeks the enterprise seal of approval. As enterprises begin the transition to the cloud in 2015, it will be interesting to see how the deeply cultivated relationships and bottomless pockets of IBM and Microsoft affect the current market share.

No matter how long the transition takes, a few things are for sure:

2015 will be full of price wars… again. Backup as a business is not sustainable on its own and the leaders are all in a race towards achieving the greatest economies of scale. The winner takes all.

Docker containers will ship everywhere. Amazon, Google, Microsoft, eBay are already onboard.

The hybrid cloud will finally be a thing. But companies will need a consolidated single pane of glass view across all of them in addition to the ability to shift workloads automatically to and from and to automate manual tasks like killing underutilized infrastructure (one ring to rule them all).

Cloud hacks will be unavoidable. Governance failures, poor management and lax security will be the biggest culprits.

8 years after the cloud’s introduction, we’re set for its biggest year yet. Hold on tight…

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