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Microsoft Azure Expansion Offers More Partner Opportunities

A survey highlights where organizations need the channel’s help with hybrid and multicloud environments.

Kelly Teal

May 26, 2020

4 Min Read
Cloud Computing
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Cloud-centric channel partners targeting EMEA have additional opportunity in some Microsoft Azure expansion. They also should look at specific ways to help organizations make the most of their hybrid and multicloud deployments, given the results of a recent vendor survey. Read on for the details.

Microsoft Beefs Up in UK With 10 New Azure Services

Microsoft has added 10 new cloud computing services across its Azure regions in the U.K.

Here’s a rundown of the lineup of the Microsoft Azure expansion:

  • Azure Bastion: Limits threats by letting users securely connect to virtual machines in Azure without using public IP addresses. Microsoft says this reduces exposure to the public internet and risks such as malware that could target virtual machines.

  • Azure Confidential Computing: Lets Azure secure information while that information is in use. Typical practice, as Microsoft notes, is to encrypt and protect data while it sits in a data center and moves across a network. Microsoft’s approach means multiple organizations may combine their data sets and analyze them, without being able to access each other’s data. Microsoft points to banks as a prime potential user. These firms could use Confidential Computing to combine transaction data to detect fraud and money laundering, for example.

  • Azure Private Link: Offers a secure connection to Microsoft’s cloud with no public internet access. Private Link also helps users meet compliance regulations in certain markets, Microsoft said.

  • Azure App Configuration: Allows central management of application settings.

  • Azure Bot Service: Development service that helps organizations connect to users via popular channels.

  • Consumption Plan Linux: Automatically allocates compute power when code is running.

  • Azure IoT Central: Connects users with devices, partners, app templates and problem solvers.

  • Premium Plan Linux: Provides enhanced performance for production apps.

  • Time Series Insights: Collects, processes, stores, analyzes and queries data.

  • Virtual Network NAT: Simplifies outbound-only internet connectivity for virtual networks.

In addition to the Microsoft Azure expansion, the software giant said it continues to invest in its Azure network across Europe. The company recently announced a $1 billion investment plan in Poland that includes a new Azure region in the country. The expanded portfolio of cloud computing services further comes on top of the recently unveiled $1.5 billion, five-year investment plan in Italy.

Sign up for Channel Futures’ new EMEA newsletter, where we feature news and analysis involving companies based in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, as well as those doing business in that region.

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Microsoft’s Michael Wignall

“Azure is helping organizations, both large and small, adapt to a new way of working, and our cloud experts continue to help them at this challenging time,” Michael Wignall, Azure business lead at Microsoft U.K., wrote in a May 22 blog.

Microsoft so far has announced more than 60 Azure regions across the world; the cloud computing platform is available in more than 140 countries.

Hybrid, Multicloud Still Leading the Pack

More than half (53%) of organizations are embracing hybrid and multicloud architectures as their standard cloud configurations.

The findings come from Denodo, a data virtualization provider, in its third annual cloud usage survey. The company polled more than 250 executives and IT professionals throughout the world: Asia Pacific, Europe, Middle East, Africa and North America.

Above all, Denodo discovered that hybrid cloud makes up 42% of deployments. Public cloud came in a distant second at 18%, with private cloud following closely at 17%.

Respondents told Denodo they like hybrid and multicloud’s ability to diversify spend and skills, build resiliency, and choose features and capabilities depending on …

…. each cloud service provider’s particular strengths. All the while, they like that they can avoid vendor lock-in.

AWS Out in Front

Similar to another recent study, Denodo found that Amazon Web Services still leads its rivals, with Microsoft Azure in second place. About 90% of organizations relying on cloud choose the two providers, Denodo said. Even so, respondents also employ Google Cloud. Among the three, Denodo said analytics surfaced as the top use case across each one. Logical data warehousing came in second at 43%, and data science at 41%.

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Denodo’s Ravi Shankar

Of further interest: More than three-quarters (78%) of respondents said they run some kind of workload in the cloud. Separate but related, use of container technologies increased by 50% year over year, which Denodo interprets as use for scalability and portability to the cloud. About four in five (80%) respondents lean on some type of container deployment. Docker stands out as the most popular (46%), followed by Kubernetes (40%).

Perhaps a prime opportunity for channel partners stemming from these outcomes lies in providing data virtualization platforms (keeping in mind, of course, that this is Denodo’s specialty).

“Hybrid cloud and multicloud architectures are becoming the basis of data management, but the challenge of integrating data in the cloud has almost doubled (43%),” said Ravi Shankar, senior vice president and chief marketing officer at Denodo. “Today, users are looking to simplify cloud data integration in a hybrid/multicloud environment without having to depend on heavy-duty data migration or replication, which may be why almost 50% of respondents said they are considering data virtualization as a key part of their cloud integration and migration strategy.”

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Channel Research

About the Author(s)

Kelly Teal

Contributing Editor, Channel Futures

Kelly Teal has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist, editor and analyst, with longtime expertise in the indirect channel. She worked on the Channel Partners magazine staff for 11 years. Kelly now is principal of Kreativ Energy LLC.

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