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Azure Service Bus Messaging is the one of the most powerful message brokers with the deepest feature set available anywhere in public cloud infrastructure today. The global Azure Service Bus broker infrastructure, available in all global Azure regions and the Azure Government cloud, processes nearly 500 Billion message transactions per month. Each cluster in these regions is backed by as many as hundreds of compute cores, Terabytes of memory, and Petabytes of backing storage capacity, far exceeding the cluster deployment scale of any commercial or open source broker you could acquire and run.

As a fully transactional broker that builds on the ISO/IEC standard AMQP 1.0 protocol, Service Bus provides a robust foundation for commercial and financial workloads.It provides strong assurances on message delivery and message retention, with SLA-backed, and sustainably achieved availability and reliability rates unmatched in the industry at its functional depth and scale. The Azure Premium Messaging tier provides performance predictability and further enhanced reliability by exclusively reserving processing resources on a per customer basis inside an environment that provides all the management and cost advantages of cloud scale.

We’re confident to state that Azure Service Bus, delivered from the nearest Azure datacenter over redundant network connectivity, is a choice far superior in terms of cost and reliability to most on-premises messaging cluster installations, even if the core workloads run and remain in an on-premises environment.

Hybrid is the future

The future of hybrid cloud computing in Azure is twofold. First, we provide world-class services and capabilities with open protocols that can be composed with and leveraged by on-premises services run anywhere. Second, we license the software backing these services for on-premises delivery on top of Azure Stack.

This strategy is also guiding the future for Azure Service Bus Messaging and all other capabilities delivered by the Messaging team, which includes Azure Event Hubs and Azure Relay.

As a consequence, we are announcing today that we will not provide an immediate successor for the standalone Service Bus for Windows Server 1.1 product. Service Bus for Windows Server 1.1 was shipped as a free download that could be installed inside and outside of the Azure Stack precursor Azure Pack. The product is available as a free download and will go out of mainstream support on January 9, 2018, following the regular Microsoft lifecycle policy as published at the initial product release.

While we are continuing to significantly strengthening the commitment to deliver Service Bus, as well as our other messaging technologies, on top of the packaged on-premises Azure technology stack, we will no longer deliver a Windows Server or Windows Client installable message broker outside of that context.

We have come to this conclusion and decision after a careful analysis of market and community needs, trends, and considering what our true technology strengths are.

After decades of monoculture, there has been a “cambrian explosion” in messaging platforms. There are many kinds of brokers and messaging libraries that fill many niches. We believe that the breadth of choice customers now have for running messaging middleware on singular special purpose devices, in communication gateways and the fog, on factory floors, in retail stores, in bank branches, inside building control systems, or inside a delivery truck or a container vessel is very, very exciting.

Microsoft Azure’s strengths lay in building and running robust cloud-scale systems that deal with high-volume, high-velocity, consolidated message flows in and through the cloud, via Azure Service Bus Messaging, Azure Relay, and Azure Event Hubs. We believe that “hybrid” also means collaboration and integration to create a “better together” story of a healthy messaging platform ecosystem that fills all the niches across IT and IoT, and that leverages public cloud as a backplane and integration surface.

Microsoft therefore continues to invest in advancing the AMQP and MQTT protocols in OASIS and working with organizations, such as the OPC Foundation, in vertical industries to establish a solid set of choices for messaging protocol standards. Based on that standards foundation, we are looking forward to collaborating with many vendors and communities to build specialized messaging infrastructure, creating federation bridges and integration into and through Azure and Azure Stack. The timeline for availability of our services on Azure Stack will be announced at a future date.

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