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Microsoft Azure: The only consistent, comprehensive hybrid cloud

Posted on September 25, 2018

General Manager, Microsoft Azure

When we talk to our customers about their cloud strategy, we continue to hear loud and clear from many of them that a hybrid approach to cloud makes the most sense for their business. Organizations choose a hybrid strategy for many reasons including to take advantage of the cloud while leveraging existing on-premises technology as an asset, to help them achieve greater flexibility, or to meet regulatory requirements.

Customers tell us they look for a cloud platform that enables choices, flexibility, and consistency of experience across their full environment. Microsoft deeply understands this reality. Based on our decades of enterprise experience, we designed Azure to be hybrid from day one, to offer true consistency across cloud and on-premises with the broadest set of hybrid capabilities in applications, data, identity, security, and management.

Customers choose Azure to power their hybrid cloud strategies

More than 95 percent of Fortune 500 companies trust their business on Azure today, and many of them take advantage of Azure hybrid capabilities to fuel innovation and deliver great business outcomes.

Running its $15 billion business on Azure using a hybrid cloud model, Smithfield Foods slashed datacenter costs by 60 percent, accelerated application delivery from two months to one day, and greatly improved network security. Smithfield tells us that, “Azure is a great hybrid enabler.”

Chevron takes a hybrid migration approach to move many applications to Azure while continuing to take advantage of existing infrastructure and technology. “Microsoft understands enterprises better than anyone. And they’ve been true partners with us on this journey,” says Victoria Harris, Public Cloud Manager at Chevron. 

Adopting a hybrid cloud infrastructure enabled by Azure allows J.B. Hunt to move workloads to the cloud that make sense and continue to run business on-premises. J.B. Hunt tells us that “Microsoft didn’t ask us to bend to their vision of a cloud. It was Microsoft meeting us where we are today.”

AllScripts strategically moves acquired applications, including Linux-based applications, to Azure to realize dramatic time-to-market gains. And, AllScripts takes advantage of Azure Hybrid Benefit to achieve significant cost savings migrating applications to Azure.

Continuous hybrid cloud innovation 

As the leader in hybrid cloud, we are committed to designing and delivering new capabilities that support our customers’ hybrid needs so they can run their business successfully on Azure.

This week at Ignite, we were pleased to announce many exciting new hybrid capabilities and continue the conversation about hybrid cloud with many of you. From Azure Stack momentum, to the launch of Azure DevOps, to data platform innovation, industry-leading security and management capabilities, and a new version of Windows Server coming soon – we have some amazing hybrid solutions to help you as you transform your business.

We’re proud to partner with you and bring our customers the ultimate consistent hybrid cloud, across the following key areas.

Consistent hybrid applications. Azure Stack has been a game changer for many companies since its debut at last year’s Ignite conference. It brings core Azure services into on-premises datacenters so developers can access one single platform to develop, test and deploy hybrid applications everywhere the business needs. A hybrid approach allows KPMG to meet constantly changing regulatory and customer requirements while keeping sensitive data secure and on-premises. “Azure Stack… gives us the same infrastructure components that are in Azure datacenters in local partner datacenters. There’s complete architectural consistency—the same portal, API, application model, and tooling,” says KPMG Chief Information Officer, Dag Jørgensen.

We continue to deliver innovation to Azure Stack and drive consistency with Azure. Yesterday, we made several announcements about Azure Stack that further enhance the developer experience across Azure and Azure Stack - like the availability of Kubernetes on Azure Stack, consistent blockchain deployment across Azure and Azure Stack, and expanded capacity of Azure Stack with some of our hardware partners.

Consistent hybrid DevOps. Running a successful hybrid cloud requires a consistent DevOps approach across environments. Earlier this month, we announced Azure DevOps, the most complete DevOps offering in the public cloud. With Azure DevOps services and on-premises Azure DevOps Server, customers get the same full suite of DevOps services and capabilities across hybrid cloud, enabling agile development and consistent software delivery by adopting the same CI/CD pipeline across cloud and on-premises. The result includes better products delivered faster.

Consistent hybrid data platform. Azure offers a full set of data services that enable customers to distribute, manage, and analyze data consistently across on-premises and the cloud, whether it's in SQL, PostgreSQL, MySQL, or NoSQL. Yesterday we announced the general availability of Azure SQL Database Managed Instance, a service that allows organizations to move all their SQL workloads to the cloud and back again – with no code changes – regardless of what SQL Server they are currently running. KMD, a leading IT and software company, finds SQL Database Managed Instance invaluable because it allows them to migrate huge databases into Azure cloud, making a one-to-one transfer without changing any code. 

Consistent hybrid identity. Azure provides a common identity model with Azure Active Directory, giving users a secure, seamless single sign-on experience across applications and environments on-premises, in Azure and other clouds. Connect your on-premises Active Directory solutions to the cloud with Azure Active Directory and have one identity and access management strategy across your full estate.

Consistent hybrid security and management. Azure offers the broadest built-in security and management capabilities to ensure that Linux and Windows resources across cloud and on-premises are monitored, backed up, secure, and resilient in a unified way. Using Azure hybrid security and management capabilities, IHG (Intercontinental Hotels Group) gained a holistic and global view of the health of servers and services, both in the cloud and on-premises. IHG tells us that, “Microsoft allows us to have one world aggregated view…we are able to make better decisions. We are able to troubleshoot faster.”

Yesterday, we announced the public preview of Secure Score in Azure Security Center. Secure Score provides visibility and recommendations to improve security posture for both Azure and on-premises resources. Additionally, we announced Azure Monitor that now brings together our existing capabilities for monitoring infrastructure, applications, and networks into one unified offering, delivering full stack monitoring for applications across hybrid environments. The latest release of Windows Server 2019 will include features that enable customers to extend their on-premises Windows Server environments to Azure and use Azure services like Azure Backup and Azure Site Recovery.

Built for a future powered by intelligent cloud and intelligent edge

Hybrid cloud is evolving from being the integration of a datacenter with the public cloud, to becoming units of computing available at the edge, including even the world’s most remote destinations, working in concert with public cloud. We call this new era intelligent cloud and intelligent edge. Many of the same patterns and principles of building hybrid applications apply to cloud/edge applications. The investments you make and the skillsets you develop from running Azure hybrid cloud position your organization to take advantage of edge computing in the future.

I hope you enjoy the rest of this week at Ignite! Learn more about Azure hybrid cloud.