My attention was brought to a greenbutton.com (http://www.greenbutton.com/blog/index.php/2013/10/30/why-windows-azure/) today when it was tweeted by @WindowsAzure (https://twitter.com/WindowsAzure/status/400669888823697408) in which the author, Dave Fellows speaks of how they believe Windows Azure is going to overtake Amazon as the leader in cloud computing within two to three years.
My personal feeling is that I agree with what Dave is saying. Windows Azure has been gaining steam and momentum significantly over the last year as Microsoft has increased the amount of work and effort it’s putting into virtualisation and cloud for the on premise private, mash-up hybrid and all out public cloud software architectures.
Microsoft are traditionally late to a party but when they arrive, they do it well and they do it big. As I’ve made public knowledge recently on my blog here, I worked on a Windows Azure project recently to deliver my companies public website on the Platform as a Service public cloud infrastructure using a CMS product called Sitecore. The experience was really good both when dealing with pre-sales to engage with Microsoft and discuss the opportunity of Windows Azure, and also with Premier Support Services who were really good at helping us get to where we needed to be on the couple of occasions we ran into issues. For clarity, we ran into issues because of soft limits imposed on Azure subscriptions to prevent customers from inflicting giant bills on themselves by provisioning lots of service without considering the ramifications, not because of any practical issues such as performance or loss of service.
As the integration with products and services like System Center Data Protection Manager, System Center Virtual Machine Manager and AppController all improve as I’m sure they will beyond the 2012 R2 releases, this story is only going to get better. The Azure VPN feature already allows customers to expand their on premise networks and private clouds into Azure and future services of this nature, allowing customers to adopt public cloud but in a private and secure manner will promote adoption for those customers who aren’t quite ready to take the leap of faith into public-public.