Lately I’ve seen a few articles comparing the size of the clouds. Who is bigger? Who is more secure? Who has more customers? and unfortunately a lot of the links people send me are from 1, 2 years ago a time when Amazon AWS reigned supreme.
In this area things are literally changing every week! So while the number of costumers in Amazon AWS is still larger than anyone, both Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud are make huge leaps catching up with AWS.
Next time you see an article or when you are researching for a real comparison, I suggest to do 1 thing first: Check the date of the article and apply a gain of salt for anything written older than 6 months.
So here’s a summary of the Azure state of play as of October 2015. You can learn more about these numbers here.
Azure has more datacenters than Amazon EC2 and Google Cloud combined.
Microsoft invests heavily on compliance, data security, controls and transparency initiatives. As of today, Azure is the cloud service that has the broadest numbers of regulatory and data compliance certifications. This means that virtually any business environment can be delivered using Azure. That’s a challenge for Google and AWS for example, if they are not compliant with the Israel Government Data Compliance regulations, cloud solutions cannot be used for their projects.
One interesting fact on this about Google Cloud: With Google Cloud you cannot guarantee where your data will be located. Even if you select your datacenter to be in your own country. If you are an Australian customer, for example, Australian laws requires the data not to leave the country for some industries.
From Millions to Billions to Trillions
An interesting statistic not mentioned here is that more than 40% of the Azure revenue comes from start-ups and small ISVs building the next generation of businesses.
Fortune 500 Weapon-of-Choice
The proof is in the pudding. 80% of the largest companies in the world are using Azure. These guys don’t go picking up a cloud provider easily. They have specialized IT departments that take these decisions very seriously. Leverage their time and knowledge when considering your cloud decision.
Internet Of Things (IoT) Services
A lot of customers are already joining the IoT strategy to help them run their businesses more effectively and in a more innovative fashion. People like Rockwell Automation are using the Azure IoT API to manage gas dispensers across critical infrastructure around the world. From 2015/2016, all Ford vehicles will come out with dozens of IoT sensors and these guys will be streaming this data to the cloud. ThyssenKrupp is using IoT sensors in elevators all across the world tracking the equipment health of millions of elevators across the world and using Azure Machine Learning they will use these IoT signals to predict when these elevators will break down and be able to act of it before they do.
The Largest Cloud VM Infrastructure
With Azure, you can have virtual machines running on 32 CPU cores, 450 GB RAM, using SSD up to 6.5 terabytes of space, which combined can go up to 64 terabytes of storage per VM, all this with less than 1 millisecond latency. That’s huge and unparalleled at the moment.
Bring Your Own Enterprise Security Partner
Azure is already a very secure environment with platinum quality, and on top of that if your company already has a trusted security partner relationship you can bring this partner to your public cloud with Azure. The biggest and most common enterprise security firms are certified and can run on Azure as an appliance for your cloud. Implement their security protocols end-to-end with little impact on your security experience.