Amazon has been the undisputed leader in cloud services for some time now, but it looks like Microsoft is edging in. If you’re thinking about adopting Microsoft Azure, there may be some pain in your future — but then again, there might not be if you anticipate and plan for it. Here’s what you need to know.
Microsoft Azure Closing the Gap
The recent 2015 State of the Cloud Report by RightScale reveals that Amazon Web Services has company at the top of the cloud services chart: Microsoft Azure. According to the report, Amazon Web Services was the enterprise cloud service of choice for 50 percent of respondents. Microsoft Azure IaaS came in second with 19 percent. Its sibling, Microsoft Azure PaaS came in third with 15 percent.
The competition, all with less than 10 percent of market share included: Rackspace Public Cloud (10 percent), Google App Engine (10 percent), Google IaaS (9 percent), VMware vCloud Air (7 percent), IBM SoftLayer (6 percent), and HP Helion Public Cloud (2 percent). Of note, VMware vCloud Air had 18 percent of marketshare in 2014, dropping dramatically (1).
The report’s authors concluded that cloud adoption is “a given.”
The Pain of Cloud Adoption
While moving to the cloud and choosing a solution such as Microsoft Azure or Amazon Web Services may be “a given,” it’s not necessarily without its pain points. One of the biggest pain points of Microsoft Azure adoption — and cloud adoption in general — involves a reliance on the unreliable public Internet.
For example, as you move enterprise applications and data from behind the firewall and up to the cloud — whether it’s Azure, Amazon, and any other service provider, your old networking and application delivery tools don’t necessarily work as expected. MPLS and traditional WAN optimization appliances are not meant practical for deploying with the Azure cloud. Thus, many organizations provide access to cloud applications using the unreliable public Internet.
This is a cheap and easy method of access, but application performance takes a hit. Slow applications adversely impact end-user satisfaction and productivity, and if performance drops enough, usage drops with it (2).
Now that’s pain — and your users around the globe are the ones to feel it. As usage drops, the pain spreads.
What You Need to Avoid the Pain
No one wants pain. Your cloud solution should solve problems, not cause more. If you’re contemplating a move to Azure cloud or any other cloud service provider, using the public Internet is a recipe for disaster. However, few have the resources to create their own private global networks.
The answer is to use a private link over an optimized network designed specifically for accelerated cloud services. By using a private optimized network, your users around the globe bypass the unreliable public network, going directly to the cloud. Why struggle with traffic congestion, latency, and slow performance when you can connect with an optimized network and get the speeds and performance you expect from modern technology?