Azure World Newsletter – Issue 1.1

One of the goals that I set for myself in 2020 was to start a newsletter. While I really enjoy creating (and watching) videos, a good part of my job involves writing (scripts and slides). So writing a newsletter like this is a natural fit.

Every two weeks, I want to send out 2 or 3 things that caught my eye that you might also be interested in. These will be in the form of news articles, videos, or blog posts from other Azure community members that I think you might be interested in.


ONE.

Recently, Goldman Sachs did a survey of 100 top CIO executives from Global 2000 companies that places Azure in a large lead over AWS in terms of mind share.

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/01/07/microsoft-azure-cloud-winner-at-big-companies-goldman-sachs.html

“The latest survey showed that 56 executives are using Azure for cloud infrastructure, versus 48 using AWS. Across cloud infrastructure and platform as a service put together, Microsoft’s lead which has been increasing since December 2017, according to the analysts.”

I always find these surveys so interesting when compared with the news articles found in the mainstream press when talking about the cloud computing space.

It’s an interesting counter-narrative. Most articles you read simplify the fight between AWS and Azure by comparing the revenue numbers. Including the CNBC article above.

“The analysts repeatedly pointed out that workload usage doesn’t line up exactly with actual revenue. In the third quarter AWS captured $9 billion in revenue. Microsoft doesn’t specify quarterly Azure revenue but analyst Jay Vleeschhouwer of Griffin Securities, who has a buy rating on Microsoft, estimated that Azure revenue in the quarter was about $4.33 billion.”

Clearly, revenue alone is not the only thing you should use to compare the market shares of these companies. But I also understand, numbers like this are easy to understand metric. And the press loves “easy to understand.”

But most of us in technology don’t mind a bit of complexity. It’d be hard to survive in IT if we couldn’t deal with complexity actually. So we are able to process the top-line facts in aggregate.

  • AWS appears to have a roughly double lead in revenue over Azure
  • Azure appears to be growing at a much faster pace of 59% vs 35% for AWS
  • Azure appears to be used by more large enterprises than AWS

These facts are not contradicting each other. But unfortunately, some news articles haven’t yet dealt with the Azure’s rapid rise.

We can see this in the articles around the Pentagon’s JEDI contract. AWS is going to court this week to dispute the result. 

https://www.zdnet.com/article/amazon-we-want-to-stop-microsoft-working-on-jedi-contract/

But if you look at the facts “in aggregate” that I outlined above, it’s not surprising that the Pentagon has discovered that Azure meets all of their needs as much or more than AWS does.


TWO.

Regarding that court case above, where AWS is trying to get a judge to grant an injunction, I wonder what they are expecting to happen.

Imagine this. You’re in the market for a new car. You test drive a Ford and a Chevy. You have a tough choice, and really take your time with it. Finally, you choose to buy the Ford.

And then Chevy sues you to ask you to reconsider. They get an injunction to stop you from picking up your Ford from the dealer. 

What would Chevy expect to happen there?

That you would realize you made the wrong choice, and choose Chevy?

That’s never going to happen. 

If the injunction is granted, the Pentagon would be prevented from moving forward on this project. If I worked in the Pentagon on the selection committee, I’d not be too happy with Amazon right now. Bezos is questioning their ethics. And if I worked in the IT department, and have been waiting a few years for this new “cloud” project to start, I’d also not be too happy about being delayed.

So even if AWS wins, they lose. Nobody is going to be happy if they win. And the Pentagon will probably just select Azure again PLUS be mad at Amazon.

Maybe AWS is trying to ensure nobody wins. They don’t want to win anymore, but they don’t want Azure to win either. I’m really curious as to their strategy here.


THREE.

I spent a couple of days last week attending Microsoft Ignite: The Tour in Toronto. (I don’t think there’s a cool abbreviation for that, unfortunately.) Microsoft Ignite: The Tour is occurring this month and next around the world, so check out the official website for a location near you.

https://www.microsoft.com/en-ca/ignite-the-tour/

It’s free. And you get a FREE Microsoft exam voucher for attending. 

Plus you get to attend many interesting talks on various tech topics given by industry experts. You can grow your network by meeting people. And it’s good to get out of the office.

I enjoyed this conference. I think I enjoy “The Tour” more than I enjoy the big Ignite event in Florida each year. There’s something nicer about this being here in my home town, and the venue is smaller and easier to walk around. It was more personal.

I do recommend going to an event near you if you can.



AZURE PLATFORM UPDATES.

I realize that Azure goes through periods of intense announcements and periods that are quieter. But here are a select few announcements you might be interested in:

  • Azure Lab Services – ability to automatically shut down a machine once a user logs off of RDP
  • Azure Migrate – can now assess physical servers, in addition to its support of VMware and Hyper-V
  • TLS 1.2 being enforced across several Azure services
  • New capabilities for Azure Batch.

Be sure and check out the Azure Updates page if any of these affect you.


COMING UP FOR ME.

I’m working on two more courses for Linkedin Learning/Lynda. I’ll let you know when those are ready. I can’t say much at the moment, but I really enjoy working with the people at LinkedIn. 

More revisions for AZ-300 coming this week. I have always worked to keep all my courses up to date, and so this status might be true quite often. But I am getting some good feedback from students and will be adding more quiz questions and hands-on labs to that course (among others).


WHERE TO FIND ME.

Thanks for sticking it out this far! This is the end of issue 1.1! Hopefully, you found it valuable, at least a little bit! 

What is your favorite platform to be on? Perhaps we can connect there.

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/softwarearchitect/ 

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Udemy: https://www.udemy.com/user/scottduffy2/

LinkedIn Learning: https://www.lynda.com/Scott-Duffy/1993589682-1.html

See you in two weeks!