Azure World Newsletter – Issue 2.8

May 5, 2021

Welcome to the eighth edition of the Azure World Newsletter in 2021. Thanks so much for subscribing. 

The Microsoft Build Conference has been announced for the end of May and is free to sign up. Completely online again, as it was last year. It runs May 25-27 and is aimed at developers. Register here at .

Now on to the newsletter! As always, if you don’t want to receive this anymore, there’s an unsubscribe link at the bottom. No worries!


We just passed through the quarterly earnings season, and it seems Microsoft Azure continues to gain market share on Amazon AWS.

Microsoft reported their Q3 earnings last week, and overall revenue was up 38% year-over-year. Obviously, they’ve benefited from the disruption to offices and traditional work in the past year.

Azure revenue was listed at being up 50% year-over-year, so that is still quite dynamic growth in that specific segment of their business.

Of course, Amazon and Google have also reported earnings. We can see the comparison between the cloud earnings of the big players in the chart below.

Synergy Research Group combed through the latest numbers and put together this graph. 

Azure and AWS remain the market leaders, Google, Alibaba and some other Chinese cloud players are listed as being strong but small competitors. Which some of the big names in the US technology space such as Oracle, SAP and IBM have only niche offerings.

Synergy figures that AWS remains the largest cloud provider by revenue in the latest quarter. But Azure continues to grow at a faster pace, as they have over the past several years. 

Another interesting view is showing the change over time.

The blue Microsoft Azure line has a consistent upward trend from 10% in 2017 to 20% by the end of 2020. While the AWS yellow line has remained flat around 32% over the same period. (If you extrapolate to the future, maybe Azure and AWS will be tied for the lead by 2024?)

These numbers are just estimates, as the companies don’t reveal the exact numbers, but it’s interesting nonetheless.

No other major cloud provider is growing as fast as Azure, which bodes well for the future career prospects of those who aim to improve their skills in this area.


Microsoft has introduced a pretty cool 3D tour of a data center in a presentation called “we live in the cloud”:

They’ve had something like this before, but this is new.

In this presentation, Microsoft said that they are planning to build 50-100 data centers every year for the foreseeable future. Each region contains at least 3 data centers, so this could be a combination of adding new data centers to existing regions as well as creating new regions.

They say that they’re planning to add 10 new countries this year.

There’s even a 3D video presentation to go along with it:

I recommend both the video and the 3D walkthrough of that data center, to imagine what it’s like to work in the clouds.


There have been some minor updates to the major Azure exams, with most of them being live on May 25. If you’re studying for these exams, it’s good to know but you should have nothing to worry about.

AZ-104 – 1 addition: added “administrative units” under Azure AD

AZ-303 – 3 removals, and 1 addition: Azure AD Connect cloud sync under Hybrid Identities

AZ-304 – minor cosmetic updates to the objectives, no changes

DP-100 – lots of changes – added security, dev environment, Databricks, ML Ops Practices, Responsible ML

AZ-900, AZ-204, DP-900, AI-900 – no updates

There were also updates on other exams such as AZ-400 and AZ-500. Check the official exam page that relates to the exam you are studying for.


The following platform updates happened in the past two weeks: 

  • New M-series virtual machines for memory-optimized workloads
  • New D- and E-series virtual machines as well – now up to v5
  • Application Gateway now supports URL Rewrite
  • Ubuntu ended support for 16.04 LTS, and that image has been replaced with 18.04 LTS
  • Azure Event Grid for Azure Redis now in general availability
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) now support Hybrid Benefit for big cost savings
  • Azure Ultra Disk support in North Central US
  • Azure Site Recovery supports cross-continental disaster recovery in 3 regions
  • Azure Site Recovery now supports Azure Policy in public preview
  • Microsoft Azure Web PubSub Service in public preview
  • New Xilinx Alveo U250 FPGA NPv1 virtual machines

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


Continue to enjoy the improving weather. And continue to create new courses and content to help students learn Azure.

  • I expect my AI-102 course to launch by the time you receive the next newsletter
  • Will go back and address any new videos / lessons based on the exam changes


And that’s it for issue 2.8. Thanks for reading this far.

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

Facebook Page: 





LinkedIn Learning: