Azure World Newsletter – Issue 4.03

February 8, 2023

Welcome to the third edition of the Azure World Newsletter in 2023.

As I am about to finish this week’s newsletter, Microsoft made a big announcement relating to its OpenAI service. If you’ll recall, I talked about Azure OpenAI Service in the last newsletter, 4.02.

Microsoft plans to integrate ChatGPT search into its Bing search engine.

Meanwhile, Google announced a competitor to ChatGPT called Bard AI. Google is panicking and plans to add AI results to its search results, as well.

2023 will be the year of the AI Announcements. Everything needs to have AI now. “Oh, your coffee machine doesn’t have AI? OK, Boomer.”

I should watch what I joke about everything having AI because likely everything will have AI someday, and I am not a Boomer.

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The major cloud vendors have all released their quarterly earnings recently. 

One thing that is becoming clear is that the growth rate of cloud adoption appears to be slowing down. I can clearly recall five years ago when Azure was growing at 100% year over year. Even last year, it was reporting 40% annual growth. 

Now in 2023, the growth of all big cloud vendors has dropped. They are all still growing, but the growth is slower than it has been over the last few years.

Microsoft Azure – 31% growth

Amazon Web Services – 20% growth

Google Cloud – 32% growth

Slowing growth might be expected after a decade of exponential growth. There is such a thing as market saturation, and once the cloud has been adopted by every enterprise of significant scale, it’ll be hard for cloud vendors to grow through new customer adoption. They’ll then turn to more competition, trying to take customers away from other vendors. And introducing new products to increase the spending of existing customers.

What comes next for the cloud once this phase of hypergrowth is over? Reply to this email with your thoughts/predictions on what the next five to ten years look like.

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I often talk about Load Testing as an essential tool when evaluating your readiness for a large increase in traffic.

This is based on my experience working for a large food brand in the 2010s. This food brand would receive a large spike in traffic as they approached the American Thanksgiving holiday. For a couple of years in a row, the website could not handle the traffic. It resulted in the team (including myself) being on a phone call all day as we tried to reboot the servers, add caching to the front end, disable features, and do whatever we could do to increase the site’s capacity to handle visitors.

The following year, we decided to avoid repeating this experience by doing load testing on the site during the summer. Every week, we gradually directed more and more fake traffic at the site, simulating the increase in visitors. We’d then analyze which component of the site was the bottleneck and optimize that part before the next week’s test. We rewrote the website menu, added API caching to avoid trips to a backend server when we already knew the answer, reducing the quantity of data the website needed to send for the main requests, and more. 

All this to say that load testing will allow you to spend Thanksgiving with your family instead of on an 8-hour emergency phone call with your client. 

Azure has released its Load Testing product into general availability. You can add this to your CI/CD pipeline and catch issues like this before they hit production. Even knowing the upper bounds of your system can inform your product teams about areas of improvement for future sprints.

Also, over time, you will naturally be adding more and more to a website, and a tool like this can help inform you when the site is bloated. This can lead to removing unused code and frameworks, which is also a valuable improvement.

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Since the last newsletter was sent at the beginning of December, a lot has happened. Here’s a summary of the highlights.

The following announcements were made in the last two weeks: 

  • Classic VM retirement: extending retirement date to September 1st 2023
  • 5 GB Put Blob, in GA
  • Mount Azure Storage as a local share in App Service Windows Code, in GA
  • Application security groups support for private endpoints, in GA
  • Indirect enterprise agreement on Azure Cost Management and Billing, in GA
  • Incremental snapshots for Ultra Disk Storage, in public preview
  • Convert append blobs and page blobs to block blobs so that you can apply access tiers
  • Azure Web PubSub Premium tier, in GA
  • Azure Kubernetes Service introduces two pricing tiers: Free and Standard
  • Azure Functions support for Node.js 18
  • Microsoft Azure Load Testing is now Generally Available
  • Managed Run Command – Execute PowerShell or shell scripts on Virtual Machines and Scale Sets
  • New planned datacenter region in Saudi Arabia (Saudi Arabia Central)

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


Don’t have any big announcements to make at this time. I’ll keep you updated in this section in future newsletters.


And that’s it for issue 4.03. Thanks for reading this far. Talk to you again in two weeks.

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

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