CLOUD WARS — As Microsoft’s cloud revenue rapidly approaches $20 billion, hybrid cloud has become the centerpiece of Microsoft’s strategy because of its unique ability to help business customers exploit their huge legacy IT investments while simultaneously moving as aggressively as possible to the cloud.
And last week’s acquisition of high-performance-storage vendor Avere Systems underscores that hybrid focus as Avere’s primary value is helping large enterprises deploy not only storage but also compute resources across multiple data centers, remote offices, public clouds and private clouds.
While the Avere acquisition makes a great deal of sense in terms of an opportunity for Microsoft to bolster Azure’s large and rapidly growing set of enterprise-strength capabilities, it also must be viewed in the larger context of Microsoft’s ongoing belief that the enterprise cloud must be viewed as a hybrid cloud: an extension of and enhancement to customers’ existing IT assets, rather than a rip-and-replace revolution.
To put that perspective in greater context, I’ll first offer a focused comment from Microsoft on why it’s so bullish on the Avere acquisition, and then I’ll share some high-level views from Microsoft leaders, including CEO Satya Nadella, on their belief that they hybrid cloud is the true cloud.
Regarding the Avere acquisition, Jason Zander, Microsoft corporate VP for Azure, said this in a blog post last week announcing the deal:
“The cloud is providing the foundation for the digital economy, changing how organizations produce, market and monetize their products and services,” wrote Zander, describing Avere as “a leading provider of high-performance NFS and SMB file-based storage for Linux and Windows clients running in cloud, hybrid and on-premises” environments.
“Whether it’s building animations and special effects for the next blockbuster movie or discovering new treatments for life-threatening diseases, the need for high-performance storage and the flexibility to store and process data where it makes the most sense for the business is critically important,” Zander said.
In a related blog post, Avere CEO Ron Bianchini wrote that Avere “will be joining Microsoft to continue our mission to enable the most demanding Enterprise workloads to run in the datacenter, in the cloud and in hybrid cloudenvironments.”