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Microsoft Says Its Cloud Is Bigger than AWS, Claims Edge in Hybrid

Microsoft doesn't provide revenue numbers for its Azure cloud service, but in other metrics an executive claimed it has an edge over Amazon Web Services Inc. (AWS) -- specifically in size measured by the number of regions in which the services operate.

Mike Schutz, general manager of cloud platform marketing at Microsoft, was asked how Microsoft differentiates Azure from AWS in a presentation at the Deutsche Bank 2015 Technology Conference.

"You talked about hyperscale. That, fundamentally, is one of the ways that we differentiate," Schutz said, according to a transcription of the presentation published by Seeking Alpha. "There's only a couple or three hyperscale clouds out there in the world, us being one of them. We operate today in about 19 regions, which means we have 19 datacenter regions globally. We continue to expand as our customers need us to do so. To put [that] in a perspective, that's about twice as many as AWS and about five or six times that of Google Cloud Platform.

"And so even if you combined AWS and Google Cloud, we're in more regions than the two of them combined," Schutz said.

The Microsoft exec also claimed an edge in hybrid and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) services.

"That's one of the fundamental tenets, but AWS is big, too, and so the other elements -- and this is where really the differentiation comes in -- is around hybrid, because of our fundamental strategy to help customers deploy the same technologies that we put in our public cloud hyperscale datacenter and run those in their datacenter on top of Hyper-V, on top of our System Center assets, as well as bringing Azure [Infrastructure as a Service] and Platform as a Service capabilities to run in their datacenters."

Noting that AWS and Azure were both identified as "leaders" in research firm Gartner Inc.'s Magic Quadrant report about Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) providers, Schutz maintained that Azure has an edge in PaaS.

"AWS is not a leader in public cloud PaaS platform and Microsoft is -- as well as Storage as a Service, where Amazon also plays, and so think about the breadth of the Microsoft offering," Schutz said.

According to a recent report from analyst firm Synergy Research Group, AWS, Azure and the Google Cloud Platform are fighting it out for a big piece of the cloud pie, as public clouds are reportedly generating more than $20 billion in quarterly revenues for IT companies.

"New Q2 data from Synergy Research Group shows that public cloud is now generating well over $20 billion in quarterly revenues for IT companies, with $10 billion going to companies supplying public cloud operators with hardware, software and datacenter facilities and $12 billion being generated from selling IaaS, PaaS and SaaS to enterprise customers," the research firm said last week, a day after the presentation. "In addition, the public cloud is helping to support huge revenue streams from a variety of Internet services such as search, social networking, e-mail and e-commerce platforms. On the supply side, the companies with the biggest share of revenues are Cisco, HP, Dell, IBM and Equinix. On the cloud services side, the market leaders are AWS, Microsoft, Salesforce, Google and IBM."

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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