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Microsoft: 57% of Fortune 500 companies Using Azure

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Late last month, Microsoft posted an elegant tweet saying that “57% of Fortune 500 companies already use Azure.” This is an impressive statistic, demonstrating Azure’s fast market penetration in a relatively short period of time.

One reason for this growth may be Microsoft’s non-stop push to improve continually its Azure cloud service’s offerings as well as its overall levels of security. According to a recently posted article in Redmond Channel Partner, Microsoft’s Steve Martin recently said that companies can spend all of their resources on security for their cloud and on-premise data systems, but they won’t close critical gaps until they focus on internal security threats. Martin’s premise is rooted in the NSA’s lack of internal security controls that enabled Edward Snowden’s theft of classified data.

Along this line, Redmond Channel Partner also reports that Microsoft is releasing new security features to Azure, including by the end of this year full Transport Layer Service encryption for Office 365. In addition, Microsoft is offering a preview version of its “new anti-malware agent,” for Microsoft cloud services and virtual machines. Microsoft also is partnering with Symantec and Trend Micro for customers who prefer those anti-malware offerings to deploy in Azure.

The Cloud Times reports that Azure HDInsight will now support Hadoop 2.4, giving Azure users more storage flexibility for their cloud deployments. This new offering also allows Azure to integrate more with “business intelligence tools, allowing easy access and processing of data to Excel and Power HDInsight BI to Office 365.”

To be sure, Microsoft is taking this new relationship with Hadoop seriously as part of its big-data strategy for Azure. Cloud Times notes that “Hadoop is a cornerstone in the Microsoft data strategy” and that Microsoft “has contributed 30,000 lines of code and over 10,000 hours of engineering to support these projects, including support for Hadoop on Windows.”

Microsoft’s SQL Server Team also announced last month that its AlwaysOn Availability Groups “are now supported between different Azure Regions,” including four regions in the US, two in Europe, two in Asia Pacific, two in Japan, and one in Brazil. Availability Groups, according to Microsoft, “detect conditions impacting SQL Server availability,” such as when SQL service is down. Once these conditions are detected, the “Availability Group fails over a group of databases to a secondary replica.”

In a related move, Microsoft’s Server and Cloud Platform Team announced  that they’re unveiling a “powerful new feature in preview that enables disaster recovery protection for your on-premises virtual machines by replicating them to Azure.” The new service is called Azure Site Recovery and allows users to “replicate running virtual machines to Azure and recover there when needed.”

With the World Cup taking place in Brazil this summer, it’s only fitting that Microsoft would announce (last month) that Azure will now be available in the Brazil South region – adding to its recent moves into Japan and China. According to Microsoft Azure Director of Product Marketing, Vibhor Kapoor, Microsoft’s Brazil customers can now access “increased network redundancy, lower latency, and services equal to our other regions around the world.”

Kapoor also noted that Gartner, in late May, placed Microsoft in the Leader Quadrant of the Magic Quadrant for Cloud Infrastructure as a Service, making Microsoft “the only public cloud vendor to be named a Leader for both aPaaS [enterprise application platform as a service] and IaaS.”

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