The Future of Windows Azure

Over four years ago, Windows Azure launched and the cloud platform provider has certainly evolved over the course of time. As this evolution continues, cloud enthusiasts continue to ask themselves, “What is the future of Windows Azure?” Who to better to answer that question than Microsoft Windows Azure General Manager Steven Martin? Martin recently made informative comments in an interview he conducted with BusinessCloudNews about the future of Azure.

When asked about the growth of Windows Azure, Martin chimed in by saying, “Demand for Azure continues to double every six to nine months, and we’re still waiting for that point in this hockey stick where growth dips. So we’re still in the early days of this growth.”

BCN asked if Azure was still a PaaS solution first or if the Azure intends on focusing more on IaaS in the future. Martin responded, “PaaS takes unique IP, we wrote a ton of new technology for developers that wanted to move up the stack and not think about how to configure load balancers and patch things and whatnot. The market tells us that PaaS is ultimately going to win.”

These candid comments from Microsoft show us that Microsoft is committed to PaaS and doesn’t seem to be jumping aboard the IaaS train.  In relation to businesses moving into the cloud, Martin remarked, “I haven’t met anyone who said they’re going to turn off their datacenters and move everything to the cloud, it’s going to be a long term transition. My view? Let the economics decide – if it makes sense, great. If not, we’re delighted to participate in helping customers run things on premise. Ultimately, we want the economics to be the deciding factor, not the technology.”

With the long term transitions that Martin talks about, much of this revolve around the hybrid cloud model. In relation to the Azure Hybrid cloud, Martin says, “It’s still early days for hybrid cloud. In most cases what we see are organizations using some of our finished services, taking say, Azure Active Directory service and using it in conjunction with applications that might be hosted in other cloud environments. But this will likely change over the next few years.”