Microsoft tries to rain on Amazon’s cloud parade

On the day of AWS's New York Summit, Microsoft launches tool for migrating AWS workloads into Azure

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Brandon Butler

This week all eyes in the cloud market were on Amazon Web Services as the company held a Summit in New York City that attracted thousands to the Javits Center in Manhattan.

And as Amazoners were partying in New York, Microsoft tried to rain on Amazon’s cloud parade.

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In what amounts to a “hey don’t forget about us!” news announcement, Microsoft announced new functionality for its Azure cloud on Thursday that makes it easier to migrate workloads into its cloud. It gets better though: The tool is specifically targeted at stealing workloads away from AWS. It works well for VMware workloads too, just for good measure.

Microsoft’s news this week came from its Azure Site Recovery team, which is a service that makes migrating workloads into Azure easier, and helps manage workloads that run in multiple different clouds. The company specifically outlined its AWS-to-Azure migration capabilities in a blog post launched on the day of AWS’s Summit (yesterday). It also announced new support for backing up virtual machines that run in VMware environments and even physical (non-virtualized) servers too. The service is based on technology Microsoft bought through the acquisition of InMage last year.

The news continues to build out Microsoft’s fast-growing set of services it offers on Azure. Microsoft has been adding new features to Azure at a rapid pace over the past year. Analysts and customers I spoke with at the AWS Summit still estimate Azure is a distant second behind AWS, however. On the bright side, there’s another big gap between AWS, Azure and pretty much everyone else in the market too, when it comes to IaaS cloud features and functionality. The IaaS cloud is basically a two-horse race.

But the symbolism of announcing the news on the day of Amazon’s big cloud Summit on Thursday, and the fact that the new features make it easier for customers to port workloads from AWS to Azure, basically shows that the gloves are off in the IaaS cloud market.

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