This morning I had the opportunity to speak at the 2014 Hosting Summit. This is an annual event here at Microsoft where we bring together hundreds of our hosting partners from around the world for a dialog about how we deliver Azure-compatible hosted clouds for our joint customers around the world.
This is one of the largest events in the industry explicitly focused on Hosters, and I was excited to talk about the work we are doing to constantly increase the value, usability, and functionality of Microsoft's Cloud OS vision.
Here are a couple key points from my keynote that I really want to emphasize:
Right now we are seeing the largest growth in purchases of new x86 servers occurring in Hosters around the world. Below is a chart from IDC that shows the x86 server purchases for the last three years. If anyone is asking the question, “Are Hosters really getting a lot of customer interest?” The answer is emphatically yes.
Hosters spend a great deal of time managing their supply chain since they want to avoid the cost of having capacity sitting unused in their datacenters unused. Growth in x86 server purchases is closely aligned with the demand they are seeing.
This is an area that we are working overtime to ensure our solutions are best in class for Hosters
I also spent a lot of time talking with this next image up on the monitors. What I think is important to note is that this isn’t just a marketing slide – this is an architecture slide.
Windows Server not only operates many of the on-prem cloud infrastructures all over the world, it is what we’ve built Windows Azure on, too. Now the innovations we’ve built within Azure are adding functionality to Windows Server with things like the Windows Azure Pack.
Another one of the key things I spoke about today was the common questions/concerns I hear from customers about moving to either hosted or public cloud offerings. The biggest concerns seem to fit into three primary categories: Security, fear of lock-in, and fear of losing flexibility across clouds. Rather than being things to fear, these challenges can be transformed into areas of opportunity and growth with our promise of consistency across clouds.
With our promise of consistency across clouds, customers are not locked in and do not lose flexibility to move workloads across clouds. On top of this, we not only host your applications on our public clouds – we also put the services we deliver to the industry on this same platform.
Security and protecting customer data is a big deal to us; our business depends on it just like yours does. We take all that experience of operating these services securely at scale and deliver them to our Hoster partners around the world – enabling them to deliver the most secure cloud infrastructure available. Then we offer the premier hybrid-cloud solution on the market.
The innovations which make our breakthroughs with Hybrid IT possible are a result of massive scale. In an earlier era, a big company or a big infrastructure meant that you moved and innovated slowly. The cloud has completely turned that notion upside down. Now, with Azure we run such a massive cloud that we are constantly innovating to remain cost effective and competitive – then we bring that innovation to you to run in your datacenters. This scale and these innovations are what make Microsoft a place where enterprises and service providers can bet with confidence.