Microsoft announces new hybrid cloud offering: Azure Arc

By Harry Menear
Microsoft’s Azure cloud services will now run anywhere, including on its competitors’ cloud infrastructures, as part of an ongoing bet on the hybrid...

Microsoft’s Azure cloud services will now run anywhere, including on its competitors’ cloud infrastructures, as part of an ongoing bet on the hybrid future of the cloud landscape. 

The new service was previewed yesterday at Microsoft Ignite, the company’s annual gathering of technology leaders taking place right now in Orlando, Florida. 

Azure Arc brings Azure services and management to any infrastructure, allowing its users to use Azure services like Azure SQL Database and Azure Database for PostgreSQL Hyperscale on virtually any platform. Azure Arc extends these proven Azure management capabilities to Linux and Windows servers, as well as Kubernetes clusters on any infrastructure across on-premises, multi-cloud and edge. 

From the Azure portal, users will be able to access a unified and consistent view of all their Azure data services running across on-premises and clouds and can apply consistent policy, security and governance of data across environments. 

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“We are excited to see Microsoft bringing Azure data services and management to any infrastructure,'' said Erik Vogel, Vice President for Customer Success, Hybrid Cloud Software and Services at Hewlett Packard Enterprise. “Through our partnership with Microsoft we hope to deliver a true as a Service experience across environments to help manage both the databases and the underlying infrastructure, and offer a consistent experience across on-premises and the cloud.” 

The upshot will be that administrators of diverse cloud architectures will be able to use Azure Arc to approach auditing, compliance and security concerns across multiple environments, as well as build and deploy applications that work across multiple infrastructures. 

“Enterprises across 60 countries including Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited, KPMG Norway and Airbus Defense & Space are building hybrid solutions powered by Azure Stack Hub connected and disconnected from Azure,” wrote Julia White, Corporate Vice President at Azure, in the company press release. 

“Today, we are expanding our Azure Stack portfolio to offer customers even more flexibility with the addition of Azure Stack Edge. Azure Stack Edge is a managed AI-enabled edge appliance that brings compute, storage and intelligence to any edge. Customers will be able to take advantage of new capabilities including Virtual Machine support, a GPU based form factor, high availability with multiple nodes, and multi-access edge compute (MEC). We are also introducing a new rugged series of Azure Stack Edge form-factors designed to provide cloud capabilities in the harshest environment conditions supporting scenarios such as tactical edge, humanitarian and emergency response efforts.”

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