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Microsoft Azure Hybrid–At Last!

From Reuters: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-microsoft-azure-idUSKBN19V1KQ

I think many enterprises have been waiting for this for a long time, and will trigger a significant uptick in Azure usage. There are a couple of things about the cloud that instill resistance for enterprises:

Privacy/Security/Regulatory. Especially in finance, and especially in European jurisdictions, there are often regulatory requirements around where data can physically reside, so in some cases the shared public cloud isn’t even an option. Even without regulations, putting sensitive data in the cloud has made enterprises nervous.

Development cost. Unless you’ve demonstrated spectacular foresight and discipline with your application architecture (and you haven’t), there’s going to be some redesign work required in order to use the cloud effectively. That’s going to take a while to build and test, and you’re going to be paying for your cloud infrastructure through all of that as pure overhead until you go live.

The ability to run some parts of your applications on the cloud and some on premises, yet still use the same tools, patterns and skillsets across both, largely dismisses these two hurdles. The holy grail is that you can keep your sensitive data and services locally on premise, while still taking advantage of the ability to scale up public-facing front-end applications, and for development and testing you can utilize a “local Azure”, running on hardware you own, that looks and feels like the shared public version, without incurring a significant cost overhead. When you’re happy with your solution, you can easily move the less sensitive parts to the public cloud, because it’s the same animal you’ve been using on-premise.

I’m looking forward to experimenting with Azure again to see how flexible this hybrid approach is in reality.

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