Microsoft cloud storage product Azure is making significant gains in the cloud market by reporting a 98 percent revenue gain at the end of fourth quarter 2017. Part of that seems to be a combination of both a honed focus on cloud product development and the company’s rapacious market share strategy.
Microsoft Cloud Storage Market Strategy
Microsoft targets enterprises with hard-to-turn-down offers in its efforts to dominate the cloud market. For instance, in February 2018, Microsoft offered its OneDrive gratis to enterprises that use its competitors’ — Dropbox, Box, and Google Drive — cloud storage products. A month prior, the company strategically purchased the cloud company Avere systems. Jason Zander, Microsoft’s corporate vice president of Microsoft Azure, mentions in a blog post that “by bringing together Avere’s storage expertise with the power of Microsoft’s cloud, customers will benefit from industry-leading innovations that enable the largest, most complex high-performance workloads to run in Microsoft Azure.”
It appears that Microsoft’s strategy to boost its cloud storage product and its marketing efforts are paying off. A headline in the New York Times reads: “Microsoft Sales Lifted by Cloud Computing.” The newspaper points out that the sales of Microsoft’s cloud increased by 56 percent, generating $5.3 billion in the last quarter of 2017.
Microsoft faces several competitors in the cloud sector, including but not limited to, AWS, IBM, VMware, and Oracle. ZK Research analyst Zeus Kerraval labels Microsoft’s Azure as a dark horse candidate in a recent interview with SDxCentral suggesting that it will be a strong contender in the cloud market.
Summary of the Microsoft Cloud Storage
The Azure cloud storage comes with five storage abstractions for different uses and content. The abstractions are:
- File Storage is for the on-premise storage that allows data transfers to the cloud. Enterprises can move files to the cloud with this storage.
- Disk Storage serves as persistent disks for virtual machines (VMs) in the Azure cloud.
- Blob Storage is for sharing documents, picture, videos, etc., as well as storing big data. This abstraction may also be used for archived storage for backup purposes.
- Table Storage is a scalable NoSQL storage for holding user and device metadata.
- Queue Storage enables a messaging system that is scalable.