Why Microsoft Is Banking Heavily on StorSimple for 2014
NEWS ANALYSIS: Microsoft can make inroads next year in cloud storage because StorSimple and its easy-to-use appliances are on a fast ramp upward.2014 stands to be a pivotal year in the history of the world's largest software maker. Not only will Microsoft be nearing the end of its fourth decade in business, but it will be commandeered by only its third CEO and the first since the soon-to-be-retired Steve Ballmer took over from Bill Gates on Jan. 13, 2000. While it is still the world's dominant provider of PC operating systems and workplace software applications, Microsoft famously has attempted to gain similar success in other lines of business for years. The company has experienced widely varying degrees of success in businesses such as video game hardware, smartphones, containerized data centers, automobile connectivity and cloud services, among others. In the data center sector, the Redmond, Wash.-based company has invested a huge amount of capital in its Windows Azure cloud system in a concerted attempt to catch up with the runaway success of another Pacific Northwest company, Amazon. In fact, eWEEK learned through a Microsoft insider that the company has bought enough extra cloud-related data center hardware to cover 17 football fields--or 979,200 square feet. If each server or array takes up a footprint of three square feet, we're talking about more than 326,000 devices. Company Has Bought Plenty of Capacity for Cloud
In 2014, Microsoft needs to start firing up all those servers and arrays for new customers, but this is extremely hard to do with Amazon so far out in front in cloud services. According to IT researcher Gartner, Amazon's stranglehold on the Web services market is such that its cloud computing service, AWS, has sold more than five times the combined capacity of the next 14 competitors, including Microsoft.