Microsoft Grows Its Cloud OS Partner Network

The company extends the reach of its Azure-powered cloud platform for hosting service providers.

Microsoft cloud

Microsoft is gathering more believers of its Cloud OS vision.

Cloud OS is a consistent cloud computing platform that encompasses infrastructure, apps and data, and spans the data centers of hosting service providers, customers and Microsoft's cloud. A year after its launch, the Microsoft Cloud OS Network is reaching new heights.

In its December 2013 debut, Microsoft's Cloud OS Network got off the ground in 90 markets and 425 data centers. Twenty-five partners joined during the program's launch, including Capgemini, CGI, iWeb and Lenovo.

"Here at Microsoft, we think we're the best bet for customers because we alone provide a consistent, enterprise-grade platform that is hybrid by design, and one that is based on our experience delivering more than 200 cloud services to billions of people," said Microsoft's Takeshi Numoto, corporate vice president of Cloud and Enterprise Marketing, at the time.

"Now, we are more than 100 service providers that are part of this program," Marco Limena, vice president of Hosting Service Providers at Microsoft, told eWEEK. "We have 600 physical data centers that are now connected to this vision." All told, the Cloud OS Network serves more than 3.7 million customers.

Key to that growth are hosting service providers' local roots.

"Localization is a large concern for many companies due to compliance requirements and data sovereignty," explained the Microsoft Server and Cloud Platform Team in an Oct. 28 blog post. "These partners deliver a level of customer intimacy that is difficult to attain on a global scale."

Under the program, customers needn't choose between hyper-scale cloud capabilities and local know-how, asserts Microsoft. The Cloud OS strategy gives customers the best of both worlds.

Partners are backed by the tech giant's "$15 billion investment in global datacenter infrastructure," continued the blog post. "Plus with Microsoft Azure, you move as much or little as you want into the cloud."

During an Oct. 20 press event in San Francisco, Scott Guthrie, executive vice president of Microsoft's Cloud and Enterprise group, announced that his company was days away from switching on Azure data centers in Australia, bringing the total number of Azure regions to 19. "That's more than twice the number of regions that AWS [Amazon Web Services] offers today, and that's more than six times the number of regions than the Google cloud offers today," he said.

In addition, Cloud OS Network spares customers the expense or risk of starting hybrid cloud projects from scratch.

"To date more than 1,000 Microsoft resources have gotten involved with Cloud OS programs and Microsoft has invested more than $300 million in these programs," wrote the Microsoft staffers. "The end result is a unique knowledge base and access to materials such as on-boarding and technical support as well as education to help during the transition."

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez is a contributor to eWEEK and the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Previously, he served as a managing editor for the network of...