Some of Microsoft’s largest customers are moving their production SAP workloads as well as other mission-critical applications to the Azure Cloud, offering conclusive proof that the cloud has become a mainstream enterprise-technology foundation for anything a global corporation chooses to deploy there.
Speaking at a recent investors conference, Microsoft corporate vice-president and head of Cloud and Enterprise Marketing Takeshi Numoto said, “Today we’re seeing some of our largest customers move their production SAP workloads to Azure.
“And so what’s getting migrated is becoming bigger and more substantial and more mission-critical, and that’s also driving growth as well,” Numoto said.
“It’s not just SAP—it’s an example of more critical, big workloads that have a lot of consumption associated with it.”
In a followup question to Numoto as he was being interviewed by analyst Adam Holt of MoffettNathanson, Holt noted that “there aren’t many examples of applications that would be more complex, more processor-intensive or data-intensive than an SAP ERP application” and then asked Numoto to explain what’s behind this striking proof that Azure has hit the ultimate hyperscale in the enterprise.
“It’s a confluence of many things,” Numoto said. “I do think there is an increasing openness and confidence that customers have in their use of the cloud. They’ve been on their cloud journey for a while and they are becoming more familiarized and comfortable with the factors.”
Numoto then pointed out that the cloud has reached a level of technological sophistication and extended capability that rather than just being a 1:1 alternative to traditional on-premises technology, it can offer superior performance.
“There’s also, I like to think, increasing recognition in the cloud as that place where you can really realize very high agility and sort of dynamic changes that you need—and so as people think about various technologies, cloud becomes much more of a mainstream conversation.”
These superscale cloud migrations are clearly becoming a big contributor to the stunning commercial-cloud revenue growth rates that Microsoft continues to report for its Azure platform services, and as Numoto further pointed out in comments that I’ll get to in just a moment, these huge Azure migrations pull along lots of other related workloads as well.
Here’s a look at Azure growth rates over the four quarters of calendar 2017(Microsoft’s fiscal year runs July 1 through June 30), along with parallel numbers for other key products in the Microsoft commercial cloud: