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Azure means hybrid now

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On Monday 24 September 2018, Microsoft announced a slew of stuff at their annual Ignite conference that is going to make life a lot more interesting for many people all over the world. There’s a lot to process, so I’m going to take my time to pick through the announcements over the next few weeks.

First and foremost though, is the notion that we should no longer think of Microsoft Azure (the brand) as being focused on the cloud. Instead, Azure now represents hybrid computing.

This is admittedly a big change of direction for Microsoft, but in the longer term it’s been obvious that a hybrid approach is more realistic, and frankly more honest. Yes, many companies are embracing cloud computing, but it is very rare to see them go all-in. There are still many thousands of organizations that will never make their way onto the public Internet, let alone migrate their entire workloads to the cloud. Microsoft has recognised this and is changing the messaging around Azure to reflect this cold reality.

Simply put, Azure is bridging the gap to the cloud, as opposed to just being the cloud.

We saw hints of this Azure reframe earlier in September when Microsoft renamed Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS) to Azure DevOps. This week too, SQL Operations Studio became known as Azure Data Studio. This is going to cause endless havoc in search engines if you use the acronym (“ADS”), but it’s arguably more sensible than “SOS”.

We’ve seen Microsoft change direction before with branding (I wonder how many folks remember Windows .NET Server) so this isn’t unusual, but it is going to be confusing at first.

Azure means Hybrid

Stay tuned for my next post when we look at some of the data-related announcements coming from Ignite and how they affect us data stewards. (Let’s face it, the database administrator role is history.)

Feel free to leave your thoughts below in the comments. Let’s embrace the hybrid future we already knew.

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