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Microsoft Azure Vs. AWS: 5 Partners On Why Azure Is ‘Superior’

With Microsoft Azure getting the highest rating from partners in CRN’s inaugural Cloud Barometer survey, solution provider executives point to Microsoft’s ‘more mature’ partner programs as well as Azure’s unique product capabilities.

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‘Holy Grail’ For Hybrid

Beaverton, Ore.-based Atmosera began focusing on Azure in 2014, drawn in part by Azure’s hybrid cloud capabilities, said CEO Jon Thomsen. “At that point, it was so that we could credibly entertain the hybrid story and get into those types of conversations,” he said.

The solution provider actually did look into AWS first, Thomsen said. “But we felt that the robustness of their partnership and partner ecosystem wasn’t as strong or as experienced as Microsoft’s,” he said. “And then at the same time, we felt that no one was focusing on Azure then—from a partner perspective and a delivery perspective. Everyone was focused on AWS.”

Atmosera also found that the transformation vision of Satya Nadella, then the newly appointed CEO of Microsoft, “really resonated with us,” Thomsen said. Atmosera would go on to achieve Azure Expert MSP status, the highest level of Azure certification from Microsoft.

In terms of hybrid cloud capabilities, Microsoft’s Azure Stack offering was the “holy grail” for hybrid infrastructure when it first launched several years ago, Thomsen said.

“It’s a key differentiator,” he said. “Azure makes [hybrid] really easy with Azure Stack. Then there’s Azure Stack Edge for storage and AI gateways, Azure IoT Edge for IoT devices, Azure Arc for centralized management and deployment of on-premise infrastructure as well as in the cloud. Microsoft is committed to that hybrid environment.”

Over the years, Atmosera has continued to mull the idea of partnering with AWS or Google Cloud, Thomsen noted. “But the market is so large in public cloud in general, and within Azure specifically,” he said. “Our growth has not been inhibited by not having [AWS and Google Cloud].”

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