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Why Microsoft’s Azure Arc Is A ‘Value Proposition’

‘When you think about what we’re doing versus what our competition or what other vendors are doing, we provide the most flexible solution -- bar none,’ said Arpan Shah, the general manager leading Microsoft’s product marketing for Azure infrastructure.

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Azure Arc Vs. AWS Outposts And Google Cloud’s Anthos

The fully managed AWS Outposts is AWS’ hybrid bid to extend its cloud infrastructure, services, APIs and tools to customers’ data centers, co-location spaces or on-premises facilities, with compute and storage racks built with AWS-designed hardware.

“Amazon has never fundamentally believed in hybrid or multi-cloud, and they never really built AWS hybrid by design like we have,” Shah said. “And I think what’s happened is, after a lot of customer and industry pressure, they’ve kind of acknowledged that hybrid is a customer reality, and they tried to take steps after that.”

The native version of AWS Outposts became generally available last December.

“They really followed Azure Stack Hub and, on the contrary, Azure Stack Hub (has) been in-market for over three years, and we have customers in over 60 different countries,” Shah said. “And also, while they have Outposts, they really don’t have a solution for customers that want their cloud technology in multi-cloud or on premises that lives outside of AWS.”

AWS last week also launched AWS ECS Anywhere and AWS EKS Anywhere, new container capabilities that allow customers to use Amazon Elastic Container Service and Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service on premises in their own data centers and the cloud.

Meanwhile, there also are core material differences between what Azure Arc and Google Cloud’s Anthos offer, according to Shah. The fully managed Anthos platform allows customers to build and manage applications across on-premises data centers, Google Cloud and rival third-party clouds including AWS and Microsoft Azure. It became generally available on Google Cloud Platform with Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) and data centers with GKE On-Prem in April 2019. Anthos on AWS and Anthos on bare metal also are generally available, and support for Microsoft Azure is in preview.

While Azure Arc supports any Kubernetes environment, so customers can choose the Kubernetes platform they want, not so for Anthos, according to Shah.

“Google is very prescriptive, really is very specific on you have to use GKE,” he said. “Azure Arc goes beyond Kubernetes. A lot of our customers use servers, whether they’re virtual machines, bare metal servers, Windows Server or Linux, and Azure Arc supports servers. (With) Azure Arc, we have the ability to use data services on any Kubernetes. You can take our Azure data services and deploy them on any Kubernetes environment, whether it’s on premises, in multi-cloud or the edge.”

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