Azure Arc might just break Amazon Web Services’ dominance in the Cloud Market

Microsoft’s annual developer conference, Ignite, just happened. A ton of new features and services were announced, but one stood out amongst all of them: Azure Arc. 

So, what is Azure Arc and why is it so revolutionary? 

If I may be excused for not explaining the complex and groundbreaking backend magic that Azure Arc enables, the service first and foremost allows you to use the Azure portal to manage almost any IT-infrastructure you or your company uses: Anything from VMs running on top of VMware vSphere, Amazon EC2, and Google Compute Engine; any Windows or Linux server – even those running behind a firewall and proxy; Kubernetes services like Amazon EKS, Google Kubernetes Engine, and IBM Kubernetes Service can all be registered with Azure Arc to show up in the Azure portal. 

What’s even more revolutionary is that Azure Arc can run managed databases in hybrid and multi-cloud environments. Automated updating, patching, security audits, no-touch upgrades on databases on-premise, or on AWS or GCP, can now be managed through the Azure portal.  

Practically, this means that you can now manage your entire IT-infrastructure through one portal. This means that you can update, patch security flaws, provision, encrypt information and scale-up or down all your IT-resources, wherever they are deployed, with just the push of a button. Of course, if the Azure portal is not your thing, you can also use Azure CLI, PowerShell, SDK, or 3rd party tools like Terraform. 

So why might Azure Arc change AWS’s dominance in the cloud market? 

Anyone who has vested time in one cloud service will tell you the struggle of switching to a new one. It’s like switching from a Mac to a PC; doable, but cumbersome and annoying. AWS was the first massive cloud provider on the market, and hence, developers and IT-administrators that use the cloud have learned their interface and their terminology.  

However, most companies have not yet moved to the cloud, and Azure Arc treats on-premise servers as first-class citizens, giving them just as much visibility and options as Azure’s cloud services. If companies embrace Azure Arc for managing their on-premise infrastructure, more developers will learn and start preferring Azure’s terminology and interfaces for their cloud services, and hence, Microsoft will finally have a shot at breaking AWS’s dominance in the cloud space! 

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