Microsoft’s promise to rapidly grow Azure services continues to play out as the vendor invests heavily in internal development and acquisition. The most recent evidence is Microsoft’s acquisition of Cloudyn, which was finalized at the end of July.
Cloudyn helps enterprises and managed service providers optimize their investments in cloud services – a continuing challenge for most companies as they deploy more of their IT operations to the cloud. Cloudyn gives enterprises the tools to identify, measure and analyze current consumption rates and look at other data that can help them better plan for future consumption and growth. This gives customers more visibility into how much they’re spending on cloud services and enables accountability and better forecasting of future cloud spend.
While Microsoft is making Cloudyn available to all Azure customers, Cloudyn’s tools are not exclusive to Azure. According to Microsoft following completion of the acquisition, Cloudyn will continue to support multi-cloud environments including Azure, AWS and GCP.
This is an interesting footnote for those who have been following Microsoft’s evolution. Some had predicted the vendor would require Cloudyn to focus solely on Azure moving forward. That would have been a predictable move based on Microsoft’s history. But the cloud continues to drive different behavior from Microsoft.
In other Azure-related news, Microsoft has moved administration of its EMS Suite to the Azure portal. The EMS Suite (Enterprise Mobility + Security Suite) has become one of the faster-adopted “Enterprise Product Groups” in recent years. As a quick recap, Microsoft’s Enterprise Agreement requires customers to make a commitment to one, many or all of the Microsoft’s enterprise products, which are typically Office Professional, Windows 10 and Office 365. EMS Suite is one of those that can be bought alone or as part of a bigger suite of products.
EMS Suite provides a lot of mobile device, active directory and identity management power – but not without challenges. One of the bigger challenges, outside of cost and licensing, is the access and management of these tools. Previously, the interfaces were separate and clunky, and they could eat up a lot of valuable time for systems administrators. Microsoft has responded by improving the overall interface consoles and dashboard to be more cohesive. Additionally (and most noteworthy) they’ve pushed it all out into Azure.
Beginning with the September update, Microsoft plans to move forward with regular, quarterly updates. Microsoft’s continued focus on enterprise-class management features, such as those found in the EMS Suite, definitely broaden the gap between other competitors and Microsoft’s advanced capabilities. It’s important to factor all of this into your long-term Microsoft licensing strategy so you get maximum value and flexibility.