Will Azure Help Microsoft Consolidate Its Hybrid Cloud Position?


Jan. 16 2019, Updated 2:27 p.m. ET

Azure, the central theme to hybrid cloud strategy

Recently, Microsoft (MSFT) explained how the hybrid cloud, AI, and IoT (Internet of Things) are interconnected, complementing each other. The technology giant stated, “Hybrid is essential in a world of AI and IoT as we move towards an Intelligent Cloud and Intelligent Edge working together.”

To enhance its presence in the hybrid cloud, Microsoft launched Azure Stack in 2017. Azure Stack is a private and hybrid cloud offering that enables customers to reap the benefits of the public cloud and the hybrid cloud. To further leverage this trend, Microsoft added Azure Stack to Azure Government Service in August. Federal organizations now have a choice to host few workloads on-premise using Azure Stack.

IBM (IBM) is the leader in the hybrid cloud space.

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Microsoft’s Azure Stack is gaining traction

RightScale’s 2018 “State of the Cloud Report” states that, while Amazon’s (AMZN) AWS (Amazon Web Services) leads the public cloud space, Microsoft Azure has grown to reach 70% of US adoption. Among private cloud offerings, VMware’s (VMW) vSphere—with 50% adoption—continues to lead the space.

Though Azure Stack was in sixth place, it “showed the highest percentage of respondents that were experimenting or planning to use the technology.” Thus, Microsoft’s strategic shift from hardware to sophisticated software has not only benefitted the company in the dynamic cloud space but also its investors and shareholders.

MSFT is included in the portfolio holding of 110 ETFs. Among them, the Technology Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLK) has the heaviest weight (18.83%) in the company. Other technology majors included in XLK’s holdings are Apple (AAPL) at 16.13%, Intel (INTC) at 5.13%, and Cisco Systems (CSCO) at 4.56%.


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