Microsoft Edges Closer To Decade Long Goal Of Bringing All Its Services To Azure

A decade ago, Microsoft committed to moving Office 365 to Azure, a cloud computing service created by Microsoft for building, testing, deploying, and managing applications and services through Microsoft-managed data centers. In 2011, the portal and commerce pieces of Office 365 were hosted on Azure, while elements like Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, and Lync Online ran on servers in Microsoft's data centers throughout the world but were not Azure-based.

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Its services are still not completely on Azure, but it's getting closer. Azure grows by approximately 76% from year to year, with specific services within Azure growing by percentages in the triple digits each year. Now, Microsoft is more determined than ever before to close in on its goal of having all first-party services hosted on Azure.

It’s in Microsoft’s best interest to host all of its cloud services on common infrastructure. The tech giant would be able to build new products more efficiently, adhere to specific compliance needs, take advantage of cross-cloud offerings like the Microsoft Graph APIs, and scale more quickly. Not to mention that if the company moved its cloud services to Azure it could use these as concept examples for customers and save a lot of money.

"Most of Microsoft 365 services, including Teams, SharePoint Online and Office online, as well as Xbox Live services run primarily on Azure infrastructure today. Mailbox storage for Exchange Online and is also in the process of moving to standard Azure infrastructure," said Mark Russinovich, Azure Chief Technology Officer.

Russinovich also confirmed that the company’s workloads run in Azure virtual machines, with its older services deployed through Azure Cloud Services.

In a report by ZDNet, job listings from Microsoft's site suggest that the initiative is being propelled by a “CloudOptimal” program. The word "CloudOptimal" is used by Microsoft to mean "all of Microsoft's services run best on Azure, and Azure becomes the world's best cloud."

An Azure program manager spoke to ZDNet about his role as part of the CloudOptimal team, explaining that the eventual goal is to bring together Microsoft's fragmented infrastructure while generating new capabilities for Azure, and providing reductions in the cost of goods sold. Eventually they hope this will positively impact the company’s bottom line and earnings. With this progress, Microsoft is finally bringing its decade long goal of getting all its services on Azure to fruition.