Azure & Active Directory


  • Azure is big. It’s really big. Seriously, it’s hard to comprehend just how big it really is. (Apologies to Douglas Adams.) In July of last year, then-CEO Steve Ballmer stated that Azure data centers held “comfortably over a million physical servers.” Last year, Azure server purchases accounted for 17% of all server purchases worldwide. And Azure is only getting bigger. In May of 2013, Global Foundation Services general manager Christian Belady stated that his division was performing data center build-outs “at a scale no one has ever seen before“. At Tech Ed North America in June, Technical Fellow (and now Azure CTO) Mark Russinovich stated that Microsoft’s plan was to double Azure’s capacity in 2015…and double it again in 2016. Can you even wrap your head around how big that is?
  • Azure AD is at the center of Azure. As Active Directory director of program management Alex Simons puts it, “identity is the control plane” upon which cloud services depend. And for Azure, this control plane is Azure Active Directory.
  • Microsoft is not content to let Azure AD be just a “lowest common denominator” solution. A long-recognized Microsoft product pattern is to provide basic capabilities, and allow a rich independent software vendor ecosystem to enhance these capabilities with their own products. In contrast to this strategy, Simons has a team of 500 working on building out Azure AD with a competitive set of features to compete in the IDaaS (identity management as a service) market. 30 developers are working on machine learning-based reporting alone.

Read the Article at Windows IT Pro

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