Microsoft Azure & Qualcomm Make Killer Cloud Partnership, To Put An End To Intel's Server DominanceBy Erin Scott, UniversityHerald Reporter
Microsoft Azure is getting another big help for this week and this time it's from another tech giant, Qualcomm. The company has announced to use ARM-based Windows servers in its Azure Cloud platform, a move that will also threaten Intel's dominance in the hotly contested data center front. Microsoft made the huge announcement this week.
Microsoft Azure To End Intel's Decade-Long Server Dominance
According to Bloomberg, the Redmond-based software company will start using ARM-based servers in its Azure cloud, potentially threatening Intel Corp.'s decade-long dominance in the highly lucrative market for data-center processors.
In doing these, Microsoft has developed a version of its Windows OS for servers using AR-based processors made by the UK-based Qualcomm and Cavium. And today, the company has been testing the ARM-based servers to run search, machine learning, big data-related tasks, and storage works. Dr. Leendert van Doorn, a Microsoft Azure engineer, has revealed the Microsoft initiative at the 2017 Open Compute Project Summit in Santa Clara, California this week.
Currently, there still no word when these ARM-based processors will be available and deployed, but Jason Zander, VP Microsoft Azure, has recently told Bloomberg in an interview that this event would be happening.Meanwhile, Microsoft's latest move poses a potential challenge to Intel's decade-long dominance in the highly profitable server market, with Intel estimating its market shares are around 98 percent of the machines underpinning cloud computing services.
Last year alone, Intel's Data Center Group reported a whopping $17.2 billion in revenue and $7.5 billion in operating profit. The server market is core business to the chip making giant and a known stronghold of the company. Any serious competition in the server market also means a direct blow to Intel's core business.
Some analyst believes that the tech partnership between the two companies could threaten Intel's core business.
According to PC World, the use of ARM-based processors in Microsoft Azure Cloud is significant, that is because the Microsoft Azure Cloud platform is currently the world's second largest cloud infrastructure today. Additionally, AWS, currently the world's largest cloud infrastructure provider, has already been using ARM-based chips, with some reports about AWS plans to use the ARM-based chips in their cloud data centers.
Despite being available for almost a decade in the datacentre market, the ARM-based chips have still failed to make a significant impact on the data center market, possibly as a result of Intel's recent innovation on low-power processors and also the introduction of the Atom processors to the server market.
But today's moves is different and might represent a stronger challenge to Intel's hegemony. Qualcomm has made life even hard for Intel as a new range of SoC processors based on ARM designs have been made available recently. Qualcomm believes that the wide range of choice will prove very attractive to cloud service providers, especially for those who are looking for hardware optimized for specific cloud computing service.
Microsoft Azure To Close The Gap With AWS
In other Azure-related news, Microsoft Azure has been reportedly working to close the gap with cloud computing leader Amazon Web Service (AWS). The software giant has been busy beefing up cloud computing capabilities, adding new features and functionalities on board. Additionally, Microsoft has also been aggressively supporting open source technologies and also extending its reach to the developers' communities.
Moreover, the software company also made bold claims that its Azure Cloud is bagging 120,000 new subscribers every month. That big figures are said to continue without any sign of slowing down. And with a number of new features being added to its cloud platform at a rapid pace, Microsoft Azure seems well-positioned to narrow the gap with AWS, and even worst, outrace the internet giant.