Microsoft claims Azure now used by half of the Fortune 500

Microsoft claims Azure now used by half of the Fortune 500

Summary: Fortune 500 firms appear to be warming to Microsoft's Azure cloud platform, which is now host to more than 250,000 customers.

TOPICS: Cloud, Amazon, Microsoft

Amazon might be the cloud provider to beat, but Microsoft claims that more than half of the Fortune 500 are among the quarter of a million customers now using Azure.

The company announced the milestone late last week, which came just over three years after its cloud platform became commercially available.

In the past year, Microsoft has doubled its Azure customer base to 250,000 and claims to be averaging around 1,000 new customers per day.

Microsoft is boosting capacity at an even faster rate than customer growth, claiming it has doubled its Azure compute and storage capacity every six to nine months along with expansions in Japan, Australia and its 21Vianet-operated Chinese Azure cloud.

Like Amazon, Microsoft does not reveal stored data in byte terms, but reflects "increase in usage" by showing off the number of objects stored in Azure.

"With over four trillion objects in Windows Azure and an average of 270,000 requests per second, customer requirements grow and are met daily.  In peak periods, demand can grow to a staggering 880,000 requests per second," Steven Martin, general manager for Windows Azure, wrote on the Azure blog.

Oddly, the figures are identical to those given by Microsoft's general manager for Azure Storage Brad Calder last July, suggesting perhaps that Microsoft has not updated its figures. Microsoft had just one trillion objects in Azure in 2011. 

Meanwhile Amazon in April revealed it had two trillion objects stored in Amazon S3, and said it was regularly peaking at more than 1.1 million requests per second. Last year it announced its first trillion objects, which took it six years to reach. 

Last week Microsoft also launched another Azure feature called Active Authentication, which is built on technology from PhoneFactor, a multifactor mobile authentication firm Redmond acquired last year.

The service allows customers to enable multifactor authentication for Windows Azure Active Directory identities to provide secure access to Microsoft cloud products such as Office 365, Azure, Windows Intune, Dynamics CRM Online as well as other apps integrated with the Active Directory.

Topics: Cloud, Amazon, Microsoft

Liam Tung

About Liam Tung

Liam Tung is an Australian business technology journalist living a few too many Swedish miles north of Stockholm for his liking. He gained a bachelors degree in economics and arts (cultural studies) at Sydney's Macquarie University, but hacked (without Norse or malicious code for that matter) his way into a career as an enterprise tech, security and telecommunications journalist with ZDNet Australia. These days Liam is a full time freelance technology journalist who writes for several publications.

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  • What does this prove ?

    I'm sure 100% of Fortune 500 companies use toilet roll, but this proves nothing either.
    • Nice one

      They also all use coffee, water and dead trees and Linux. (They must all have at least some rogue IT guy hidden in the basement using Linux.)
      Every one of those companies must have software developers using Visual Studio. Most people get an MSDN subscription with Visual Studio and that includes Azure use for testing for free. Heck I use it.
    • Fortune 500 companies is a very big deal, but to you, because you sound

      like sour grapes when it comes to MS, it's all about denying the hugeness of the deal.
  • Errr?

    Why "claim"? It's a bit odvious that if MS claimed 50% when they only got 25%, they would be deep in hot water.
    Also doesn't mean those companies are using Azure exclusively.
    • So, why would they need to lie about the figures?

      Eventually, the truth is found out, and if the truth does not match their claims, it could be more damaging to their image and business than just telling the truth, even if the truth is a low number. Your logic, if anyone wishes to call it that, makes no sense.
  • Oddly, .... but what is with heterogeneity?

    Q: "Oddly, the figures are identical to those given by Microsoft's general manager for Azure Storage Brad Calder last July, suggesting perhaps that Microsoft has not updated its figures. Microsoft had just one trillion objects in Azure in 2011."

    Maybe they used the same script ... But who cares about numbers.

    What are the possibilities of combining the strengths of the different OS's in a heterogeneous environment, to get a safe private cloud? In the light of the recent Prism issues, it will become more and more a question of setting up secure private clouds. Can there be some co-operation between systems and can developers be involved to make such a environment and make the systems compatible and complement existing networks that mix OS's? That is the type of organizational networks I work in, not the theoretical exclusive 'same systems' shops most seem to discuss.

    BTW.: The signs above of the ever returning kiddies blowing soap bubbles akin to some religious 'I've got the truth, the only truth, and nothing but the truth' fighting the M$-Nix wars is pathetic and infantile. Do any of their claims actually check out? If you start digging, you will usually find a pattern of frequent inconsistencies. Confront them with an inconsistency, what happens: Most will spill out some aggressive language when their integrity is questioned, whereas a sane person would simply be happy to help clear up any misinformation or misunderstanding. It just illustrates their limited social skills and cognitive dissonance. Spare us your posts.