Amazon has long been considered the industry leader when it comes to cloud computing, but that may be changing quickly: Microsoft recently announced that it would be partnering its cloud service, Microsoft Azure, with a public cloud service called Rackspace Hosting.
With this partnership, the two services may have just created a hybrid cloud service strong enough to compete with Amazon Web Services.
As Fortune reported, Rackspace’s public cloud “could be seen as an Azure rival” but that the partnership is actually beneficial to both companies.
The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg reported that the partnership was announced on July 13, and that current Rackspace and Microsoft customers were reassured that neither client group will be forced to pay for the hybrid cloud package that the partnership will present — but as the WSJ noted, the ultimate goal of the partnership is to have more businesses using Azure while Rackspace “[guides] them on how to squeeze the most for their money from Azure’s processing, data storage, databases and other services.”
Rackspace will make its cloud system compatible with Microsoft’s word processing suite, Microsoft Office 365, and it will also help the company target technical problems and security concerns.
With this hybrid cloud partnership, both companies are hoping to simplify the implementation of a hybrid cloud and provide one platform where both public and private systems can function seamlessly. Although only 19% of businesses today state that they’re using a hybrid cloud system, surveys show that nearly 50% plan to adopt a hybrid cloud system in the near future — if this is the case, businesses will start favoring cloud services that are able to provide seamless integration of both types of cloud systems.
In return for providing a public cloud platform for Microsoft, Rackspace will get something just as valuable in return: a bigger client base than any company — other than perhaps Apple, Microsoft, Google, or Amazon — could hope to acquire individually.
If the partnership is successful, it could very well solve the headaches that ensue when a business shifts its operating system from an on-site computing system to an offsite cloud-based system.