27-01-2016, 20:12 #1
[EN] Azure: Cloud innovation for the year aheadWednesday, January 27, 2016
CTO, Microsoft Azure
For years, there has been discussion on when the enterprise-cloud migration tipping point would be reached, and at last it appears it has happened. Cloud adoption is growing quickly around the world, and regional research backs this notion. Organizations like the Cloud Industry Forum, for example, show that cloud adoption in the UK alone has significantly increased, from 48 percent five years ago, to 84 percent today. On the other hand, it’s clear that barriers still remain for many. Research conducted by North Bridge and Wikibon shows that out of nearly 1,000 survey respondents, 45 percent still note security as a top cloud adoption concern, while regulatory/compliance concerns (36 percent), privacy (29 percent) and cloud vendor lock-in (26 percent) also top the list.
We saw several trends accelerate in 2015 which address some of the barriers to adoption – for example, hybrid cloud solidified its place as the de facto model for managing applications and data across on-premises and cloud environments, at least for the foreseeable future. Other trends emerged in response to the unrelenting pace of application innovation driven by the cloud. For example, containerization became a popular way to build and deploy cloud applications more rapidly, and advanced services like machine learning, predictive analytics and the Internet of Things continued to drive business innovation. In short, the pace of the cloud continues to accelerate, and that will remain the case for the foreseeable future.
1) Platform-as-a-Service will take center stage – from infrastructure to innovation
Infrastructure services like compute, storage and networking defined the "first generation" of cloud computing adoption, attracting businesses with their promise of speed and scale without hefty infrastructure costs. But with custom applications serving as a critical aspect of competitive differentiation, these commodity services are not enough to satisfy many businesses, who understand that applications are the next frontier of innovation. As a result, many organizations are increasingly turning to platform services (PaaS) to create and deploy applications more quickly -- taking the focus away from infrastructure plumbing and automating processes that ensure high availability and scalability. Because PaaS requires no infrastructure or software management, time-consuming tasks like patching and troubleshooting are not necessary, and time-to-value is instant, as is auto-scaling to meet business demand. This gives companies the freedom to realize that expertise at deploying and managing hardware and software infrastructure isn't core to their business, and won't give them a competitive edge.
PaaS is nothing new, of course. Azure laid its early roots as a PaaS platform, as we recognized early on that both IaaS and PaaS would blend to maximize cloud benefits of agility and scale. In 2016 though, expect PaaS services across web, mobile, integration and data to proliferate as companies realize that increased speed of innovation is possible through building and deploying applications using these services. The net result is increased engagement with customers, partners and even their own employees, across multiple devices and environments, for maximum competitive advantage. I call this the shift from infrastructure to innovation, and it's underway today.
2) Use of advanced data services will grow exponentially
As a preeminent example of PaaS acceleration, data services are exploding, with IDC estimating through 2020, spending on cloud-based big data technology will grow 4.5x faster than spending for on-premises solutions. Data is growing in size, accessibility and application, making how it is stored, managed and analyzed more important than ever. In 2016, cloud services will continue to proliferate to address these areas, ultimately making it easier for businesses and organization to get insight out of information. This will include the ability to transform data into intelligent action.
Machines will get smarter as adaptive intelligence becomes more prevalent. Machine learning and perceptual intelligence will transform businesses and even whole industries through predictive and automated decision making. A lot of this is possible today, but will become more sophisticated and widely applicable in the year ahead. As part of this, we will see the Internet of Things accelerate as a way to take intelligent action one step further, across connected assets and systems and across verticals like manufacturing and transportation. As a first step, pre-configured IoT PaaS services that allow you to more quickly and easily connect data to physical assets will become more commonplace this year across nearly every industry.
[i] IDC FutureScape: Worldwide Big Data and Analytics 2016 Predictions, Doc #259835, Nov 2015
3) Hybrid cloud consistency becomes a reality
A lot of energy is spent by businesses determining their hybrid cloud strategy. This is for good reason, as cloud and on-premises environments can look very different, and those differences cost businesses time and money. Today most hybrid cloud offerings provide are bridges between environments or veneers that attempt to mask their differences, but this doesn’t address what enterprises truly want. If they could wave a magic wand, most businesses are seeking the ability to develop cloud-native applications that work in both environments and have identical management and end-user experiences, across all layers of the cloud stack, from infrastructure building blocks to platform services on top.
In 2016, true consistency between on-premises and public cloud environments will be possible, making it possible for deployment environments to be used in tandem together, rather than as disparate parts. Because Microsoft is in a unique position here of having widely adopted on-premises offerings along with a hyper-scale public cloud, we take this opportunity seriously. For Microsoft, we just announced the next step with Microsoft Azure Stack, a first-of-its-kind hybrid cloud platform product that gives organizations the power of Azure in their own datacenters, and will be placing a lot of emphasis on furthering this offering over the coming year.
27-01-2016, 20:12 #2
4) Increasingly agile development models
Containers topped the business buzzword list in 2015 and with good reason – gaining rapid popularity as a more agile way of building and deploying applications that are portable across multiple environments. Companies like Docker, Mesosphere and many others have made application of Linux containers mainstream and have helped bring Windows into the container ecosystem.
But the agility and portability of containers only takes businesses part of the way there when it comes to developing and managing applications. Monolithic application models can't fully meet the rapid pace and constant change that the cloud dictates - especially software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications. To address this challenge, microservices are fast emerging as a new approach for application infrastructure. With microservices, complex applications are composed of small, independent components that work together to deliver an application’s functionality. Each microservice can be versioned and released independently, in turn enabling a much more efficient, rapid way to update and support the pace of change in the cloud. I believe microservices will become increasingly important this year, as the cloud drives continuous pressure for greater agility. We're already making our innovations in this area available, and you can expect to see more from us here in the coming year.
5) Security becomes a cloud enabler
Security has been a notorious inhibitor to cloud adoption for years. However, I’m sensing a sea change on this issue, with more customers recognizing that the cloud is secure and even acknowledging they believe the cloud is more secure than their own datacenters. While this prediction feels bold, I believe this could be the year we see security change from being an inhibitor, to being a key enabler for cloud adoption. This will be possible as us cloud vendors continue to double down on security across all our products and services and begin delivering more security-as-a-service capabilities, in addition to the existing identity-based security offerings in market already – helping to move security from a barrier to an opportunity in the cloud.
6) Multi-cloud environments become easier to manage
Companies face a wealth of choice these days when it comes to IT environments, both on-premises and in the public cloud. Every application is different, and so is every business scenario. Because of this, many businesses have operations that span a variety of different environments and often, many different clouds. This will undoubtedly continue. However, management becomes increasingly difficult in this multi-cloud world – and frankly there haven’t been a lot of holistic options that enable multi-cloud management with ease.
I expect this will change in 2016, and at the forefront of this will be new technologies and services creating new management capabilities spanning across public cloud platforms and on-premises technologies, operating systems and hypervisors. With lock-in such a pressing concern for many businesses, management can’t be a blocker of choice.
The above list is top of mind for me, but the cloud is constantly changing as new demands arise every day and innovation continues to change what is possible. My colleague James Staten will be digging further into these trends in the coming weeks, sharing guidance for how you can take advantage of these evolving areas in order to stay ahead. He will also share learnings from many of you about your various cloud journeys. As we want this to be a two-way dialogue, please don’t hesitate to share feedback on what you hope to see from us and from the industry, in the meantime. Best of luck in the coming year.
27-01-2016, 20:28 #3
Azure Stack Gives Microsoft Leverage Over AWS, Google
January 26, 2016
Timothy Prickett Morgan
In a very real sense, the world’s three biggest public cloud operators are also among the largest server and storage manufacturers. Sure, they subcontract the actual manufacturing work to OEMs or ODMs, just like most name brand server and storage array makers do these days, but in the end, they control what goes into the gear and how it is made and they are its only customer.
No one knows if all workloads will eventually migrate to public clouds or not. That is the honest truth. The volume economics would argue that workloads and data will eventually migrate to the largest and cheapest pools possible, and this is mitigated somewhat by security, provenance, and sovereignty concerns surrounding data and just the sheer difficulty of moving terabytes or petabytes of data over the Internet. What we all know is that most enterprises want both infrastructure and platform cloud services and are not ready to just go all the way to software as a service, and that most enterprises envision themselves operating in a hybrid cloud mode, with capacity in their own datacenter and capacity in one or more public clouds.
Amazon Web Services, as the pioneer in infrastructure cloud services and an innovator in platform cloud, has always said that cloud, by definition, means public cloud – and only public cloud. And, as the volume leader, cloud therefore means Amazon’s cloud, and the book seller turned IT supplier has not been shy about the fact that, “in the fullness of time,” as senior vice president in charge of AWS Andy Jassy always puts it, that AWS will be larger than the Amazon retail business. That will mean growing AWS from its annual run rate of $7.3 billion last fall by more than an order of magnitude. But with something on the order of $1.4 billion in datacenter systems, enterprise software, and services consumed last year by the world’s IT organizations, an AWS that is on the order of $90 billion – about the size of IBM these days – is not impossible or even unreasonable.
Both Microsoft and Google wanted to skip the infrastructure cloud and expose their infrastructure to the outside world as platform services, and they were rebuffed by most enterprise customers. The leap from what they had in their datacenters – virtualized servers running a hodge-podge of hundreds to thousands of applications – was too great. Which is why AWS EC2 compute and S3 and EBS storage took off. While the gap is large between the corporate datacenter and these basic AWS is still large, the spark can jump it. This is why Google and Microsoft ate some humble pie a few years ago and rolled out their own respective Compute Engine and Azure Virtual Machines services. But Google and AWS still believe, fundamentally and at their core, that cloud means public cloud – unless you are a US government agency with hundreds of millions of dollars to spend on a truly private public cloud – and this is leaving an opening for Microsoft Azure to exploit.
And with the launch today of a preview of Azure Stack, a set of software that will allow enterprises and service providers to create a private cloud that looks and smells and feels and operates like a baby version of the actual Azure cloud that Microsoft operates at hyperscale, exploiting that difference and its vast installed base of tens of millions of Windows Server instances running applications worldwide in other people’s datacenters, is precisely what Microsoft intends to do.
“A lot of people think that cloud is a place, and we reject that thinking,” says Jeffrey Snover, Technical Fellow and chief architect of enterprise cloud at Microsoft. “We think of the cloud as a model that can exist in multiple places.”
To put it bluntly, this is just like a cloud exists in multiple places – datacenters and regions, they are called – in a public cloud like those from AWS, Google, Microsoft, and others. Arguing about how that cloudy infrastructure is broken up is not the point. Showing how modern cloud software is better than traditional and more rigid infrastructure is where the focus has to be, according to the top brass running Azure and their peers at Microsoft who are trying to bring it into the datacenters of the world. (Whether it stays there forever or not, no one knows.)
Snover, speaking at a prebriefing for analysts in Microsoft’s Bellevue offices ahead of the Azure Stack launch, knows a thing or two about the fragility and annoyance of infrastructure in the corporate datacenter. Way back in the day, during the dot-com boom, he worked as an architect in the office of the chief technology officer at Tivoli Software, the systems management tool maker that was acquired by IBM in 1996. Snover moved to Microsoft in 1999, and among many things he is the inventor of the PowerShell scripting environment and automation engine for Windows Server. Organizations are railing against shadow IT, but hoops that developers and system administrators have to jump through to get basic server, storage, and networking infrastructure for developing, testing, and deploying applications is too unwieldy and time consuming. In fact, public cloud providers have been counting on that. The answer, as far as Microsoft is concerned, is to make private infrastructure look like the public clouds – in the case of Azure Stack, quite literally.
“We did the traditional model for all sorts of great reasons, and it has served us very well,” Snover explains. “But in reality, what we would end up with is a bunch of dedicated infrastructure for each application, and often we would have custom hardware especially for an application and people and processes all tuned to an application. When you step back a bit, you see this is a pretty brittle, non-agile environment. You end up with each company – and each group within each company – ends ups building their own little worlds. It is perfectly natural, because as an industry, we gave people a bunch of components and a rabbit’s foot and wished them the best of luck to figure out how to put these components together to solve their problem. And they did, with each organization coming up with their own solution. But you end up with enterprise-specific languages and environments, and when you want to hire someone, there is a very high training cost to get them up to speed. Every company has had the experience of hiring someone who is a superstar in one organization and they fail when they came to your organization, and the reason is that the success is a function of the environment, and when the environment is so different, it is hard for people to be effective.”
As it turns out, scaling down infrastructure like that peddled by AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Compute Engine is harder than scaling it up, which all three have perfected out of necessity. And the reason why you don’t see scaled-down versions of public cloud infrastructure, says Snover, is because it is really hard to do and do right. Arguably, Microsoft’s own first pass, the Azure Pack extensions to the Windows Server platform, which are orchestration and control elements culled from the Azure public cloud, were not as faithful to Azure as they needed to be. Ditto for the hosted and managed OpenStack cloud from Rackspace Hosting, which is not a precise carbon copy of the cloud running inside of Rackspace itself. VMware has the combination of its vCloud Air public cloud and its vRealize cloud automation tools, but its public cloud is small and, thus far, very few of its ESXi and vSphere customers use the vRealize (formerly vCloud) wares to convert their virtualized servers into private clouds.
With Azure Stack, the goal is to give system administrators and developers the same experience for virtualized and orchestrated infrastructure as they get on the Azure public cloud. With the first technical preview of Azure stack that is being announced today and that will be available for download on Friday (January 29), the Azure Stack will create a baby virtualized Azure cloud on a single server with fairly beefy requirements. In this case, a machine with 128 GB of memory, at least two eight-core processors, and five disk drives. That will give testers enough capacity to load up the ten virtual machines that run the Azure control plane and still have enough capacity to learn how to run an Azure private cloud and play with some virtual machines.
Future technology previews will allow this private Azure to span multiple server nodes, and by the time that Azure Stack is ready for primetime in the fourth quarter of this year – after Windows Server 2016 is out and ramping – it will stretch far enough for enterprises that want to support Windows and Linux workloads on the Hyper-V hypervisor on a very large scale. Our guess is Azure Stack will span many, many tens of thousands of virtual machines, which is about as large as any cloud in the enterprise gets these days, but Microsoft is not providing specifics about scale at this point because it is early in the customer testing cycle for Azure.
At this point, Microsoft is also not saying what specific servers and storage servers will be certified to run Azure Stack when it becomes generally available at the end of the year, but the idea is clearly to bring some of the practices of hyperscalers down to enterprises even if they might not literally go out and buy Microsoft-designed Open Cloud Servers from Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Dell, or Quanta, which manufacture machines that are clones of those that Microsoft itself uses in the Azure public cloud.
27-01-2016, 20:28 #4
No More Gold Plated Servers
Microsoft is not saying how many developers and companies it has hosted on the Azure cloud today, but Mark Russinovich, chief technology officer at Azure, who we spoke to back in October about the future of the cloud building, tells The Next Platform that adding more than 90,000 new customers each month to the Azure cloud and that 80 percent of the Fortune 500 are using Azure cloud services in one form or another. Azure has 22 regions around the world, and is adding two regions each in the United Kingdom, Germany, and Canada to get local processing in those countries. Azure Compute revenues and capacity have both doubled in the past twelve months, Russinovich adds, and over 40 percent of the revenue coming in for the Azure public cloud is coming from startups and established software developers who want to run their apps in the cloud.
Enterprise customers do not just want to run in hybrid mode across private and public clouds, though. They also want to get some agility when it comes to software development, and having flexible infrastructure that hooks into Visual Studio or Eclipse development tools just like Azure does and allows them to do continuous development in a modern, microservices manner is part of the bigger picture.
“If you take a look at applications and the demand to create agile applications, the old monolithic, three-tier, SOA-style applications of the IT world do not cut it anymore,” says Russinovich. “Teams have trouble getting feature updates into software, having it tested, and they can’t scale out efficiently to make the most use of the underlying hardware that the company is paying for. So we are seeing this trend towards microservices architectures and loosely coupled systems with small teams that develop independent components that can be tested, rolled out, and scaled efficiently. If you take a look at the infrastructure underneath, the only way that hyperscale public clouds get to the scale that they do is using industry standard hardware, basically minimizing the variations in the hardware. This gives you the agility to not have to worry about individual failures across a whole number of machines and throwing people at the problem. You have to take people out of the equation as much as possible,” he says, adding that “the traditional IT world is full of drama.”
These are arguments for cloud in general, of course, not just for Azure. But the point for Azure Stack is to have the private cloud that enterprises install look and feel as much as is possible like the real Azure cloud. Here is what the stack looks like conceptually:
The idea is that anything that works with Azure will hook into Azure Stack and basically see it as just another region, and having played around with the Azure Stack proof of concept a bit ourselves, it certainly is faithful to this idea as far as we can see. Visual Studio and Eclipse tools that deploy applications to Azure infrastructure will be able to deploy to Azure Stack private clouds in the same manner, and Chef and Puppet automation tools as well as PowerShell scripts will all work across the two Azures in the same fashion. The Azure Resource Manager control plane, which was spearheaded by Russinovich, is the same, too. The core services that provide role-based access control, subscriptions to virtual machines and resources are the same, too, and customers can even set up their VM instances to have the same feeds and speeds as Microsoft’s own Azure VMs. It will look and feel like the Azure cloud to developers, but system administrators will have to learn to run the infrastructure in slightly different ways.
Any company deploying applications to a public cloud has to learn something new because each cloud has its own language for talking about the infrastructure and the services that connect it or run on top of it. The key thing about Azure Stack – and this is something that is only true for Microsoft right now across all public and private cloud providers – is that the new metaphors for describing compute, storage, networking, and services that they learn for one size of the firewall will apply to the other side. Windows Server customers in particular, who are naturally predisposed to use Microsoft’s Azure public cloud, need only learn one new thing and they have covered both their private and public cloud bases.
That vast installed base of Windows Server coupled to what is for all intents and purposes infinite compute and storage on the Azure public cloud is going to be a very compelling combination for enterprises. Particularly as they dabble and also try to rein in shadow IT. We are dying to find out how much more expensive an Azure Stack private cloud will be to set up and run compared to the exact same infrastructure on the Azure public cloud, and can’t wait to do that math. How that math works out, and how sensitive and heavy the data is, will determine how much compute and storage stays in the enterprise datacenter and how much shifts to the public cloud.
28-01-2016, 07:34 #5
Por falta de desafiantes, nunca foi tão fácil a Microsoft conquistar um cinturão de campeã mundial.
A "luta" só existe nos textos da imprensa alugada.
28-01-2016, 08:27 #6
What is old is new again
January 4, 2016
Timothy Prickett Morgan
Convergence Gets Hyper In The Datacenter
The way that systems are being built is changing, and the way that the winners and losers are tracked as they peddle their wares into the datacenter has to change to reflect that. While many companies still buy servers, storage, and switching as separate items, with different teams managing those silos, integrated systems that bring all of these elements together as a single item have taken hold in recent years for specific workloads and certain parts of the market.
Integrated systems are, of course, nothing new, and in fact harken back to the early days of the systems business when, by definition, companies bought products from a single vendor and these were integrated as a matter of course, from hardware all the way up through the systems software stack including operating systems, file systems, databases, and transaction monitors.
The System/360 mainframe from IBM that is now more than five decades old was, using this definition, an integrated system, and indeed, the main frame in the box where the processors were housed was surrounded by other frames of gear that included peripheral controllers and their peripherals, including disk and tape storage, terminals, networking, and other gear that comprised the complete system. The Digital Equipment VAX, the IBM System/36 and AS/400, and the Hewlett-Packard MP3000 were also integrated systems and provided customers with everything they needed to do work. More recently, Oracle’s various engineered systems, most importantly its Exadata database clusters, harkened back to the days of an integrated system, and so did the Unified Computing System from Cisco Systems and its partners.
What is old is new again, and in this particular case, according to statistics from IDC, so-called integrated systems are driving more than $10 billion a year in sales. This in a worldwide systems hardware market that consumes somewhere around $100 billion in server, storage, and switching gear each year. (Roughly speaking, servers account for $50 billion in sales, switching about $25 billion, and storage around $30 billion. There is some double counting between the servers and the storage, which makes it difficult to be precise. And by the way, that is our qualification of raw IDC data, not a precise number from IDC for any given year.) Any portion of the market that has this big of a slice – and that has the potential for growth – is one worth paying attention to.
For the past several years, IDC has been tracking sales of integrated platforms in a certain way, and it is now changing the way it talks about it to reflect new products and conditions. In the past, IDC counted up sales of what it called integrated infrastructure – which meant machines that bring the server, storage, and switching hardware together and aimed at generic workloads – and integrated platforms – which included machines with all of those pieces but aimed at specific jobs like database serving. Those integrated platforms did not include the software stack licenses, which utterly dwarf the hardware prices.
After a rethink, IDC is starting to track converged systems as a general group, distinct from raw servers, storage, and switching sold independently, and is carving this segment up into three broad pieces: integrated systems, certified reference systems, and hyperconverged systems.
The integrated systems bring together all of the hardware together (usually from a single vendor), who sells it to the end user customer as a single SKU, while certified reference systems allow for the mixing and matching of different hardware and are generally sold through the channel to end user customers. The nascent – but fast-growing – hyperconverged systems market brings all of the hardware together, but uses the same server nodes to run distributed SAN software as well as offering virtualized compute on those same nodes. The integrated systems and certified reference systems include basic operating system, file system, and systems management software, and the hyperconverged systems include the distributed SAN software. In the latter case, the software represents the lion’s share of the cost of the system, so bear that in mind when you look at the stats.
IDC has only released data on five quarters of converged systems sales, but as you can see, integrated systems and certified reference systems are both looking like fairly mature markets in that they are following the traditional seasonality cycle of the IT market overall, where the fourth quarter tends to be the strongest, the first quarter the weakest, and the other two anybody’s guess. IDC has cast its data backwards to categorize the converged systems market and is right now putting together forecasts looking our five years for all three segments and various subsegments including clusters for running databases, Web application servers, VDI, and other enterprise workloads.
The most recent data that IDC can give for the converged systems market is for the third quarter of 2015. In that period, integrated systems accounted for $1.6 billion in sales, down 1.4 percent from the year ago period.
VCE, the former “Acadia” partnership between Cisco, EMC, and VMware that initially sold integrated systems based on the UCS blade servers launched by the networking giant in 2009, is now controlled by EMC and is the market leader for integrated systems, with $440 million in revenues in the third quarter of last year, up 13 percent YoY.
Hewlett Packard Enterprise was the number two player in integrated systems, with $360 million in sales, up 14 percent, followed by Oracle, with $340 million in revenues, up 9 percent.
All other vendors accounted for $450 million in integrated systems revenues in Q3 2015, and as a group they saw their sales decline by a stunning 24 percent.
In the trailing twelve months, integrated systems drove $6.7 billion in revenues, which as we pointed out above, is a significant piece of the overall systems market in datacenters. Whether it can grow to be more than that remains to be seen. It all depends on the appetite for integration done by vendors rather than by the IT departments themselves.
The multi-vendor certified reference systems are a smaller portion of the market right now, and have been consistently throughout the period in the data divulged by IDC. Certified reference systems accounted for $680 million in sales in the third quarter of 2015, up a mere 0.3% compared to a year ago.
The Cisco/NetApp partnership accounted for 45 percent of sales, with $310 million in revenues, but only showed 1.2 percent growth.
EMC was the second largest peddler, with $220 million in sales and a 2.7 percent decline.
Hitachi ranked third, with $75 million and shrank by a half point, and all the other vendors in this part of the converged systems market accounted for only $78 million in sales, up 7 percent.
The most exciting part of the converged systems arena, that of hyperconverged systems from the likes of Nutanix, VMware, SimpliVity, EMC, Maxta, Pivot3, Scale Computing, and a few others.
According to estimates from IDC, hyperconverged systems accounted for $280 million in revenues in the third quarter, up 155 percent year on year. In the fourth quarter of last year, sales were up 27 percent sequentially compared to the third quarter, and sequential growth was 19 percent and 20 percent, respectively, for the first and second quarters of 2015. But in the third quarter of 2015, sequential growth shot up to 42 percent.
28-01-2016, 20:15 #7
Microsoft Earnings Top Estimates on Strong Cloud Business
Microsoft tops expectations, shares jump
2 Mins Ago
Microsoft reported quarterly earnings and revenue that beat analysts' expectations on Thursday.
The company posted fiscal year second-quarter adjusted earnings per share of 78 cents on $25.7 billion in revenue. Analysts had expected Microsoft to report earnings of about 71 cents per share on $25.26 billion in revenue for its fiscal second quarter, according to a consensus estimate from Thomson Reuters.
Shares in the computing giant jumping more than 8 percent in after-hours trading, but then giving back some of those gains.
"Businesses everywhere are using the Microsoft Cloud as their digital platform to drive their ambitious transformation agendas," Satya Nadella, Microsoft's CEO said in a statement. "Businesses are also piloting Windows 10, which will drive deployments beyond 200 million active devices."
The company said it returned $6.5 billion to shareholders in the form of share repurchases and dividends during its quarter ending in December 2015.
Microsoft's fiscal year second-quarter earnings per share rose 11 percent from an adjusted 70 cents in the year-ago period, and its adjusted revenue fell about 2 percent from the $26.14 billion it recorded for that time.
Investors are particularly enthusiastic about Microsoft's future business. The company reported deferred revenue, or sales that have been booked but not yet recorded, of $25 billion, topping the average analyst estimate of $23.6 billion, according to FactSet.
"It shows that momentum is building for Microsoft in 2016 rather than slowing, and that's different from what we're hearing from other enterprise tech companies," said Daniel Ives, an analyst at FBR Capital Markets who has a buy rating on the stock.
As with other recent quarters, investors are expected to key into Microsoft's cloud business, which many believe represents a key component for its future growth. The computing giant has been transitioning from a primarily PC-based company into a cloud-focused one, incorporating products such as Azure and Office 365 into its commercial and enterprise business.
Revenue in Microsoft's Intelligent Cloud business grew 5 percent (11 percent on a constant currency basis) to $6.34 billion. That slightly topped Wall Street's expectations of $6.29 billion, according to StreetAccount.
Within that category, Microsoft said its server products and cloud services revenue grew 10 percent in constant currency, and Azure revenue saw a massive 140 percent constant-currency growth. More than one third of all Fortune 500 companies chose Microsoft's Enterprise Mobility solutions, the company said.
But PC sales will also capture attention, as those (long-slipping) sales continue to be a major part of Microsoft's revenue. Katherine Egbert, senior research analyst at Piper Jaffray, said in a Jan. 15 note the weak PC sales number led her to trim her revenue forecast, citing a "faster-than-expected deceleration in global PC shipments" as a risk to the company.
Microsoft said its "More Personal Computing" revenue declined 5 percent (down 2 percent in constant currency) to $12.7 billion — primarily due to a fall in phone and Windows revenue. Wall Street had expected $12.29 billion for the business, according to data from StreetAccount.
Revenue from Microsoft's Surface devices increased 29 percent in constant currency, the company said, citing the launch of its Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book. Phone revenue, however, declined 49 percent controlling for currency.
"It was a strong holiday season for Microsoft highlighted by Surface and Xbox," Kevin Turner, chief operating officer at Microsoft, said in the company's quarterly release. "Our commercial business executed well as our sales teams and partners helped customers realize the value of Microsoft's cloud technologies across Azure, Office 365 and CRM Online."
Xbox Live's monthly active users grew about 30 percent against the year-ago period to 48 million, and gaming revenue grew 9 percent in constant currency, the company said
Microsoft announced in February 2014 that Nadella would become its CEO. Since that time, Nadella has sought to reinvigorate the more than $400 billion market-cap company.
This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.
—CNBC's Josh Lipton, Ari Levy and Fred Imbert contributed to this report.
28-01-2016, 20:27 #8
PR: Second quarter results highlight Microsoft Cloud strength
REDMOND, Wash. — January 28, 2016 — Microsoft Corp. today announced the following results for the quarter ended December 31, 2015:
- Revenue was $23.8 billion GAAP, and $25.7 billion non-GAAP
- Operating income was $6.0 billion GAAP, and $7.9 billion non-GAAP
- Net income was $5.0 billion GAAP, and $6.3 billion non-GAAP
- Earnings per share was $0.62 GAAP, and $0.78 non-GAAP
During the quarter, Microsoft returned $6.5 billion to shareholders in the form of share repurchases and dividends.
“Businesses everywhere are using the Microsoft Cloud as their digital platform to drive their ambitious transformation agendas,” said Satya Nadella, chief executive officer at Microsoft. “Businesses are also piloting Windows 10, which will drive deployments beyond 200 million active devices.”
The following table reconciles our financial results reported in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (“GAAP”) to non-GAAP financial results. Microsoft has provided this non-GAAP financial information to aid investors in better understanding the company’s performance. All growth comparisons relate to the corresponding period in the last fiscal year.
“We delivered double-digit operating income growth in non-GAAP constant currency while investing in key strategic areas that position Microsoft for continued long term growth,” said Amy Hood, executive vice president and chief financial officer of Microsoft.
Revenue in Productivity and Business Processes declined 2% (up 5% in constant currency) to $6.7 billion, with the following business highlights:
- Office commercial products and cloud services revenue grew 5% in constant currency driven by Office 365 revenue growth of nearly 70% in constant currency
- Office 365 consumer subscribers increased to 20.6 million
- Dynamics revenue grew 11% in constant currency with Dynamics CRM Online seat adds more than doubling year-over-year for the fifth consecutive quarter
Revenue in Intelligent Cloud grew 5% (up 11% in constant currency) to $6.3 billion, with the following business highlights:
- Server products and cloud services revenue grew 10% in constant currency
- Azure revenue grew 140% in constant currency with revenue from Azure premium services growing nearly 3x year-over-year
- Over one third of the Fortune 500 have chosen our Enterprise Mobility solutions, up nearly 3x year-over-year
Revenue in More Personal Computing declined 5% (down 2% in constant currency) to $12.7 billion, with the following business highlights:
- Windows OEM revenue declined 5% in constant currency, outperforming the PC market, driven by higher consumer premium and mid-range device mix
- Surface revenue increased 29% in constant currency driven by the launch of Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book
- Phone revenue declined 49% in constant currency reflecting our strategy change announced in July 2015
- Search advertising revenue excluding traffic acquisition costs grew 21% in constant currency with continued benefit from Windows 10 usage
- Xbox Live monthly active users grew 30% year-over-year to a record 48 million
“It was a strong holiday season for Microsoft highlighted by Surface and Xbox,” said Kevin Turner, chief operating officer at Microsoft. “Our commercial business executed well as our sales teams and partners helped customers realize the value of Microsoft’s cloud technologies across Azure, Office 365 and CRM Online.”
Microsoft will provide forward-looking guidance in connection with this quarterly earnings announcement on its earnings conference call and webcast.
Adjusted Financial Results and non-GAAP Measures
During the second quarter of fiscal year 2016, GAAP revenue, operating income, net income, and earnings per share include the net impact from revenue deferrals. For the second quarter of fiscal year 2015, GAAP revenue, operating income, net income, and earnings per share include the recognition of previously deferred net revenue and charges related to integration and restructuring expenses. These items are defined below. In addition to these financial results reported in accordance with GAAP, Microsoft has provided certain non-GAAP financial information to aid investors in better understanding the company’s performance. Presenting these non-GAAP measures gives additional insight into operational performance and helps clarify trends affecting the company’s business. For comparability of reporting, management considers this information in conjunction with GAAP amounts in evaluating business performance. These non-GAAP financial measures should not be considered as a substitute for, or superior to, the measures of financial performance prepared in accordance with GAAP.
Revenue Deferrals. Microsoft recorded a net $1.9 billion revenue deferral during the three months ended December 31, 2015, primarily related to Windows 10 and Halo 5.
Microsoft recognized a net $326 million of previously deferred revenue during the three months ended December 31, 2014, primarily related to sales of bundled products and services.
Integration and Restructuring Charges. Integration and restructuring expenses were $243 million during the three months ended December 31, 2014. Integration and restructuring expenses include employee severance expenses and costs associated with the consolidation of facilities and manufacturing operations related to restructuring activities, and systems consolidation and other business integration expenses associated with the acquisition of Nokia’s Devices and Services business.
Microsoft presents constant currency information to provide a non-GAAP framework for assessing how our underlying businesses performed excluding the effect of foreign currency rate fluctuations. To present this information, current and comparative prior period non-GAAP results for entities reporting in currencies other than United States dollars are converted into United States dollars using the average exchange rates from the comparative period rather than the actual exchange rates in effect during the respective periods. The non-GAAP financial measures presented below should not be considered as a substitute for, or superior to, the measures of financial performance prepared in accordance with GAAP. All growth comparisons relate to the corresponding period in the last fiscal year.
Statements in this release that are “forward-looking statements” are based on current expectations and assumptions that are subject to risks and uncertainties. Actual results could differ materially because of factors such as:
- intense competition in all of Microsoft’s markets;
- increasing focus on services presents execution and competitive risks;
- significant investments in new products and services that may not be profitable;
- acquisitions, joint ventures, and strategic alliances may have an adverse effect on our business;
- impairment of goodwill or amortizable intangible assets causing a significant charge to earnings;
- Microsoft’s continued ability to protect and earn revenues from its intellectual property rights;
- claims that Microsoft has infringed the intellectual property rights of others;
- the possibility of unauthorized disclosure of significant portions of Microsoft’s source code;
- cyber-attacks and security vulnerabilities in Microsoft products and services that could reduce revenue or lead to liability;
- disclosure of personal data that could cause liability and harm to Microsoft’s reputation;
- outages, data losses, and disruptions of our online services if we fail to maintain an adequate operations infrastructure;
- government litigation and regulation that may limit how Microsoft designs and markets its products;
- potential liability under trade protection and anti-corruption laws resulting from our international operations;
- laws and regulations relating to the handling of personal data may impede the adoption of our services or result in increased costs, legal claims or fines against us;
- Microsoft’s ability to attract and retain talented employees;
- adverse results in legal disputes;
- unanticipated tax liabilities;
- Microsoft’s hardware and software products may experience quality or supply problems;
- exposure to increased economic and operational uncertainties from operating a global business;
- catastrophic events or geo-political conditions may disrupt our business; and
- adverse economic or market conditions may harm our business.
All information in this release is as of January 28, 2016. The company undertakes no duty to update any forward-looking statement to conform the statement to actual results or changes in the company’s expectations.
Última edição por 5ms; 28-01-2016 às 20:29.
28-01-2016, 21:00 #9
Amazon Web Services quarterly revenue and growth
AWS fourth-quarter revenue grew 69% year-over-year, a deceleration from 78% growth in the third quarter and 82% in the second quarter.
The AWS division generated $687 million in operating income during the quarter, and almost $1.9 billion over the full year.
It generated almost $8 billion in sales over the full year of 2015.
PR: Amazon.com Announces Fourth Quarter Sales up 22% to $35.7 Billion