Why resell a white-label Microsoft Azure cloud?

Microsoft has relaxed its branding strategy, as it will allow partners to resell white-label Microsoft Azure cloud services under their own brands.

Microsoft didn't make its fortune by allowing its products to be rebranded by resellers, which made it all the more surprising that the software giant loosened the grip on its branding strategy last week when it announced it would allow partners to resell white-labelled Microsoft Azure cloud services under their own brands.

In this week-in-review podcast, site editor Jessica Scarpati and news writer Gina Narcisi discuss what was new on SearchCloudProvider.com for the week of July 16. Tune in as they review the following:

  • What Microsoft's decision to white label Azure means for its partners and for its broader cloud strategy.
  • A new expert tip that reveals the dark side of operating a highly virtualized cloud -- all of those multi-tenant servers consume a lot of electricity.

The following is a transcript of the podcast.

Jessica Scarpati: You're listening to Cloudcast Weekly, a podcast by SearchCloudProvider.com. I'm Jessica Scarpati, site editor of SearchCloudProvider.com and with me in studio is news writer Gina Narcisi. Thanks as always for being here, Gina.

Gina Narcisi: Thank you, Jessica.

Scarpati: We're here to give you a quick wrap up of what's new on the site this week. Gina, you wrote a piece this week about Microsoft's decision to white label their Azure cloud, which allows Microsoft partners to resell Azure under their own brands, right?

Narcisi: Yes, this move is great for partners because they can actually use Microsoft tools in their own cloud or they can actually use the Azure cloud infrastructure, but they can brand it as their own. With that said, it's still important for the partners to sort of still differentiate from Microsoft.

They can do this in a variety of ways, and it's going to be sort of a "learn by doing" kind of thing. They can definitely differ in terms of pricing models or security, just different strengths that they can bring to the table, and let their customers know, "Well, maybe we're the best at tools incorporating SharePoint," and things like that.

Scarpati: I thought that was interesting that was brought up by the Forrester analyst, Dave Bartoletti. He was talking about that partners will not have to differentiate on Azure itself, but rather using it to improve other products and services.

Narcisi: Right, definitely. They'll definitely be able to attract more customers that way, as well.

Scarpati: There was a little back and forth in there also about whether this is something that Microsoft is doing. Are they trying to go after VMware with this? Or it sounded like one of the other perspectives was Microsoft is just trying to catch up in it's own cloud strategy.

Narcisi: Yeah, definitely. There was a lot of talk when I was doing research about Microsoft even competing with Amazon, but it does seem to be more targeted toward VMware and their solutions. It is just another way. Microsoft used to have tighter control and their sort of loosening this a bit. I think that their plan is to just try to get their products out everywhere and if other people are using them even behind the scenes, people are still using their stuff.

Scarpati: Awesome. Thanks so much, Gina.

Narcisi: Thank you for having me.

Scarpati: We've talked before about greener, cleaner clouds. Now we're going to talk about dirty ones. If you're running a multitank cloud, you're no stranger to the benefits of virtualization -- fewer physical machines to buy, cool, manage and so forth. You'd think that having a smaller server footprint would also mean lower power consumption, but like everything else in the cloud, this issue is not so simple.

We have an article week by Amy Larsen DeCarlo at Current Analysis about the cloud's dirty little secret -- its effects on power consumption in the data center. It's a great read, as it highlights some of the factors that providers can control, like resource allocation, in addition to the factors that providers can't control like the aging U.S. power grid. Be sure to check it out for a few tips about how cloud providers can deal with both sides of the issue.

That is all that we have for this week. Be sure to check out all the articles we talked about and more at SearchCloudProvider.com. Thanks for listening, and we'll see you next week.

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