Azure Arc is an exciting new cloud management service from Microsoft. It paves the way for organizations to simplify the management and governance of hybrid cloud and micro-service architectures. For example, it can enable an organization to enforce security best-practices across resources that are housed on-premises, on Azure, or even on GCP and AWS. Azure Arc is currently in preview, and the pricing structure of this service has yet to be released.
A look at competing AWS and GCP services reveals a key opportunity for Microsoft. As the current cloud leader, AWS has less incentive to enable cloud customers to use other vendors’ services and their AWS Outpost service offers a comparatively limited range of capabilities, along with a starting price of ~$80K per year. And, with pricing starting at ~$120K per year GCP’s Anthos service is similarly under-whelming for most small and midsize businesses. If Azure Arc is priced right, it could reduce switching costs and enable organizations to more easily transition and scale services between various cloud-services providers, further accelerating Azure’s 60%+ annual growth rate. Stay tuned for more updates.