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Microsoft unveils Azure Arc, aiming to fend off Google and Amazon with new hybrid cloud tech

Microsoft has long made hybrid technologies a core part of its Azure platform, letting customers run cloud technologies on their own servers in addition to the public cloud, but the company is aiming to push its capabilities further and counter progress by Google and Amazon with .

Azure Arc, set to be announced at the Microsoft Ignite conference in Orlando, Fla., on Monday, will extend Microsoft’s hybrid cloud management technologies to Linux and Windows servers and Kubernetes clusters running on any infrastructure, the company says. Microsoft says customers will be able to deploy, manage and secure apps and run data services across in-house servers, multiple cloud platforms and edge computing scenarios, with connected devices in remote locations.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, in his Ignite keynote, said Azure Arc “marks the beginning of this new era of hybrid computing, where there is a control plane built for multi-cloud, multi-edge.”

The announcement follows the rollout of new hybrid technologies by Microsoft’s main cloud competitors, including and . Hybrid computing has long been a focus for Microsoft because of its roots in traditional computer server operating systems and apps.

Microsoft is also extending the reach of its existing Azure Stack offering, which enables the use of cloud technologies apart from the public cloud. The company is announcing a new appliance called Azure Stack Edge, along with new rugged Azure Stack hardware “designed to provide cloud capabilities in the harshest environment conditions supporting scenarios such as tactical edge, humanitarian and emergency response efforts,” according to .

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