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Sphere 3D, Microsoft to Bring Glassware 2.0 to Azure Cloud

March 10, 2015

Virtualization and data management technology developer Sphere 3D recently announced that it will begin adapting its Glassware 2.0 software for the Microsoft Azure cloud computing platform.

Glassware 2.0 allows businesses to virtualize applications without having to virtualize entire desktops. With the help of Microsoft, the Sphere 3D will combine that technology with Azure to give such businesses an easy path from running applications locally to running them virtually in the Azure cloud. The basis of this venture appears to be the creation of simplified application access that the cloud facilitates – a point to which Sphere 3D CEO Eric Kelly comments in his company's announcement.

“When we created Glassware 2.0, we envisioned a time where any application, regardless of its hardware or operating dependencies, could be easily delivered across multiple platforms from the cloud,” Kelly said. “Today, by joining forces with Microsoft, we have taken a substantial step towards realizing that vision.”

The beginning of this venture will see Sphere 3D and Microsoft focusing on the education market. Through a number of partners which were unnamed in the announcement, the companies will provide an avenue for educational organizations to migrate their own applications to the cloud for access from all computers with a link to Azure servers. As the year progresses, there will be a broader focus on additional markets, and in any case, the underlying goal of migration simplicity will take precedence.

Sphere 3D notes a recent Rightscale study, which shows that fewer than 20 percent of enterprise applications operate from within the cloud. In part, the difficulty of migrating applications and providing stable access to end users may be holding back growth of that number. The Glassware 2.0 application tries to make it much easier to move applications into the cloud and therefore can help reduce the cost and complexity of running and maintaining those applications.

TMC reported in late February that Azure is capturing some of the cloud computing market from competitors Google, Rackspace, and VMWare. Although Amazon Web Services continues to dominate the market, Azure has shown gains while there have been drops in the past year from Rackspace and VMWare alongside reportedly steady market share for Google. Projects such as Sphere 3D could help boost Microsoft's numbers in this arena by making it easier for prospective customers to move their own products into the cloud and away from in-house servers.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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