LinkedIn: No Plans to Move to Microsoft Azure

Mitch Wagner
4/6/2017

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Open Networking Summit 2017 -- LinkedIn has no plans to migrate its infrastructure to Microsoft Azure, even though the professional social network was acquired by the cloud provider in late December.

LinkedIn was two years into upgrading its infrastructure to private cloud platform-as-a-service (PaaS) when Microsoft announced plans to acquire the professional social network in June. (See Under Microsoft, LinkedIn's Big Cloud Plans Face Uncertain Future.)

The deal closed in December, with infrastructure plans still up in the air. (See Microsoft Closes LinkedIn Acquisition. What's Next?.)

Microsoft has mingled the two organizations' executive suites, with LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner staying on to run LinkedIn, reporting directly to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. Kevin Scott, LinkedIn's infrastructure boss, was named CTO of Microsoft in January. (See Microsoft Names LinkedIn's Kevin Scott CTO.)

Photo by Link Humans, (CC BY 2.0). Cropped to fit.
Photo by Link Humans, (CC BY 2.0). Cropped to fit.

And the two companies' services are mingling too, with LinkedIn's professional directory and training offerings combining with Microsoft Office 365 and Dynamics 365 CRM. (See Microsoft & LinkedIn: Marriage Made in the Cloud.)

What's not mingling is the two companies' cloud infrastructure -- at least for now, said Zaid Ali Kahn, LinkedIn senior director for infrastructure engineering, at a keynote here Wednesday.

"LinkedIn will continue to manage and control its own infrastructure," Kahn said. "We are doing this for our member base. At this point we will continue to do what we are doing. At the future time, things may change, but that has yet to be decided."


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LinkedIn and Azure do have elements in common. Both support open networking -- Kahn spoke here for LinkedIn on Wednesday, and Microsoft spoke here Monday about container networking. (See Microsoft Azure Catches Up With Container Networking.)

And Microsoft is one of the biggest customers of Arista's high-performance data center networking switches. (See Arista Passes $1B in Sales.)

We've got a query into Microsoft for more details. We'll let you know what we hear back.

— Mitch Wagner Follow me on Twitter Visit my LinkedIn profile Visit my blog Friend me on Facebook Editor, Enterprise Cloud News

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Mitch Wagner
Mitch Wagner
4/10/2017 | 1:48:51 PM
Re: Black eye for Microsoft
danielcawrey - Agreed. I expect it will be a 3-5 year migration. 
danielcawrey
danielcawrey
4/8/2017 | 4:53:23 PM
Re: Black eye for Microsoft
For now. 

Let's be realistic: The two companies will converge on technology. LinkedIn's infrastructure guy is now Microsoft's CTO? Yeah, at some point there's going to be a consolidation. It will save the whole company money, that's for sure. 
Mitch Wagner
Mitch Wagner
4/7/2017 | 5:42:53 PM
Black eye for Microsoft
There's an expression among IT vendors: "Eating your own dogfood," or just "dogfooding." That means a company uses its own products. 

CIOs considering Azure are going to ask Microsoft "if Azure is so great, why isn't LinkedIn running on Azure?"

I can't think of a good answer that Microsot might provide. Can you?
Ariella
Ariella
4/6/2017 | 3:45:46 PM
Re: Tick tick tick
@Joe that could well be it. They may like to play it close to the vest. It's probably smarter to do it that way rather than announce something that is not completely certain yet.
Joe Stanganelli
Joe Stanganelli
4/6/2017 | 9:40:01 AM
Tick tick tick
More accurately, perhaps: "no plans we're willing to announce".

Considering the immense value of LinkedIn's graph data to Microsoft and its products, integration is just a matter of time.
Scott_Ferguson
Scott_Ferguson
4/6/2017 | 9:28:02 AM
The trouble with big deals
This is an important piece because it shows how the idea of tech mergers and "synergy" don't always work out the way you would think. It would seem logical that LinkedIn would bring its data over to the Microsoft cloud, but it doesn't seem like this will happen soon. At the same time, it shows that once a company is locked in to a cloud or a platform, it's hard to change, even when you have the resources of Microsoft at your disposal.
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