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Walmart's cloud strategy sticks by OpenStack, despite Azure migration

Walmart’s cloud deployment strategy takes a big turn to Microsoft Azure, but it won’t leave OpenStack completely in the dust.

A five-year deal to make Microsoft Azure the preferred cloud provider for Walmart, the largest corporation in the world, isn’t a shocker, but it does raise questions about Walmart’s future use of the OpenStack. The retailer has been one of OpenStack’s biggest cheerleaders and has spent millions of dollars on a massive private cloud deployment of the software inside its own data centers. The technology, originally seen as an open alternative to public cloud platforms such as AWS and backed by some of the biggest names in IT, has lost nearly all of its momentum in recent years and failed to keep pace with the hyperscale public cloud providers.

OpenStack is notoriously difficult to operate, which is part of why it never truly took off. Some companies, including Walmart, have reported success, though it helps to possess a fleet of engineers to build and maintain it. Abandonment by a company the size and cachet of Walmart would all but serve as the death knell for OpenStack, but that doesn’t appear to be the case just yet, as its OpenStack deployment isn’t going anywhere, according to a company spokesperson.

“In no way does this take away from the work we’ve done there,” the spokesperson said. “Clearly we’ve invested a lot there from a time and financial perspective.”

Walmart will continue to contribute to the OpenStack project and use the software for its private cloud, but the deal with Microsoft adds flexibility and agility to the company’s hybrid cloud strategy, said the spokesperson, who declined to be identified. Walmart will rely on Microsoft to burst workloads to the public cloud, and will utilize a range of Microsoft cloud tools across its various brands, including Azure and Microsoft 365. Large parts of Walmart.com and Samsclub.com will move to Azure, while Walmart will use IoT tools to control energy consumption in its facilities, and implement machine learning to improve supply chain logistics. All told, the companies will work together to migrate hundreds of existing applications, Microsoft said in a blog post.

Walmart’s cloud strategy: Anything but AWS?

It’s a major win for Microsoft, if not entirely shocking. AWS is the largest provider in the market, but parent company Amazon.com happens to be a huge competitor for Walmart’s retail business. Some retailers have been wary to support Amazon through its IT arm, and reports last year indicated Walmart pressured its retail partners to get off AWS.

And Walmart already had a relationship with Azure —  online retailer Jet.com, which Walmart acquired in 2016, has hosted its infrastructure on Azure since its inception.

Azure may be Walmart’s official preferred cloud provider, but the company leaves open the possibility to use other cloud platforms when appropriate.

“We obviously are going to continue to look at ways to partner with everyone and anyone that we think will helps us be more agile for our customers,” the spokesperson said.

Even as Walmart underscores its commitment to OpenStack for its private cloud, however, it remains to be seen how much of that agility will come from OpenStack going forward.

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Cost control is to tight and this can contribute to reducing innovation efforts.
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There is a certain limit up to which a CIO can grow. After this, he/she should think of shifting to business
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No, I wouldn't consider changing jobs if economic conditions were improved. I'm very pleased to be working for my company. There is an emphasis on job satisfaction and also on being ranked highly as one of the best places to work. At last report of all international companies we were ranked 3rd in the world as a best place to work by the employees. I have a stimulating role, with an excellent manager, with fairly well defined goals, lots of autonomy, great compensation, and the ability to telecommute.
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Companies are already paying a price for not having fully engaged staff. To have someone "quit and stay" is almost as bad and sometimes worse than having them leave.
The eventual upswing in the economy will result in a much needed shifting of jobs and people.
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How do you know when it’s time to leave a company? There are obvious signs, but the two most important are if you're no longer learning and if you're no longer having fun. ( a Quote I found)
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I don't know what lies ahead of me and i can't obviously predict the economy. But i love challenges and i am not lazy to work or lean new methods. i will stay under the possibility of not knowing what lies ahead.
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IT jobs are not longer abundant since off-shoring and recession then staying at my current job is common sense and survival. IT used to be a nice field to be but not anymore.
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I have tolerated a lower than average salary long enough, and there aren't many compensating perks.
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It depends and the answer varies from one person to another. Personally, I wouldn’t consider a switch if I have a right team and a good work environment. The salary isn’t a major factor for me (at least now), I don’t even compare whether I am underpaid or overpaid. Because in my opinion, this a main root of dis-satisfaction. However, as a creature’s habit if I get an offer which seems exceptionally well and attractive then probably I would also think about to make a switch.
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It depends. I enjoy my job, like my coworkers and the work environment. My issue is the benefits are starting to cause financial problems. If they get worse, I may be forced to look elsewhere. Every time that there has been a fairly decent change it's like a pay cut.
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It's not all about money and I'm secure where I am. I also have an allegiance to my employees because they value my work. OTOH, I follow the talent. I want/need/demand to work with the smartest people in their fields, I want a free exchange of ideas, I want creativity & innovation to get the respect they deserve.

If another company gives me the opportunity to work with better minds or better projects, I'd consider it, I'd review it closely
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At the moment, the economy in the area I work is white hot, and the ability to move from company to company is available. Still, al things considered, I like my team, I'm well compensated for what I do, and I get to take on some cool challenges each day. If I were to take on a new position, it would likely be for something I either really had a major desire to see happen, or I decided to go into a venture with friends or colleagues to do something new. Outside of that, I don't see me changing ships any time soon.
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11 of every 12 companies that use cloud have their engineers off-shore so this news do not affect me. Cloud was the big outsource force.
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