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LinkedIn’s Shift Away from Microsoft Azure: What Went Wrong?

LinkedIn’s Shift Away from Microsoft Azure: What Went Wrong?

In a surprising turn of events, LinkedIn, initially set to migrate to Microsoft’s Azure cloud service following the tech giant’s acquisition of the job-searching platform in 2019 for a whopping $27 billion, seems to have veered off this course. Recent reports suggest that LinkedIn has opted out of its plans to shift its data center technology away from its physical facilities, marking a significant departure from its earlier intentions.

The ambitious project, internally dubbed “Blueshift,” represented a pivotal move for LinkedIn, yet the company has now chosen to halt its progress, diverging from its earlier direction. Despite having integrated Azure for specific functions, this pivot constitutes a setback for Microsoft’s ambitions in the competitive cloud infrastructure market, where it’s vying to catch up with Amazon Web Services.

Initially lauded as a strategic leap, the Azure migration, as expressed by LinkedIn’s Vice President of Engineering, Mohak Shroff in a 2019 blog post, was envisioned to grant access to groundbreaking hardware and software innovations, along with unparalleled global scalability.

However, indications of a shift surfaced in 2022, with internal communications revealing LinkedIn’s decision to suspend the Azure migration. Chief Technology Officer Raghu Hiremagalur clarified in a memo to R&D employees that while some Azure services would still be utilized, resources would be redirected towards bolstering and innovating their on-premises infrastructure, citing Azure’s soaring demand and their platform’s growth as reasons for the pivot.

Acknowledging the altered trajectory, a LinkedIn spokesperson confirmed the redirection from Blueshift, underscoring that while the original Azure migration plan has been put on hold, LinkedIn remains engaged with Azure for select services. Nevertheless, an internal agreement between LinkedIn and Microsoft has been reached to delay attempts to fully transition LinkedIn’s website onto Azure’s platform.

This change in direction signifies a significant shift for both LinkedIn and Microsoft, highlighting the complex dynamics within the evolving landscape of cloud services. Despite this alteration, LinkedIn’s ongoing utilization of Azure services indicates a continued partnership between the two entities, albeit with a different course charted for their collaboration.


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