This was announced by the company a couple of weeks back.

The notoriously bold Microsoft, at least when it comes to throwing out numbers, has been somewhat bashful in releasing Windows Azure growth figures. But the company did announce that the Windows Azure Active Directory has processed 200 billion authentications for the Microsoft in the past two years.

It has now grown large enough to process around 4.7 billion logins a week.

Mind blowing!

The Active Directory (AD) tackles authentications for Microsoft services like Windows Azure, Office 365, Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online, Windows Server Online Backup, and Windows Intune. It is also used by companies for its cloud based identity services — along with directory data, obviously.

The general manager of Windows Azure, Bill Hilf noted in a blog post recently:

“Windows Azure AD goes beyond the first party services delivered from Microsoft. It is being used by our customers and third party developers as well. By using Windows Azure AD we deliver cloud based authentication services for you at scale with fast response and, if desired, enable federation and synchronization with your existing on-premise Windows Server Active Directory (AD). This is important as Gartner estimates that 95% of organizations already have Active Directory deployed in their environment.

By connecting your existing Windows Server AD to Windows Azure AD you can manage a hybrid environment that provides unified authentication and access management for both cloud and on-premise services and servers, eliminating the need to maintain new, independent cloud directories. In addition, Windows Azure AD supports multiple protocols and token types, therefore apps that use it can be accessed from any device that supports an industry standard web browser including smartphones, tablets, and multiple PC, desktop and server operating systems”.

Windows Azure has faced tough competition from other cloud platforms, but Microsoft has nevertheless claimed that its service now has tens of thousands of customers.

In fact, Windows Azure more than doubled its user base in the past year alone.

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