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Whole Foods, which Amazon chomped for $13.7bn, is a cloudy Active Directory user

Amazon's purchase of US luxury healthstuff retailer Whole Foods will also see it using rival Microsoft's Azure cloud – at least for the time being.

We know this because Microsoft offers a case study about Whole Foods' use of Azure.

The retailer is a big user of Azure Active Directory Premium, which it used to create a hybrid cloud director and deliver single-sign-on to 90,000 employees. A move to SaaS HR app Workday was the catalyst for the move from on-premises AD to cloudy action.

Amazon Web Services has its own cloudy version of Active Directory, for which it almost certainly sends Microsoft some cash. AWS also offers the Workspaces desktops-as-a-service that deliver Windows desktops from its cloud, so it probably pays Redmond for some licences there too.

The Register often hears that multi-cloud strategies are inevitable: organisations will mix and match to get the best that individual clouds have to offer. On this occasion, however – as AWS can match the services for which Whole Foods uses Azure – we expect it won't be long before the posh salads chain is asked to eat Amazon's dog food.

But even if that happens, Microsoft can say that Whole Foods only became an attractive acquisition target because it was smart enough to use Azure. ®

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