Last month, Microsoft clarified what form its long-standing Windows partnership would take with a post-split Hewlett-Packard. Now, Microsoft and Hewlett Packard Enterprise's (HPE's) hybrid cloud ambitions are coming into sharper focus.
This week, during Discover 2015, HPE's technology conference in London, the companies announced a wide range of Azure-powered products and services aimed at helping customers gain a foothold on the cloud. "Public cloud services, like those Azure provides, are an important aspect of a hybrid cloud strategy and Microsoft Azure blends perfectly with HPE solutions to deliver what our customers need most," Meg Whitman, HPE president and CEO, said in a statement to the press.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella also chimed in, saying the company is extending its "longstanding partnership by blending the power of Azure with HPE's leading infrastructure, support and services to and make the cloud more accessible to enterprises around the globe." HPE also serves as a conduit to Microsoft's growing Azure cloud computing ecosystem.
"The significance of our joint work with HPE is about providing support as enterprises embrace the hybrid cloud, public cloud services, hybrid cloud infrastructure, and trusted advisors to help guide the journey. HPE has long been a leader and innovator in infrastructure and services," Garth Fort, general manager of Microsoft's Cloud and Enterprise Marketing group, said in a Dec. 1 announcement.
Some of that work entails bringing some of Microsoft's expertise in cloud computing into customer data centers with new converged hardware appliances.
"The HPE Hyper-Converged 250 for Microsoft Cloud Platform System Standard (CS 250) is the industry's first hyper-converged system with true hybrid capabilities," Fort claimed. "Jointly engineered by Microsoft and HPE, and built on industry-leading HPE ProLiant technology, this integrated solution goes beyond traditional virtualization solutions to bring Azure services to your data center."
Fort added that bringing "the CS 250 to market, built with Microsoft's cloud stack, is a great validation" of the Redmond, Wash.-based software giant's vision of cloud-enabled hyper-converged systems. "This software-defined solution can be up and running in a matter of hours, and allows you to start small and scale as your business grows."
HPE also joined the Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program from Microsoft, allowing HPE to resell Azure cloud services. "From pre-engineered solutions, to deployment services from Technical Services, to Virtual Private Cloud or Managed Cloud offerings from Enterprise Services, HPE is in a great position to help customers integrate public cloud services from Microsoft into their hybrid environments," stated Fort.
Conversely, Microsoft will make Azure available for HPE to sell its own enterprise software on the cloud platform. Plans call for HPE to begin offering ArcSight, Fortify, Vertica, Autonomy and Haven on the Azure Marketplace starting in early 2016. Also on tap are new support offerings from HPE. The company is certifying an "additional 5,000 Azure Cloud Architects through its Global Services Practice," revealed Fort.