Dell Grows Microsoft Azure Support in Cloud Manager Software

Dell Cloud Manager now supports Windows Azure Pack and offers enhanced support for Azure, while bringing greater automation capabilities.

cloud management

Dell is building out the support of Microsoft's Azure cloud computing solutions in its Dell Cloud Manager software offering.

Version 11 of the solution, which is designed to give midsize and large enterprises a single tool to manage the deployment and use of distributed cloud services throughout the company, now supports Windows Azure Pack (WAP) and includes improved support for Microsoft Azure. The new support means that Microsoft customers have a unified offering for centrally managing both their private and public cloud environments, according to company officials.

The new Microsoft support and other functionalities—such as new automated scaling and recovery capabilities—within Dell Cloud Manager offer customers greater efficiency and choice for their cloud deployments, according to David Bagley, executive director and general manager of cloud systems management for Dell Software.

"Our new blueprints, custom catalog, automation capabilities and expanded Microsoft support expand on our ability to meet [the] needs for our clients," Bagley said in a statement. "Dell Cloud Manager is the perfect solution for customers looking to operate sophisticated distributed applications on WAP, Azure public cloud and other leading cloud providers."

Internal IT professionals increasingly are becoming service providers to people both within and outside of the enterprise, and are being forced to partner with developers and users to ensure they get the capabilities they need while trying to maintain control over the environment, according to Dell officials.

The growing hybrid and multi-cloud environments that leverage infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) clouds mean that enterprises' tech departments have to handle everything from cloud service access to spending to consumption across multiple platforms. Through the Dell Cloud Manager, the vendor is looking to give these IT departments a single software platform for managing and delivering IaaS cloud services.

The demand for cloud IaaS technology is only expected to grow, according to Gartner analysts. In a report in May, they said they expect worldwide IaaS spending to hit $16.5 billion this year, a jump of 32.8 percent over last year. Between 2014 and 2019, the market will grow 29.1 percent. Last year marked the first time that the growth of public cloud IaaS workloads surpassed that of on-premises workloads, according to Gartner. A survey indicated that 83 percent of CIOs see cloud IaaS as an infrastructure option, and 10 percent already use it as their default infrastructure option.

Cloud IaaS can be used for almost every use case that can be hosted on virtualized x86-based servers, with the most common use cases being development and testing, high-performance computing and Internet-facing Websites and Web-based applications.

"Cloud IaaS can now be used to run most workloads, although not every provider can run every type of workload well," Gartner Vice President and Distinguished Analyst Lydia Leong said in a statement at the time. "Cloud IaaS is not a commodity. Providers vary significantly in their features, performance, cost and business terms. Although in theory, cloud IaaS has very little lock-in, in truth, cloud IaaS is not merely a matter of hardware rental, but an entire data center ecosystem as a service. The more you use its management capabilities, the more value you will receive from the offering, but the more you will be tied to that particular service offering."

Dell is looking to give businesses a single console from which to manage the IaaS cloud services and applications as well as track usage and spending, officials said. Customers can estimate cloud costs before rolling them up, and track ongoing costs and limit spending as needed. The application auto-scaling and auto-healing are based on user defined policies, according to Dell officials.

Dell Cloud Manager v11 is designed to be complementary to existing services for Azure and WAP as well as other private and public clouds. At the same time, the software offers role-based access controls, which enables administrators to decide what actions employees can take, and budget controls to stem over-spending and offer alerts when limits are reached.

The software platform supports a broad range of public and private IaaS clouds, such as Amazon Web Services, Azure, Google Compute Engine, CloudStack, OpenStack and VMware's vSphere.

Dell Cloud Manager v11 is available now as an on-premises offering, a solution that can be hosted and managed by Dell, and in a software-as-a-service version to manage public clouds, officials said.