Dell Technologies and Hewlett Packard Enterprise are pushing forward with their hybrid cloud efforts by introducing new integrated systems and services for Microsoft’s Azure Stack software.
The hardware vendors and software giant all view the future of enterprise technology in terms of hybrid clouds, where organizations will run some their applications and workloads in on-premises infrastructures while putting other applications into public cloud environments, such as Microsoft’s Azure, Amazon Web Services or Google.
The new systems unveiled this week—as the Microsoft Ignite 2016 conference is under way—will help businesses build the on-premises infrastructures that have the same agility and flexibility they can find in the cloud.
“Many enterprises would like to host Azure within their data centers for performance, security or compliance reasons, and many service providers would like to offer Azure-compatible services for data sovereignty or other targeted services,” Paul Miller, vice president of marketing for converged data center infrastructure at Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), said in a statement. “HPE is teaming up with Microsoft to deliver the right mix of on- and off-premises Azure services with built-in security, operations management, pay-as-you-go pricing and the expertise that provides unmatched flexibility and cost savings for enterprise workloads.”
Mike Schutz, general manager of product marketing at Microsoft, said in a statement that his company and HPE “share a view that hybrid cloud capabilities and consistency across public and private cloud environments help customers accelerate their cloud strategy.”
The cloud is increasingly becoming a key driver of overall data center infrastructure sales, and vendors such as Dell, HPE and Lenovo are moving to adapt to stave off competition from smaller companies and original design manufacturers (ODMs), which are getting attention from the large cloud providers. In a report earlier this month, analysts with Synergy Research Group said that spending on data center infrastructure over the last nine quarters has been relatively flat, at about an average of $29 billion. However, they also said that cloud deployments or systems that are cloud-enabled account for more than half of the total data center infrastructure market.
“While total spending on data center infrastructure remains relatively flat, cloud share of that spending continues to rise as an ever-increasing portion of computer workloads migrate to either public or private clouds,” Jeremy Duke, Synergy Research Group founder and chief analyst, said in a statement. “We are also seeing that within the cloud infrastructure market, hyperscale cloud operators are accounting for an ever-larger share of overall [capital spending]. This is a trend which is not going to change any time soon.”
Microsoft officials expect the official launch of Azure Stack to be in mid-2017, giving organizations the ability to run Azure cloud software in their own data centers. The company, which released the Azure Stack Technical Preview earlier this year, will sell the software as part of prevalidated integrated solutions, and have pointed to Dell, HPE and Lenovo as among the preferred partners.
Both Dell and HPE already offer systems that can run Microsoft’s Azure software, and are now expanding their respective portfolios.
The HPE Azure Stack offering will be based on HPE’s ProLiant DL380 and will offer compute, storage, networking and software in an integrated appliance. Through a portal, organizations will be able to access both Azure public and private cloud services and easily move them between the two. In addition, users of the HPE Azure Stack offering will be able to pay as they go as part of HPE’s Flexible Capacity program. They also will see unified billing of public and private clouds.
HPE, Dell Unveil Systems, Services for Microsoft Azure
Enterprises will be able to manage the integrated system with HPE’s Operations Bridge for automated operations management with analytics, and be able to secure their cloud environment with the vendor’s SecureData and Security ArcSight software. HPE also is offering consulting services around the Azure-based hybrid cloud.
While the integrated system will be available in mid-2017, the consulting services are available now.
For its part, Dell’s infrastructure arm—Dell EMC—announced new Azure cloud services and two new validated systems optimized for Microsoft software. The moves are designed to make it easier for organizations to move to cloud environments, according to Jim Ganthier, senior vice president of the validated solutions organization within Dell EMC’s Converged Platforms Solutions Division.
Dell and Microsoft “are working to both simplify and accelerate customers’ journey to the cloud, helping them build individualized cloud solutions that are future-proofed for business and IT transformation.”
The new Azure Cloud Services includes offerings around backup, development and test labs and business continuity. Dell EMC also is unveiling the Validated System for Microsoft SQL, which is based on the company’s PowerEdge R830 servers and is designed to enable businesses to process in-memory online transaction processing (OLTP) workloads as much as 30 times faster with SQL Server 2016.
The Validated System for Microsoft Exchange, built on the PowerEdge R730xd server, is aimed at email workloads and enables users to shorten the design, delivery and configuration times for Exchange Server 2016, Dell EMC officials said. It will help organizations drive down costs through resource consolidation, optimized storage design and efficient system management.
The Azure services for backup and development and test labs and the Validated System for Exchange are available now. The business continuity service will be available next month, and the Validated System for Microsoft SQL will come in early 2017.