Posts Tagged ‘ Dell ’

Dell and Microsoft Partner Up with the Windows Azure Platform Appliance

Dell and Microsoft announced a strategic partnership in which Dell will adopt the Windows Azure platform appliance as part of its Dell Services Cloud to develop and deliver next-generation cloud services at Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference on July 12. With the Windows Azure platform, Dell will be able to deliver private and public cloud services for its enterprise, public, small and medium-sized business customers. Additionally, Dell will develop a Dell-powered Windows Azure platform appliance for enterprise organizations to run in their data-centers.

So what does this mean exactly? By implementing the limited production release of the Windows Azure platform appliance to host public and private clouds for its customers, Dell will leverage its vertical industry expertise in offering solutions for the speedy delivery of flexible application hosting and IT operations. In addition, Dell Services will produce application migration, advisory migration and integration and implementation services.

Microsoft and Dell will work together to develop a Windows Azure platform appliance for large enterprise, public and hosting customers to deploy to their own data centers. The resulting appliance will leverage infrastructure from Dell combined with the Windows Azure platform.

This partnership shows that both Dell and Microsoft recognize that more organizations can reap the benefits of the flexibility and efficiency of the Windows Azure platform. Both companies understand that cloud computing allows IT to increase responsiveness to business needs and also delivers significant efficiencies in infrastructure costs. The result will be an appliance to power a Dell Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) Cloud.

The announcement with Dell occurred on the same day that Microsoft announced the limited production release of the Windows Azure platform appliance, a turnkey cloud platform for large service providers and enterprises to run in their own data centers. Initial partners (like Dell) and customers using the appliance in their data centers will have the scale-out application platform and data center efficiency of Windows Azure and SQL Azure that Microsoft currently provides.

Since the launch of the Windows Azure platform, Dell Data Center Solutions (DCS) has been working with Microsoft to built out and power the platform. Dell will use the insight gained as a primary infrastructure partner for the Windows Azure platform to make certain that the Dell-powered Windows Azure platform appliance is optimized for power and space to save ongoing operating costs and performance of large-scale cloud services.

A top provider of cloud computing infrastructure, Dell’s client roster boasts 20 of the 25 most heavily-trafficked Internet sites and four of the top global search engines. The company has been custom-designing infrastructure solutions for the top global cloud service providers and hyperscale data center operations for the past three years and has developed an expertise about the specific needs of organizations in hosting, HPC, Web 2.0, gaming, energy, social networking, energy, SaaS, plus public and private cloud builders in that time.

Speaking about the partnership with Microsoft, president of Dell Services Peter Altabef said, “Organizations are looking for innovative ways to use IT to increase their responsiveness to business needs and drive greater efficiency. With the Microsoft partnership and the Windows Azure platform appliance, Dell is expanding its cloud services capabilities to help customers reduce their total costs and increase their ability to succeed. The addition of the Dell-powered Windows Azure platform appliance marks an important expansion of Dell’s leadership as a top provider of cloud computing infrastructure.”

Dell Services delivers vertically-focused cloud solutions with the combined experience of Dell and Perot Systems. Currently, Dell Services delivers managed and Software-as-a-Service support to over 10,000 customers across the globe. Additionally, Dell boasts a comprehensive suite of services designed to help customers leverage public and private cloud models. With the new Dell PaaS powered by the Windows Azure platform appliance, Dell will be able to offer customers an expanded suite of services including transformational services to help organizations move applications into the cloud and cloud-based hosting.

Summarizing the goal of the partnership with Dell, Bob Muglia, president of Microsoft Server and Tools said at the Microsoft Windows Partner Conference on July 12, “Microsoft and Dell have been building, implementing and operating massive cloud operations for years. Now we are extending our longstanding partnership to help usher in the new era of cloud computing, by giving customers and partners the ability to deploy Windows Azure platform in their datacenters.”

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Cloud-Optimized Infrastructure and New Services on the Horizon for Dell

Over the past three years, Dell has gained experience in the Cloud through its Data Center solutions and  group-designed customized offerings for cloud and hyperscaled IT environments. The company is now putting that experience to use, releasing several new hardware, software and service offerings optimized for cloud computing environments. Dell officials launched the new offerings—which include a new partner program, new servers optimized for cloud computing and new services designed to help business migrate to the cloud—at a San Francisco event on March 24.

Based on work the Dell Data Center Solutions group has completed over the past three years, the new offerings were outlined by Valeria Knafo, senior manager of business development and business marketing for the DCS unit. According to Knafo, DCS has built customized computing infrastructures for large cloud service providers and hyperscale data centers and is now trying to make their solutions available to enterprises. Said Knafo, “We’ve taken that experience and brought it to a new set of users.”

Dell officials revealed that they have been working with Microsoft on its Windows Azure cloud platform and that the software giant will work with Dell to create joint cloud-based solutions. Dell and Microsoft will continue to collaborate around Windows Azure (including offering services) and Microsoft will continue buying Dell hardware for its Azure platform as well. Turnkey cloud solutions—including pre-tested and pre-assembled hardware, software and services packages that businesses can use to deploy and run their cloud infrastructures quickly—are among the new offerings.

A cloud solution for Web applications will be the first Platform-as-a-Service made available. The offering will combine Dell servers and services with Web application software from Joyent and will come with challenges, caution Dell officials, like unpredictable traffic and the migrating of the apps from development to production. Dell is also offering a new Cloud Partner Program. According to officials, it will broaden options for customers seeking to move into private or public clouds. Dell announced three new software companies as partners as well: Aster Data, Greenplum and Canonical.

Also on the horizon for Dell is its PowerEdge C-series servers, which are designed to be energy efficient and offer features that are vital to hyperscaled environments—HPC (high-performance computing), social networking, gaming, cloud computing, Web 2.0 functions—like memory capacity and high performance. The C1100 (designed for clustered computing environments), the C2100 (for data analytics, cloud computing and cloud storage) and the C6100 (a four-node cloud and cluster system which offers a shared infrastructure) are the three servers that make up the family.

In unveiling the PowerEdge C-Series, Dell is partaking in the increasing industry trend of offering new systems optimized for cloud computing. For example, on March 17 Fujitsu unveiled the Primergy CX1000, a rack server created to offer the high performance environments need when lowering costs and power consumption. The Primergy CX1000 can also save on data center space through a design which pushes hot air from the system through the top of the enclosure as opposed to the back.

Last, but certainly not least, are Dell’s Integrated Solution Services. They offer complete cloud lifecycle management and include workshops to assess a company’s readiness to move to the cloud. Knafo said that the services are a combination of what Dell gained with the acquisition of Perot Systems and what it had already. “There’s a great interest in the cloud, and a lot of questions on how to get to the cloud. They want a path and a roadmap identifying what the cloud can bring,” said Knafo.

Mike Wilmington, a planner and strategist for Dell’s DCS group, claimed the services will decrease confusion many enterprises may have about the cloud. Said Wilmington, “Clouds are what the customer wants them to be,” meaning that while cloud computing may offer essentially the same benefits to all enterprises (cost reductions, flexibility, improved management and greater energy efficiency) it will look different for every enterprise. For more information please visit Nubifer.com.