A couple of days ago, Microsoft launched, among other things, an appliance built in partnership with Dell that brings a full functioning Azure environment to your Data center. I haven’t dug deep enough into the technical details but the idea looks very interesting and it has the potential to become successful.
Not the first time
In the past, Microsoft has already tried offering an Azure-like private platform to big service providers, but it seems the project didn’t go over very well (or better, I haven’t heard anything for a while). This time round, the idea is to go directly to the end users with a fully pre-packaged box (in this case “box” actually means 1 to 4 racks).
I think it could work much better, perhaps it’s also the right time to do something like this. Microsoft has a comprehensive cloud offer (which includes IaaS, PaaS and SaaS) and, even though some end users consider Microsoft a very old company, it is showing a great deal of potential in this space.
Putting an entire Azure environment in house means a 100% seamless experience between what you can do on the cloud and what you can do at home. Same APIs, same management, same provisioning, same everything!
If it works as I would expect, you will be able to develop a new application, test, deliver and deploy it wherever you want, seamlessly, as a function of specific project needs. It sounds great, doesn’t it?
Not only from Microsoft, please!
Some could be more prepared than others to deliver a hybrid solution like the one from Microsoft, for example:
– HP has its public cloud, Helion (an OpenStack distribution), the hardware and they’ve recently bought Eucalyptus.
– VMware is working on EVO:Rack (I don’t actually know the details but I would like to see a fully configured cloud in a rack! they have all the pieces and some rumors lead in this direction)
– IBM no longer has HW, but it owns Softlayer and could put something together (I have my doubts on the potential success though)
On the other hand, vendors like Red Hat, Amazon and Google, each for different reasons, cannot currently provide a credibl end-to-end hybrid platform without a partner… But don’t hesitate to correct me if you think I’m wrong.
Why it is important
It’s too early to tell if the Microsoft Appliance will be a success or not, but If I was looking to build a private or a hybrid cloud, I would like to evaluate it as well.
I also really like the concept of cloud-in-a-box and would like to see many more solutions like this from other vendors.
I’m pretty sure that organizations that like converged and hyper-converged infrastructures will love this new generation of products too.