Microsoft Partners with Dell to Bring Azure ‘cloud in a box’ to Your Datacenter
We had heard rumors earlier this summer that Microsoft was planning to try again to deliver preassembled racks of servers running Microsoft’s Azure Pack, in the form of a product, codenamed “San Diego.” Well, today the software giant finally launched its Azure ‘cloud in a box’ offering, known officially as the Microsoft Cloud Platform System (CPS), during an event in San Francisco.
Microsoft has partnered with Dell to create the Azure cloud in a box offering for enterprise users who want to run their own on-premises datacenters.
Unveiling the product, Redmond said it is targeting businesses that don’t trust public clouds, and want to ensure the security of their sensitive company information.
“We were struck by the large number of customers who were failing to realise the benefits of the cloud,” Microsoft’s Windows Server Team said. “Too many customers were failing because of the challenges of complex system definition, hardware integration and software deployment and configuration.”
With Dell being the hardware partner, Microsoft will offer customers pre-packaged racks servers running Windows Server 2012 R2, System Center 2012 R2 and Windows Azure Pack. A customer can configure CPS in increments from one to four racks, with each rack having 512 cores across 32 servers, each with a dual socket Intel Ivy Bridge, E5-2650v2 CPU alongside 8TB of RAM with 256GB per server.
According to Microsoft, a single rack can support up to 2000 VM’s (2 vCPU, 1.75 GB RAM, and 50 GB disk). Users can scale up to 8000 VM’s using a full stamp with four of these racks.
The company claims there’s no retooling needed to operate CPS as it features software components that customers are already familiar with.
It comes with integrated anti-virus, fabric based backup for all VM’s, disaster recovery, orchestrated patching, monitoring, an Azure-consistent self-service portal (Windows Azure Pack) for tenants, REST-based API for programmatic interaction and automation using PowerShell.
Moreover, CPS also offers PaaS services such as Websites and Database-as-a-service. So it’s a “complete cloud solution” without the need to purchase any additional components.
Though Dell is currently the only hardware partner with whom Microsoft is working on the project, Microsoft Executive Vice President of Cloud & Enterprise Scott Guthrie said the company is open to adding other vendors as well.
This is not the first-time Microsoft is aiming at Azure cloud in a box solution. Back in 2010, the company announced that it was readying to create Windows Azure Appliances, a kind of “private-cloud-in-a-box,” along with select hardware partners, including HP, Dell and Fujitsu. But the plan failed over the next three years, and Microsoft had to eventually unplug the project.
Microsoft executives said the Cloud Platform System will be available starting next month. However, there’s no word yet on the pricing and licensing information.