Microsoft and Dell team up again for “truly integrated” hybrid cloud offering

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Microsoft and Dell have continued their long-standing partnership by announcing a new “Azure-consistent integrated system for hybrid cloud” at the Dell World event in Texas.

The move is an updated ‘standard’ version of the companies’ ‘Azure in a box’ service announced last year, the Cloud Platform System (CPS). Utilising Dell’s hardware with Microsoft’s software, the two companies argue the platform is the only integrated system with a ‘true’ hybrid cloud experience, from the platform’s consistency with Azure.

CPS Standard, which is shipping immediately with Windows Azure Pack, System Center 2012 R2 and Windows Server 2012 R2, can be set up and running in three hours, according to the companies. Other features included with the platform include with a modular design, enabling customers to scale from four to 16 nodes based on business need, as well as a simplified business continuity and failover process.

“Digital transformation is an imperative for business today, and we are making our customers’ journey easier and faster through adoption of hybrid cloud,” said Dell CEO Michael Dell. “Dell shares a vision with Microsoft that open architectures and simplified cloud management will benefit customers of all sizes, freeing them to focus on their business and not their technology.”

Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO, added: “By expanding our longstanding partnership with Dell to offer a truly integrated hybrid cloud, we will make the cloud more accessible to organisations of all sizes with the choice and flexibility to best meet their needs.”

Dell has made several other related announcements at the event. The computer giant has joined the Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider Program to provide better customer service capabilities and will sell Microsoft cloud products across Azure, Microsoft’s Enterprise Mobility Suite (EMS) and Office 365, while also announcing Cloud Flex Pay, a flexible solution available for the Dell hybrid cloud system which gives customers cost-risk payment options.

Recent analyst research shows the comparative positions of Microsoft and Dell in their respective markets. Synergy Research figures in recent quarters show Microsoft carving out a niche in second place in the infrastructure as a service (IaaS) market – yet still miles behind Amazon Web Services – while IDC numbers from July saw Dell in second place for cloud infrastructure providers, behind HP but ahead of Cisco.

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