Windows Azure Appliance Make New Cloud Services Possible

Dell, eBay, Fujitsu and HP intend to deploy the Windows Azure appliance in their datacenters. But for what?

Windows Azure Appliances

It was July last year when Microsoft introduced the Azure Appliance to the world at large and said that OEM’s like HP, Dell and Fujitsu will have Appliances ready by the end of 2010. However, that did not happen and the only appliance as of now is eBay — which was the showcase appliance for them. So for a while it did seem like Microsoft was not taking Azure seriously at the moment. But comments from Charles Di Bona (General Manager, Server & Tools, Microsoft), has changed that perception.

Why Azure Makes Sense For Private Use

Microsoft’s Azure Platform Appliances, termed as a “private-cloud-in-a-box” solution, is a basically a container filled with hundreds to thousands of servers that can be utilized by customers to take advantage of Azure’s scalability. These were supposed to have been manufactured by the likes of HP and stored in their datacenters to begin with. Later, the customers would keep them in their own location and hence the appliance will be completely private.

Previously, a lot of companies were unable to take advantage of Azure because they could not place their data in Microsoft’s Azure platform data centers. This was due to privacy policy compliance, security, etc. But now that they can keep the containers in their own data centers, they can finally use the Azure platform.

It’s The Long Term Future For Server And Tools

According to Di Bona, private cloud is where the future for Sever and Tools is. But that future is still very far away. In his presentation at the Global Technology, Internet, Media & Telecom Conference he answered some questions regarding the cloud and Microsoft’s take on it.

There, he said that they were definitely rolling out Windows Azure Appliances but they are at an early stage. Apparently Microsoft’s Server and Tools division is learning from their actions in public clouds and applying them to public clouds — something that Oracle is not doing with Exadata, he said. It seems like the Server and Tools division is now keener on Public Cloud, even though that is long term goal.

Published: Sunday, May 15th, 2011 Last Modified: May 15, 2011

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