Dell double-dates with Azure

Dell Technologies World Dell introduced Microsoft, its hot new date in the cloud, at Dell Technologies World in Las Vegas today.

The company is extending VMware Cloud to support Azure as well as AWS and Google Cloud Platform. It announced the GCP tie-in at Google Cloud Next 2019 in San Francisco earlier this month.

The aim is to build a VMware Cloud environment covering on-premises, AWS, GCP Azure environments with a consistent set of capabilities. In addition Dell will provide integration with Azure-specific offerings.

Microsoft and Dell are offering Azure VMware Solutions built on VMware Cloud Foundation which represents software-defined compute, storage, networking and management deployed in Azure.

Azure VMware Solutions are first-party services from Microsoft developed in collaboration with VMware Cloud Verified partners CloudSimple and Virtustream, which is, if course, a Dell Technologies company.

Specifically, the two are announcing:

  • A fully native, supported, and certified VMware cloud infrastructure on Microsoft Azure. 
  • Joint Microsoft 365 and VMware Workspace ONE customers will be able to manage Office 365 across devices via cloud-based integration with Microsoft Intune and Azure Active Directory. 
  • VMware will extend the capabilities of Microsoft Windows Virtual Desktop  by using VMware Horizon Cloud on Microsoft Azure.

Dell and Microsoft will explore bringing specific Azure services to VMware on-premises customers, but no details were supplied. 

Customers should be able to migrate, extend and run existing VMware workloads from on-premises environments to Azure without the need to re-architect applications or retool operations. They should be able to use a single model for operations based on established tools, skills and processes.

This complements the VMware Cloud-VxRail HCI announcements also made today. We can envisage vSphere VMs and data being moved tri-directionally between on-premises VMware Clouds and AWS and Azure.

Dell and Microsoft suggest scenarios Azure VMware Solutions will support include application migration and datacenter expansion, disaster recovery and business continuity and modern application development, implying containers are involved as well.

They suggest Windows 10 adoption can be helped by the integration of Windows Autopilot and Dell Device Provisioning and Deployment Services, like Dell ProDeploy, enabled by the integration of Microsoft 365, Workspace ONE, and Dell Provisioning Services.

Three CEO quotes

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said: “Together with Dell Technologies and VMware, we are providing our mutual customers with an integrated cloud experience and digital workplace solutions.”

Michael Dell, chairman and CEO of Dell Technologies, said: “Our goal is to provide a single view from edge to core to cloud – an integrated platform for our customers’ digital future.”

VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger was on side too: “These innovative cloud and client offerings will deliver customers even more value, provide more flexibility to accelerate their hybrid multi-cloud and multi-device journey, and accelerate the digital transformation of their business.”

This adoption of Azure alongside AWS by VMware should allay concerns that VMware and Microsoft were at cross-purposes in the hybrid multi-cloud. It also strengthens VMware’s appeal to customers with Azure-based operations.

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