Forget EMC-VMware Cloud Services, Dell Teams With Microsoft On Azure-In-A-Box

by Matt Brown on October 21, 2015, 2:43 pm EDT

Dell World 2015

One day after EMC-VMware unveiled a cloud services business unit, Dell rolled out a hybrid cloud solution co-engineered with VMware rival Microsoft that provides customers a flexible Azure-in-a-box-based cloud solution starting at $9,000 a month.

The new system, which was introduced at Dell World by Dell founder and CEO Michael Dell and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, puts into sharp focus the open systems technology high wire that Dell will have to walk in the wake of its pending $67 billion acquisition of EMC.

The new Azure service comes on the heels of the launch of the new 50-50 EMC-VMware-owned business unit, anchored by EMC’s $1.2 billion acquisition Virtustream, which competes directly with Microsoft Azure.

[Related: CRN’s Coverage Of Dell World 2015]

Both Nadella and Dell voiced support for a hybrid cloud world where customers will have many choices for competing cloud services.

“We see a world of many clouds,” Dell told the Dell World audience. “There are public clouds. There is Software-as-a-Service. There are private clouds and on-premise workloads. If you look at the enterprise workloads, you have about 160 million of these in the world. Roughly 10 [million to] 15 million of them exist today in what is known as the public cloud.”

When asked about the new EMC-VMware cloud services business at Dell World, Michael Dell said: “We’re separate companies for now, but we’re comfortable with the steps that are being taken.”

Nadella said he also sees a vibrant hybrid computing world. “Michael talked about all the other things that he will do along with EMC but we believe that by providing the choice that speaks to the realities of our customers, we will not only drive our partnership and our success but, more importantly, address the needs of our customers,” he said.

Nadella said the Azure-in-a-box cloud system “democratizes” the cloud, making cloud technology available to smaller businesses and customers moving to cloud for the first time. The system underlines Dell’s argument that “in the future the hybrid model will rule supreme,” as well as Dell’s commitment to openness and willingness to work with a varied and often competitive set of technology partners.

For example, the system comes with Microsoft HyperV off the shelf, but if a customer wants VMware or another product for virtualization, Dell will make that happen, too, the company said.

“The real world needs that flexibility. That’s the kind of future we envision, and we have it now,” Nadella said. “This brings hybrid computing to really everyone,” Nadella said. “This is the way to deliver hybrid computing to customers.”

“We’ve delivered a number of larger solutions to the world’s largest companies,” Dell said. “This brings the power of Azure to the hybrid cloud environment and with Dell Financial Services, it turns Cap Ex into Op Ex. It’s a great way for companies to enter the next stage.”

Dell partners at the conference were optimistic about the system.

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