Going all in
Microsoft has introduced its Windows Azure platform appliance in a bid to push cloud computing forward with the backing of some prominent partners.
Microsoft claimed the platform appliance is the first cloud services platform for deployment in customer and service provider data centres and will let partners such as Dell, Fujitsu and eBay, which are all early adopters of a limited production release of the appliance, deliver new services to their customers.
Addressing some 14,000 attendees at its annual Worldwide Partner Conference, Microsoft CEO, Steve Ballmer said: "We are at an inflection point in technology history. For customers, cloud computing creates tremendous value, which translates to massive opportunity for Microsoft and its partners."
According to IDC, the cloud will drive 19 percent of new growth in software spending in 2013-2014 and cloud spending will grow five times faster than all applications spending.
Microsoft claims its new standardised service platform allows customers and partners to deploy clouds when and where they want. Large service providers using the appliance in their data centres will be able to keep physical control of location, regulatory compliance and data.
Microsoft also leaked new details of code name ‘Dallas,' an information service powered by the Azure platform that provides developers with access to third-party premium data sets and web services.
Dell and Microsoft also announced a strategic partnership which will see Dell using the new Azure platform as part of its Dell Services Cloud, to deliver next-generation services for its small and medium-sized business customers. The two companies will also work together to develop a Dell-powered Windows Azure platform appliance for large organisations to run in their data centres.