Microsoft Azure Stack – We’re All In!

Paul Galjan

Paul Galjan

Senior Director, Product Management Microsoft Hybrid Cloud
Paul Galjan

Latest posts by Paul Galjan (see all)

Today Microsoft announced Azure Stack Technical Preview 3 (TP3) – a major milestone in the journey to release the initial GA Azure Stack offerings with follow-on releases planned to further expand and enhance capabilities.  With this release, you’ll see a wide array of new capabilities to work with in order to learn about how to deploy this transformational set of technologies in your data center.

New features include Azure Virtual Machine Scale Sets, allowing users to start working at scale with big compute and big data projects.  Users in secure air-gapped environments will see the nascent beginnings of support for air-gapped environments with ADFS – a huge win for those operating in classified or otherwise secure environments.  Another transformative feature is Azure Marketplace Syndication, allowing Azure Stack users to consume applications and platforms made available through the Azure Marketplace.

And you can do all sorts of stuff that you couldn’t in Technical Preview 2.   Following TP3, serverless computing with Azure Functions will become reality.  Following Functions, Microsoft will allow for secure distributed ledgers with blockchain support webscale application development with Mesos, and (drumroll) Cloud Foundry support.

The Dell EMC difference

Along with all the new features in Technical Preview 3, the Azure Stack team at Dell EMC is working to bring to bear our experience building cloud platforms of all stripes to benefit our implementation of Azure Stack – simplifying the consumption and operation of on-premises cloud.  Our current Dell Hybrid Cloud System customers are already enjoying the streamlined, automated deployment of private cloud delivering rock-solid infrastructure as a service based on Hyper-V, System Center, and Windows Azure Pack.  And when it comes to updating all the components, they have a simple consolidated update payload to apply to their systems without disruption.  Of course, the Dell EMC Azure Stack platform takes those experiences to the next level – the integrated system based on hyper-converged infrastructure will extend and improve that model to include the network components as well as all of the new functionality inherent in Azure Stack.

This experience directly with Microsoft (and other) cloud platforms will decrease risk, complexity, cost of ownership and time to value for Dell EMC Azure Stack customers.

Beyond the benefits that our experienced core engineering team brings, we’re extending Azure Stack with our best in class data protection and security for running applications in any portion of the cloud with confidence;  incredibly important for any hybrid cloud initiative.

Cloud-native applications are transforming industries!   Our customers have clearly told us they want one hybrid cloud platform that will support both their IaaS and PaaS initiatives, which is exactly what we’re working to deliver.  We’ve adopted a DevOps model within our business to facilitate our own transformation and we’ll integrate the best practices and learning from that experience to the direct benefit of the Dell EMC Azure Stack customers.

Getting started (before release!)

The Technical Preview 3 announcement means we are all in the home stretch before launch, and we are EXCITED.  So excited in fact, that we don’t want anyone to wait on getting started with Azure Stack with Dell EMC.  You can schedule a briefing and demonstration with our experts at the Dell Solution Centers and Microsoft Technology Centers to get some hands-on experience and start the thinking about your Azure Stack adoption.

Customers can join our early adopter program soon, which brings such benefits as exclusive access to workshops, hackathons with live multi-node equipment, and webinars, along with the engagement of Dell EMC trusted advisors to assist you throughout your adoption journey, from pre-release planning to deployment and all the way through business expansion.

You will soon be able to order a single node from Dell EMC which is based on the Microsoft Azure Stack Development Kit.  This single node configuration will run both the Technical Preview 3 code as well as General Availability code when available – which is expected mid-calendar year 2017. You can get started thinking and practicing on how to plan for your production environment and exploring the Azure Admin and tenant portal on-premises.  This is a great way to develop and learn how you can leverage ARM templates to deliver DevOps with Infrastructure as Code, try out Azure Services such as App Services, Service Fabric and integrate with PowerShell or Visual Studio tooling.

You can then leverage that experience for planning production environments, multiple Azure Stack instances, enable multi-tenancy, and develop applications on Azure Stack.  This is hands-down the least expensive way to get started with Azure Stack hands-on with your own equipment, and continue using the equipment for development after release.

Remember that a pillar in Microsoft’s Azure Stack strategy is local service providers.  They will provide you with differentiated service levels, unique offerings, and their own integrations and value adds.  So, your preferred managed service provider will also be a key point of contact in your journey; join them for insights into how they will deliver their own flavor of Azure Stack to their customers.

This Azure Stack train is rounding the corner to its final stop before launch.  We could not be more thrilled to be part of this launch.  We will see you at Dell EMC world in May, where we’ll have piles of more details to share!

What happens when Dell EMC combines two leading platforms? Here is what VxRail means for customers!

Here is what VxRail means for customers!

Vivian Clark

Sr. Manager, Product Marketing for Enterprise Hybrid Cloud at Dell EMC

Dell EMC is the industry leader in hybrid cloud. What makes Dell EMC a leader?

On Dell EMC VxRail’s first birthday on February 16, we celebrated the sale of 8,000 VxRail nodes to customers in more than 70 countries. That exceeded expectations and contributed to growth in hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) that was more than twice the market rate. It also made us a leader in HCI, with 28% of the market, according to IDC.

At the same time, we’ve seen incredible success with Dell EMC Enterprise Hybrid Cloud worldwide. Through this turnkey hybrid cloud platform, organizations realize the benefits of automating the delivery of Infrastructure-as-a-Service for traditional workloads, while moving toward IT-as-a-Service. This experience enables us to lead discussions about IT Transformation .

So what happens when you bring our hybrid cloud and hyper-converged appliances together? We expect to see smaller enterprises benefit from the same capabilities that larger enterprises have enjoyed from Enterprise Hybrid Cloud. With a lower price point, smaller footprint, automated installation, and subscription-based support, customers can support from 200 to 1000 virtual machines with confidence. Their IT departments will shift their focus to innovation and business priorities rather than investing time and dollars into building out and maintaining the infrastructure.

 

Here’s how it works:

 

Why are we so confident in the latest version of our hybrid cloud platform? Simply because we are combining two of our most successful platforms to serve more customers than previously possible! Just like with any of our hybrid cloud platforms, Dell EMC provides one-call support for the entire hardware and software stack. We invest our time and resources into building, maintaining and constantly enhancing our platform so customers can focus solely on their business.

What are your thoughts, questions and/or predictions about the Enterprise Hybrid Cloud on VxRail? We’d love to hear from you! Join the on-going conversation here: http://bit.ly/2lrbgWj

Learn more about the Enterprise Hybrid Cloud and how it can help your organization.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Enterprise Hybrid Cloud goes Hyper-Converged! What does VxRail mean for Enterprise Hybrid Cloud

What does VxRail mean for Enterprise Hybrid Cloud

Cynthia O'Brien

Cloud Solutions at EMC

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App Deployment to Cloud-Native Framework Just Got Easier

Nilesh Deo

Senior Technical Marketing Engineer at Dell EMC

Latest posts by Nilesh Deo (see all)

Development of cloud-native applications leverages technologies and approaches such as Microservices, DevOps, Continuous Delivery, etc. In a recent Forrester paper Dave Bartoletti mentioned that developers prefer to code applications in very smaller units such that they can scale and can be modified independently. He further exemplifies it by quoting an Australian bank that in order to scale applications better is breaking up an account management app into 200 separate microservices. (Source: Forrester; Optimize Your Cloud Organization For Speed And Customer Delight by Dave Bartoletti, January 2017). Would developers want to use the same principles for their traditional applications? Absolutely! We have developed Access Testing Tool on Native Hybrid Cloud that helps developers test their traditional applications dependencies on cloud-native framework. More on that in a bit.  However, lets start with basic understanding of what Native Hybrid Cloud is and how it can help you transform digitally in these challenging times?

 

Native Hybrid Cloud is a turnkey Pivotal Cloud Foundry developer platform that provides the fastest path to digital transformation. It helps businesses accelerate an application’s time to market and improve customer experiences through rapid iterative development.  It is engineered to combine self-service cloud-native application deployment with data analytics into a single hybrid cloud platform, virtually eliminating the months or years it takes to build your own. We have also developed a short video that showcases what Native Hybrid Cloud is.

 

However, if you enjoy learning through diagrams, like us, take a look at figure 1 below.

 

We just made Native Hybrid Cloud, even more powerful and developer friendly. We have added Access Testing Tool to Native Hybrid Cloud which can help developers test compatibility of traditional applications. We know that developers love to build new applications.

 

So how does Access Testing Tool work? To illustrate this let’s walk through an example.

 

Assume that a developer has a traditional application running today, and that application talks to some existing databases like Oracle or Microsoft SQL. Part of the application is rebuilt for Pivotal Cloud Foundry using the ‘12 Factor’ principles and Micro Services Architecture. These micro services applications still need to have access to these backend data services and other system of records to make them work because the application is stateless, and these dependencies still exist.

 

Currently, when you deploy the application from Pivotal Cloud Foundry there could be issues such as firewalls, security groups, or networking configuration, so the new desired state should be that everything just works. However, there could be some hot spots that the developer hasn’t noticed. Access Testing Tool comes into play, as shown in figure 2, and deploys a test agent application within the space that the developer plans to deploy their applications, and tests for all the existing dependencies to make sure they work within Pivotal Cloud Foundry. It makes everything as easy as that. Want to see this in action? Click on the demo located here.

 

 

Native Hybrid Cloud is all about making developers more agile and productive without sacrificing visibility and control of IT. The Access Testing Tool is the first tool of its kind – with more to come in 2017. With these innovative and essential tools, organizations would be able to innovate faster to compete in their rapidly changing industries.

 

Authors: Mohammed Khalid, Nilesh Deo

 

 

Power of Choice and Collaboration Liberates Data Analytics

Patti Mizulo

Senior Director, Big Data Partner Program, Converged Platforms and Solutions Division, at Dell EMC

Latest posts by Patti Mizulo (see all)

So close and yet so far. That is often what it’s like when you’re trying to wrangle big data trapped in siloes and extract valuable business insights. It can take weeks or months using traditional methods. Chances are, your data sits on multiple systems across your company or even outside your data center. It’s probably in a variety of formats, both structured and unstructured. No wonder data analysts typically spend up to 80 percent of their time amassing and preparing data before they can focus on analytics.[1]

 

Dell EMC™ has solved this vexing problem with the new Analytic Insights Module.  This self-service, cloud-native data analytics solution is an effective way to transform big data into actionable insights.   An open, collaborative solution, it combines the power of leading big data software and technology companies that have collaborated with Dell EMC.

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With our partners, we remove barriers to easily and quickly integrate your data sources into your applications and offer vital capabilities that span the big data spectrum, enabling you to ingest, analyze, secure, govern, and visualize your data sources. You also gain streamlined access to unstructured NoSQL data and structured data.

 

On top of that, Dell EMC has worked extensively with our partners and customers to develop high-impact workflows—or, call it the secret sauce—for the Analytic Insights Module. With these built-in best practices, you can expect your data analytics lifecycle to produce deeper insights and with more speed than ever.

 

In addition, what better way to achieve broad buy-in of your new analytics infrastructure by letting your company’s data science teams choose their analytic and visualization tools? The Analytic Insights Module fits seamlessly with your existing environment and the tools you use today and tools you haven’t even selected. That makes your data analysis more efficient and produces higher quality insights. And your data scientists don’t need to waste valuable time learning new tools.

 

Proper data security and governance are more critical than ever. Our partnerships bring that assurance to IT by providing comprehensive data awareness, data lineage with end-to-end traceability, and data-level security with resource quotas set by IT.

 

Even if you don’t have a big data project on the table today, it’s likely you will soon. According to Gartner, 76 percent of businesses are investing in big data, or plan to, within one year.[2] That’s because big data is gaining traction as the prime resource for creating business advantage. A recent Forester study bears this out, finding that firms with higher revenue growth tend to have more mature big data and analytics.[3]

 

Now, the shackles restricting your big data projects are gone. With the Dell EMC Analytic Insights Module and our powerful team of partners, you can quickly capture big data wherever it lives, use the tools of your choice to surface and share insights, and be confident that your data—and business intelligence—are safe and secure.

 

[1] “Boost Your Business Insights By Converging Big Data And BI”, March 25, 2015, Forrester Research

[2] Source: Gartner: Big Data Industry Insights 2016

[3] Source: A commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Dell EMC, March 2016

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