At Microsoft Ignite in Orlando today, Hewlett Packard Enterprise announced the availability of HPE ProLiant for Microsoft Azure Stack, an all-in-one hardware and software solution for running Azure Stack (on-premises nodes in Azure-enabled hybrid clouds) on HPE infrastructure in companies' own data centers. The system in based on the HPE's popular ProLiant server line and appears targeted at companies moving to a hybrid environment who may need a little hand holding on the way.
The offering is designed to keep it simple for on-premises data center managers, starting with the integration of HPE OneView infrastructure management software. This will simplify Azure Stack operations, making it easier to manage software and firmware updates, as well as monitor system status.
For hand holding, there's something called the HPE-Microsoft Azure Stack Innovation Center, where customers can connect with HPE and Microsoft experts for business and technical planning, to test use cases, or to implement proofs of concept. The center is located in Bellevue, Washington, in close proximity to Microsoft.
About that close proximity: According to HPE, it has worked together with Microsoft to co-engineer the system to provide a simplified and integrated development, management, and security experience, and to design a system with data sovereignty, security, and compliance requirements in mind.
"Our customers live in a complex world that requires tools to simplify and optimize their hybrid IT environment,” said McLeod Glass, VP and GM of software-defined and hyperconverged solutions at HPE, in a statement. "HPE and Microsoft have a shared vision for making it easier to manage hybrid clouds. By extending our software-defined capabilities to Microsoft Azure Stack, we are simplifying and speeding up deployment of on-premises cloud capabilities, enabling customers to succeed in their digital transformation initiatives."
HPE also wants to simplfy billing and help keep costs under control. ProLiant for Azure Stack can be used on a pay-for-what-you-use basis by using it with HPE's Flexible Capacity program that offers on-demand capacity and consumption-based payments. Billing is simplified, because users only receive a single invoice instead of being billed by both HPE and Azure.
The hardware should be up to snuff. HPE's ProLiant comes with 768GB of RAM and 2400MHz memory speed, with configurations from four to 12 nodes available as single increments, versus blocks of four. Order only what you need, in other words.
Likewise, customers can choose processors that are best suited for their specific workloads. The same for memory and storage options, choice of racks, as well as third-party network switches and power supply options.
"Customers are looking to build modern applications across cloud and on-premises environments that meet business policies and regulatory requirements," Mike Neil, a Microsoft corporate VP for Azure infrastructure and management, said in a statement. "With HPE ProLiant for Microsoft Azure Stack, customers can innovate on a truly consistent, high-performance hybrid cloud platform that will increase agility, enhance innovation and control costs with the right mix of cloud and on-premises that is under their complete control."