Microsoft and HPE deepen partnership to extend the power of hybrid cloud

Guest post by Garth Fort, General Manager, Cloud and Enterprise Marketing group

I’m here in London at Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s Discover 2015 conference, where today Meg Whitman and Satya Nadella announced Microsoft and HPE are deepening our long-standing partnership to support customers on their journey to hybrid cloud. The investments span new integration between Microsoft Azure and HPE infrastructure, an industry-first hyper-converged hybrid cloud system, and the opening of a new Azure Engineering Center and plans to train 5,000 HPE Azure Cloud Architects (you can read more on each of these below). These commitments to a preferred partnership represents big news for customers transforming their business through cloud solutions, and I wanted to provide more perspective.

As I meet with customers and walk around the expo hall, one thing is very clear. Customers have fully embraced the value and promise of cloud computing. It’s no longer a question of “if”, but really more one of “how” and “when”. They all recognize the way we’ve done IT for the past 20 years is no longer keeping up with the speed of business.

It began as a set of complaints from business groups and developers around the rules and turn-around times they faced whenever making a request for IT resources. In contrast, public cloud services provided infrastructure instantaneously, with just the swipe of a credit card, and without the same constraints. This value prop has proven out in the triple digit growth of public cloud services like Microsoft Azure.

But the underlying realities that led to IT policies and constraints have not changed at the same pace. Industry regulations and national policies, as well as sensitivities to data loss or security risks or operational interruption, are still very real concerns for companies and organizations. Public cloud services deliver speed, but most of the enterprises I’m talking to are looking to strike the balance of speed AND control.

At Microsoft, we believe the core of solving this conundrum lies in hybrid cloud solutions. Hybrid cloud embraces the idea that cloud is not a place, but rather a model. A model that can exist in multiple locations, depending on the needs of the business and particular workloads. Hybrid cloud also recognizes that services can be delivered from one cloud to another to add value, with a great example being cloud backup.

The significance of our joint work with HPE is about providing support as enterprises embrace the hybrid cloud; public cloud services, hybrid cloud infrastructure, and trusted advisors to help guide the journey. HPE has long been a leader and innovator in infrastructure and services. Microsoft has been investing deeply in Microsoft Azure to a deliver a hyper-scale, hybrid and enterprise grade cloud platform. We are bringing together our technology strengths to accelerate your path to the cloud.

Microsoft and HPE Deliver New Hybrid Cloud Solutions and Programs

Azure in Your Datacenter with Hyper-Converged Hybrid Cloud System
The HPE Hyper-Converged 250 for Microsoft Cloud Platform System Standard (CS 250) is the industry’s first hyper-converged system with true hybrid capabilities. Jointly engineered by Microsoft and HPE, and built on industry-leading HPE ProLiant technology, this integrated solution goes beyond traditional virtualization solutions to bring Azure services to your datacenter. You get an Azure experience, with an Azure management portal and automation that allows developers and business groups to self-deploy the computing capacity and apps their users need while still maintaining central oversight. Two of our Executive Vice Presidents, Scott Guthrie from Microsoft and Antonio Neri from HPE, shared their comments on the CS 250 in this video.

We’re excited to see the growth of hyper-converged systems in the market, driven by the power of software and the value proposition of simplification and seamless scaling. Having HPE bring the CS 250 to market, built with Microsoft’s cloud stack, is a great validation. This software-defined solution can be up and running in a matter of hours, and allows you to start small and scale as your business grows.

Azure Available for Every HPE Customer
According to IDC, HPE leads the worldwide server market, and we’re excited about the work we’re doing with HPE to enable our joint customers to take advantage of Azure. For example, Windows Server 2012 R2 ships with an option that lets customers easily backup their server to Azure. Similarly, SQL Server ships with the ability to backup to Azure. Working with HPE, we can enable customers to take advantage of these capabilities in a way that makes sense for them. The CS 250, for example, comes pre-configured with automated backup and site recovery right out of the box which speeds up deployment for the customer.

More broadly, HPE announced it joined Microsoft’s Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program and will sell cloud services across Azure, the Enterprise Mobility Suite (EMS) and Office 365 enabling them to provide end-to-end cloud, mobility, identity and productivity solutions. From pre-engineered solutions, to deployment services from Technical Services, to Virtual Private Cloud or Managed Cloud offerings from Enterprise Services, HPE is in a great position to help customers integrate public cloud services from Microsoft into their hybrid environments.

HPE Software Available on Azure
HPE and Microsoft are collaborating to extend the ways you can deploy HPE software solutions by bringing them to Azure. HPE LoadRunner and HPE Quality Center are available in the Azure Marketplace today. I am also excited HPE plans to bring the full suite of HPE security and big data software solutions on the Azure Marketplace in early 2016, including ArcSight and Fortify security solutions as well as Vertica and Autonomy big data solutions and the Haven platform.

HPE Services and Support for Azure
As with any organizational change, a successful transformation to cloud requires a mix of people, process, and technology. With Azure as a preferred cloud provider for HPE customers, HPE Enterprise Services and Technology Services are introducing a new Global Azure Services Center of Excellence to help customers manage and migrate infrastructure and applications to a hybrid state. HPE also plans to certify an additional 5,000 Azure Cloud Architects through its Global Services Practice, and will extend its Enterprise Services offerings to bring customers an open, agile, more secure hybrid cloud that integrates with Azure.

Part of a bigger partnership

As exciting as today’s innovations are, they are just the tip of the iceberg of our partnership with HPE as we help enterprises embrace the cloud and enhance productivity. Last week we announced advancement of our joint Cloud Productivity & Mobility Solution Offerings (CPM) which will create transformational consulting services and business applications for Windows 10. With CPM, HPE can now offer businesses a portfolio of tightly integrated services and solutions, designed to modernize enterprise workflows, drive digital transformation and accelerate innovation on top of Microsoft product offerings. This builds on our initiative to jointly bring you Office 365 and Skype for Business coupled with our Enterprise Mobility Suite to empower productivity in an increasingly mobile workplace, while keeping your business safe.

Every enterprise’s journey to the cloud is different. Today, Microsoft and HPE are introducing new services and programs designed to meet you where you are on your cloud journey, and support you through your entire journey.