Driving Hybrid Cloud Innovation

Dell and Microsoft share their vision for further enabling customer innovation with Azure hybrid cloud.

In today’s fast-paced and competitive business environment, Information Technology (IT) plays a critical role in an organization’s ability to generate revenue, improve customer experience and reduce costs. IT teams need partners they can trust to help them excel today and support their success in the future.

In this era of complex choices for IT professionals, Dell and Microsoft continue to utilize our respective strengths to deliver high-impact solutions for businesses. This blog is the first in a three-part series outlining how we collaborate to reduce IT complexity and help customers enable modern IT experiences.

It’s a Hybrid World

IT teams and resources are stretched, and the adage “use the right tool for the job” rings truer than ever. Increasingly, organizations are heeding this advice when it comes to their cloud infrastructure. They are finding that “the right location for the workload” is key to delivering performance, optimizing cost, providing security and remaining agile to support their users’ demands. They are deploying workloads in private clouds, public clouds and edge locations. However, multiple options for workload placement may multiply complexity and/or increases cost and risk.

IT teams are finding that the best solution is a purposeful approach that provides a consistent set of services across locations: a hybrid cloud. A recent survey by The Enterprise Strategy Group found 48% of organizations currently use a hybrid cloud model, and an additional 27% plan on adopting it within 12-24 months.¹ And it’s easy to see why – organizations like the ease and agility of the public cloud experience with the similar level of control and security wherever applications run. 

Delivering Breakthroughs for Customers    

Drawing on our experiences, we apply the following five tenets to guide our efforts for organizations:

    1. Simplify hybrid cloud management.

We mentioned earlier that having a myriad of deployment options is not enough. Multiple options with different control planes and divergent services often increase complexity. Dell and Microsoft seek to reduce that complexity by bringing to market hybrid cloud solutions that feature consistent services and streamlined operations across public, private and edge locations. One example is the Dell Integrated System for Microsoft Azure Stack HCI, which is purpose-built to deliver an optimized Azure hybrid cloud experience through Azure Arc. Azure Arc enables customers to have a consistent self-service approach to managing their applications across public, private and edge deployments.

    1. Plan for workload placement agility.

The “right location” isn’t set once and done. Workloads and organizational requirements change over time. Customers want a consistent operating model with easy mobility of their workloads across different environments based on consumption patterns. Consistent cloud infrastructure also makes learning and leveraging existing skill sets easy and enables IT teams to modernize data centers with minimum disruptions to existing IT operations. Dell has validated Azure Arc on several infrastructure solutions, and moving forward, we see Azure Arc and Azure Kubernetes Services (AKS) as key to maximizing application portability and data agility – making it possible for customers to have a more unified control plane across their hybrid IT footprint.

    1. Manage everything from a single location.

Centralized management across a customer’s IT environment from one location enables workload management at scale. A unified control point simplifies and reduces the complexity that comes with the proliferation of multiple workload placement options. Our OpenManage Integration with Windows Admin Center for Dell Integrated System for Microsoft Azure Stack HCI makes a unified control point possible. A single management plane and a familiar set of tools give IT teams the observability, insights and control they need wherever apps and data reside.

    1. Design with security in mind.

With customer workloads distributed across multiple locations, the traditional security model has evolved into a Zero Trust security model. Security of a customer’s environment should be inherent in its design. Microsoft and Dell are building security capabilities into the hardware and software layers where data and apps reside. We start with the processors by leveraging the secure foundation of Intel’s 3rd generation Xeon CPUs. We build on the silicon root of trust with secure boot and layer-on capabilities like infrastructure lock, role-based access control and multi-factor authentication that are the basis for establishing a Zero Trust Architecture. We also facilitate compliance and security through integration with Azure management and governance services for centralized enforcement of policies. The tools and capabilities provided by Microsoft Defender and Windows Admin Center strengthen the security posture of customers’ data centers and ensure privileged identities are protected.

    1. Sustainability is paramount.

For many customers, sustainability is a top priority. Dell’s commitment to carbon neutrality extends to our work with Microsoft, as we collaborate to design IT solutions that help you achieve your sustainability and energy efficiency goals. Azure Stack HCI combines compute, storage and networking in a smaller, yet scalable system to minimize power consumption, space requirements and cooling costs. It supports efficient hardware utilization – when more work is run on fewer servers, there is less heat produced, lowering energy use and costs.

Partners for Your Hybrid Cloud Future

We’ve been delivering on our vision, and we’re not stopping there. We are grateful for the trust given to us by our customers. We’re working together to deliver a future with even tighter integration and deeper automation to enable the delivery of Azure hybrid services with operational efficiencies and a seamless user experience.

“Dell and Microsoft have had a long-standing, successful partnership over the past 35 years.” said Bernardo Caldas, corporate vice president at Microsoft. “Our collaboration focuses on creating solutions that enable our customers to innovate and accelerate application modernization. Together we’re delivering breakthrough hybrid cloud solutions that power IT organizations across the globe.”

There’s no better time to consider a hybrid cloud solution leveraging the respective strengths that Dell and Microsoft bring to a platform that’s designed for innovation. Together we’re maximizing the benefits of an Azure hybrid cloud while simultaneously making it easier to manage. We invite you to learn more about this collaboration.

1 ESG Research Report: Network Security Trends in Hybrid Cloud Environments July 2022

Travis Vigil

About the Author: Travis Vigil

Travis Vigil is Senior Vice President leading Portfolio and Product Management for Dell’s Infrastructure Solutions Group (ISG). He and his team are responsible for Dell’s Server, Storage, Data Protection, CI/HCI, Networking and Solutions businesses. He has over 20 years of Product Management, Marketing and Business Operations experience with technology companies including Intel and Dell. In previous roles at Dell, he served as Senior Vice President for Storage and Data Protection Product Management, and Senior Vice President for Business Operations focused on Dell’s Server, Storage and Networking Businesses. He has a B.S. from Stanford University and an M.B.A. from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.