Fujitsu (previous CloudAve coverage), the Asian giant starting to focus on cloud computing, yesterday announced the launch of Global Cloud Platform powered by Windows Azure (previous CloudAve coverage). This is important not just from the Fujitsu point of view but also from Microsoft’s point of view. This is the first official production release of the Windows Azure platform appliance by Fujitsu after Microsoft announced Azure Appliance in July of 2010.
What is Azure Appliance?
Windows Azure Appliance offers the same advantages of Windows Azure to be delivered from within your own datacenter. Depending on the availability of resources, an organization can have the appliance deployed inside their datacenter or a large service provider, say Fujitsu, can deploy it inside their own datacenters to offer it as a service to enterprise customers. Let us say it is Azure cloud for those customers who are paranoid about letting their data outside of their perimeter. At the same time, you and me cannot take Azure appliance and slap it on top of the commodity hardware we have on our basement and get it going. Windows Azure appliance demands certain level of resources and hence it can only be deployed on Microsoft certified hardware and resources that meets their deployment specifications. Large organizations with existing investments wanting to move to cloud can tap into Windows Azure appliance for their needs.
BTW, didn’t Fujitsu recently announce a cloud offering?
Yes, they did. But it is just one part of their strategy. Fujitsu has three pronged strategy for cloud. The first one was their global cloud platform in the same style as Amazon EC2 which came to North America in May. Second one is based on Azure appliance which they announced yesterday and, as of April 2011, offering on a trial basis to 20 Japanese customers. If my memory if right, they also have a cloud strategy based on VMware.
Unlike the public cloud they brought to North America last month, this Azure appliance based cloud is more suitable for enterprise customers who put more emphasis on security. Fujitsu Global Cloud Platform service, FGCP/A5, offers a set of application development frameworks, such as Microsoft .NET, Java and PHP, and data storage capabilities consistent with the Windows Azure platform provided by Microsoft. The basic service consists of compute, storage, Microsoft SQL Azure and Windows Azure AppFabric technologies such as Service Bus and Access Control Service, with options for interoperating services covering implementation and migration of applications, system building, systems operation and support.
Some of the advantages of FGCP/A5 include:
- Greater reliability, increased control and ability to meet compliance needs
- Streamlined operations through sophisticated monitoring and integrated services
- Fujitsu’s 24×7 support for not just the cloud but also middleware and applications
Well, it is a logical move for companies like Fujitsu after the world has embraced the cloud in a big way. What is interesting is the multi-pronged approach by Fujitsu. We will have to wait and see which of the three cloud strategies takes off for them. It will also be interesting to see how Microsoft’s Azure appliance strategy shape up.
- Fujitsu Launches Global Cloud Platform Service Powered By Windows Azure (blogs.forbes.com)
- Fujitsu’s Windows Azure cloud debuts this August (go.theregister.com)
- Fujitsu to deliver first Windows Azure Appliance in August (zdnet.com)
- Microsoft Showcases Toyota As A Big Azure Win (cloudave.com)
- Fujitsu plans Microsoft-powered cloud computing service in August (search.japantimes.co.jp)
- Microsoft claims Microsoft Azure appliances exist (go.theregister.com)