Dell and Microsoft's Azure-powered box signals inflection point for cloud

On-premises is making a comeback.

Microsoft and Dell have announced a new private cloud appliance that isn't exactly a new idea--they released a larger, more expensive version last year--but nonetheless underscores that cloud computing has reached another inflection point.

From the release:

Microsoft and Dell announced Cloud Platform System Standard (CPS Standard), the newest addition to the Microsoft Cloud Platform System (CPS) family. CPS is the industry's only integrated system with a true hybrid cloud experience, built on optimized Dell modular infrastructure with pre-configured Microsoft CPS software, including the proven Microsoft software stack and popular Azure services.

The hybrid cloud experience comes from the platform's consistency with Azure, enabling agile deployment and operation of workloads and allowing customers to build multi-tiered, scalable applications.

CPS Standard arrives ready to be plugged in and can be up and running in as little as three hours, while operations, patching and updates are simplified with an automated framework.

In case of a datacenter outage, CPS Standard features archival backup to Azure and failover to Azure that is easy-to-activate, reliable and cost-effective...Its modular design allows customers to start smaller and incrementally scale from four to up to 16 servers based on business needs.

Customers have the option of renting the appliance from Dell for $9,000 a month, and a basic configuration can run about 100 virtual machines, according to IDG News Service.

Dell is also offering payment arrangements through its Cloud Flex Pay program. Following a six-month term, "customers have several options available, including the ability to extend the evaluation period, continue to use the solution, return it or take ownership of it, according to a statement.

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The Bottom Line

So what about that inflection point? There are several matters here to ponder, says Constellation Research analyst Holger Mueller.

For one thing, the industry initially tried to forklift software that was built for the on-premises world and tried to move it to the cloud, with mixed results, he says: "Now cloud software is coming back on-premises to run standard appliances."

This trend is important in a few ways, Mueller notes.

For one, "IT professionals learn cloud management tools and can run real cloud systems right away," he says. Second, it gives customers a consistent choice of where they'd like to deploy. Finally, "it provides standardization which always drives easier adoption--when you get the standard right," Mueller says.

Constellation Insights

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