Microsoft is using 'Azure in a box' to power its own 'Nebula' private cloud

Microsoft is using its own Cloud Platform System to power its internal 'Nebula' infrastructure-as-a-service cloud.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor

Last fall, Microsoft announced a partnership with Dell to provide an Azure cloud in a box offering known as the "Microsoft Cloud Platform System" (CPS).

In a blog post last week, Microsoft officials went public with information about how Microsoft itself is using CPS internally to power its own private cloud.

Microsoft's internal infrastructure-as-a-service cloud is codenamed "Nebula," according to the January 23 post on the "Building Clouds" blog. (Thanks to Microsoft Most Valuable Professionals @JakobGSvendsen and @hvredevoort for tweeting a link to the post.)

The Nebula team is the "first internal partner" for Microsoft's CPS, the post noted.

The Nebula service is for both individual Microsoft development engineers and test automation systems that can often grab hundreds of virtual machines (VMs) at a time. Development engineers can access CPS via the Windows Azure Pack (WAP) self-service portal.

"Nebula offers CPS as premium reliability in contrast to the standard reliability of our existing data center hardware," the blog post said.

CPS, which was codenamed "San Diego," consists of pre-assembled racks of Dell servers running Windows Server 2012 R2, System Center 2012 R2 and Windows Azure Pack. WAP provides users with the on-premises equivalent of a number of Azure technologies, including a self-service portal, a portal for administrators to manage resource clouds, scalable Web hosting and more.

Microsoft made CPS commercially available last fall. Customers buy the CPS hardware through Dell and software and services through Microsoft, with Microsoft acting as the first point of contact for all support requests.

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