As we evolve the infrastructure approach to address our customers’ hybrid cloud and multicloud priorities, we are bringing the learnings and experiences from the two leaders in Information Technology that complement and enhance each other.

We mentioned Dell is a leader in HCI with 35% share of the nsegment, but did you know Dell also has 70% share of Microsoft-based HCI.

Dell brings its leadership and breadth across HCI, server, storage, networking and data protection, along with experience in delivering game-changing software-driven innovations that uncomplicate management and orchestration of complex technology stacks, and its expertise in broad solutions and services.

Pair that with Microsoft strengths.

Microsoft is a leader in cloud services, with differentiated capabilities that help customers simplify management, governance and applications through centralized Azure control plane.

Microsoft also has a long and successful history in delivering operating system, virtualization platform and container solution that power demanding customer deployments. Not to mention, many customer also rely on Microsoft for the key applications like SQL Server that power their business.

Combining these strengths, we are evolving what has been predominantly an Hyperconverged Infrastructure platform to deliver the next-generation APEX Cloud Platform for Microsoft Azure.

Our messaging for Dell Azure Stack HCI is on our customer’s benefits of using Dell Azure Stack HCI rather then the traditional feature benefits

Dell’s top-level statement is that “Dell Integrates System for Microsoft Azure Stack HCI – Simplify and streamline Azure multi-cloud ecosystem.

Our major focus areas :

Delivers a seamless Azure Experience

The tight integration Azure Cloud and Azure Stack HCI makes managing IT operations across multilocation

Simplify Azure On-Premises

Dell Azure Stack HCI are engineered complete systems built for the Azure ecosystem

Extend and optimize the public cloud experience to on-premises IT environments

Fully automated and integrated to help realize rapid time to value

Accelerate developer productivity with consistent development experience on–premises and in the public cloud

Optimize workload placement with flexible and seamless portability to meet application performance and governance requirements

Enforce consistent governance/compliance across on-premises and public cloud environments

Dell APEX Cloud Platform for Microsoft Azure empowers organizations to unlock innovation by optimizing delivery of Azure cloud on-premises while ensuring consistent operational and governance experience across data centers, edge locations, and Azure public cloud.

It’s the only cloud platform built collaboratively with Microsoft to optimize Azure hybrid cloud experience. We are combining Dell’s leadership in HCI – especially its capabilities around M&O with Microsoft’s leadership in cloud-based services to evolve infrastructure to optimize customers’ hynrid cloud operations

Dell and Microsoft are ideally suited to do that with their 35 year history of collaborating on technologies ranging from operating systems and hypervisors, to enterprise applications and modern hybrid cloud. Now we are expanding that partnership further with stronger go-to-market collaboration and a unified procudement, deployment and support experience through the APEX Cloud Platform for MSFT Azure.

The solution is particularly relevant and beneficial for customers who are on their app modernization journey to improve business agility and financial outcomes. The solution is designed to support both virtual and container workloads on same infrastructure without creating app or data siloes. This provides customers a common platform to support their journey as they containerize many of their virtualized applications. Additionally, Microsoft Azure, with its hybrid AKS and Arc-enabled app, data and platform services simplifies modern application environments, making app modernization projects more accessible and simpler to execute while eliminating complexity and minimizing infrastructure build out.

The solution enables you to bridge the cloud divide by providing consistent operational experience and allowing use of familiar and centralized tools like WAS and Azure Portal across dispersed Azure hybrid cloud deployments.

The platform empowers organizations to unleash their application value and innovate faster by boosting DevOps productivity and IT agility. It does so by optimizing delivery of developer-friendly Arc-enables services.

Lasrtly, the platform empowers you to innovate freely while mitigating potential risks effortlessly with a centralized governance mechanism through Azure Portal by integrating with Azure management and governance services .

Lastly, the platform

We really can’t talk about delivering operational consistency and accelerating time-to-value without talking about this important piece of software, the Dell APEX Cloud Platform Foundation Software.

With this software, Dell is really leveraging and evolving its highly differentiated management and orchestration capabilities from its VxRail system software. We have taken the M&O IP that distinguishes VxRail and we have customized it for Azure environments with this software. The software plays a key role in

  1. Automating initial deployments
  2. Streamlining on-going operational tasks
  3. As well as deliver operational consistency across your dispersed Azure on-prem and Cloud deployments with centralized management

Lets view some of the software installation steps:

Day1 Deployment – Cluster Creation

  • Discovery via zero-conf multicast DNS
  • Primary node election
  • Configuration file creation- RTS+
    • JSON file generation based on customer’s environment
  • Major deployment steps on Day 1 UI
    • Node discovery
    • Optional – Node selection
    • Optional – change the default network configuration
    • Optional – Upload configuration file
    • Validate the configuration
    • Build the cluster

By pre-installing the Azure Stack HCI OS in the factory, we are providing the flexibility that customers need if they decide to deploy the integrated system themselves using our Deployment Guide or using automated cluster creation in Windows Admin Center.

However, we strongly encourage customers to take the turn-key approach and elect ProDeploy Services since our engineers know the integrated system inside-and-out and can guarantee that the cluster is built correctly the first time.  It’s all about accelerating time to value and ensuring maximum performance and reliability from Day 1 to Day 100 and beyond.

Day 2 – N Management and Support

Cluster management and support from Microsoft Windows Admin Center

  • Dashboard
  • Physical views
  • Compliance, Alerts
  • Lifecycle management – Full Stack Updates
  • Support – eServices
  • Security

Single dashboard view

Customers will have a single view of system health and support resources at a glance

Fleet management – Azure Hybrid Integration with Azure Arc*

There are many use cases for this solution, varying all the way from the edge, to the center (Core), to the Cloud, a really amazing fit for many customers, who are invested or want to, with Microsoft and now, with Dell!

Below, you can see a demo, showing how to manage your Dell Compute hosts, using the Dell OpenManage for Windows Admin Center

Below, you can see a demo, showing how to manage the AzureStack HCI, using the Microsoft Admin Center

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