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Lenovo & Dell EMC Announce Azure Stack Integrated Hardware

Hybrid cloud solutions may become the go-to standard for the IT infrastructure in businesses. The reason: IT managers and MSPs need an effective compromise between on-premise cloud and public cloud solutions -- without skimping on security, scalability and other customer needs.

To succeed, IT service providers typically need to deploy hybrid clouds with a consistent operating environment between the on-premises infrastructure and the cloud service providers. In response, Microsoft has created an operating environment to bridge these platforms with their Azure cloud services and Azure Stack software for enterprise.

Microsoft Azure Stack for Hybrid IT Services

Microsoft has strengthened the Azure Stack offering by announcing this week that it is now fully-validated for Intel Xeon Scalable platforms. The company claims that they engineer the Azure Stack software and hardware together as a solution to ensure consistency with Azure, and only declares a platform “validated” after extensive testing. With Azure Stack integrated systems powered by Intel Xeon Scalable processors, customers can enjoy up to 16% more performance and up to 14% higher virtual machine capacity compared to similarly-configured systems powered by prior-generation Intel Xeon E5 v4 processors, the companies claim.

Lenovo plans to offer the first Intel Select Solution in this class, in one of the configurations available for the new Lenovo ThinkAgile SX for Microsoft Azure Stack. Lenovo expects this high-performance platform to be available in early 2018. Lenovo claims that their hardware is co-engineered by Lenovo and Microsoft and pre-integrated at the factory. The software-defined rack scale solution simplifies hybrid cloud and reduces the time to deploy cloud services.

Not to be outdone, Dell EMC made their own announcement as well, and could possibly beat Lenovo to the punch by releasing their hardware first. Dell EMC Cloud for Microsoft Azure Stack powered by Intel Xeon Scalable Processors will be on the new Dell EMC PowerEdge 14th generation (14G) servers. Orders will be taken as early as November, and will be shipping globally this December.

Cisco Systems and HP Enterprise also are developing and evangelizing Azure Stack solutions.

Intel's Spin on Azure Stack

According to Intel, hybrid cloud is the future of IT, and a consistent, validated operating environment between public and private infrastructure, such as Microsoft Azure Stack, will increase business agility, security, and workload scalability.  Now validated together, Intel Xeon Scalable platforms and Microsoft Azure Stack, especially when deployed as an Intel Select Solution, provide assurance to IT leaders they will get a high-performance, future-ready solution for their hybrid cloud, the company claims.