Dell EMC also said it is shipping its hybrid cloud platform based on Microsoft Azure Stack. The company first announced the Dell EMC Cloud for Microsoft Azure Stack in May. Today Dell EMC said it has been approved by Microsoft as a Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) direct and indirect partner, meaning it can sell the Azure stack products directly and through channel partners globally.
Also today, Dell EMC said it added data protection features to its XC hyperconverged appliances running workloads with Microsoft Hyper-V hypervisor. This includes a new management console, which integrates data protection operation and automation across XC deployments. It uses Dell EMC’s Avamar software to back up data from Hyper-V to Dell EMC Data Domain and cloud tiering to Virtustream and Microsoft Azure.
“It’s a nice single pane of glass management interface,” said John Shirley, director, product management, Dell EMC XC Series. “You not only get the Avamar data protection software and the HCI easy runtime environment, but also dedupe capabilities, and being able to tier those off into public cloud infrastructure.”
The new Microsoft integrations will also likely boost Dell EMC’s hyperconverged market share at a time when HCI is the fastest growing segment in the data center space. In addition to Microsoft, Dell EMC partners with HCI software giants Nutanix and VMware, which is also owned by Dell Technologies.
VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger has said Microsoft is his company’s biggest competitor. And in addition to their rival HCI offerings, the two will square off in the hybrid cloud space with VMware Cloud on AWS and Microsoft Azure and Azure Stack.
Shirley said Dell EMC “feels pretty good” about its HCI partnerships as well as its position in the sector. On an earnings call earlier this month, the company reported its HCI portfolio continues to grow at triple-digit rates. Shirley said the XC series appliances have seen 49 percent year-over-year growth.
And while its relationships with both Microsoft and VMware may seem to lead to some messy discussions, Shirley said there’s no tension between the partners.
“There are some natural discussion points that we need to have, but typically if there is any what might look like tension coming up, we have discussions and make sure we are all on the same page,” he said.“With our XC series, we sell a lot of the VMware hypervisors as well as [Microsoft’s] Hyper-V. Coopetition is the word we like to use.”