Innovation Delivered: Dell APEX Cloud Platform for Microsoft Azure

Customers are dealing with more IT complexity than ever. Unpredictable costs, lack of consistency and limited visibility across cloud environments are just a few of the challenges we hear about daily. That’s why, when we unveiled the Dell APEX Cloud Platform family at this year’s Dell Technologies World, our customers were excited at the opportunity to simplify their hybrid cloud experience.

Today, in collaboration with Microsoft, we’re pleased to announce the availability of Dell APEX Cloud Platform for Microsoft Azure. It’s the first offer in the Dell APEX Cloud Platform family and the first available Premier Solution for Microsoft Azure Stack HCI. This new Azure Stack HCI solution category only includes platforms that provide fastest time to value for Azure hybrid cloud through the deepest levels of integration with Microsoft.

Dell APEX Cloud Platforms are next generation infrastructure that deliver consistent operations and more control over workload placement by extending your choice of cloud ecosystem on-premises. These platforms offer our customers greater flexibility and investment protection over time by combining the best of Dell innovation in automated infrastructure management and orchestration, software-defined storage, and next generation compute based on Intel Xeon scalable processors.

Strengthening Our Collaboration to Simplify Azure On-premises

The opportunity to extend Azure cloud services to on-premises environments is significant. According to an ESG study on multicloud application deployment trends, 48% of customers surveyed are expanding on-premises deployments.1 Dell APEX Cloud Platform for Azure provides an optimal way for customers to bring Azure to their data center and edge locations.

This new platform builds upon decades of Dell and Microsoft collaboration. It combines Dell’s expertise in delivering software-driven management and orchestration and software-defined storage with Microsoft’s leadership in cloud services and container orchestration.

“More of our customers are asking us to bring the power of Azure wherever they need it out in the real world, whether that is in their factories, retail stores, quick service restaurants, or distributed locations. Through our partnership with Dell, we can project just enough Microsoft Azure to those locations at the edge,” said Douglas Phillips, Corporate Vice President, Azure Edge + Platform. “This new solution gives our mutual customers a seamless experience from cloud to edge, wherever their data lives, so they can spend less time managing infrastructure and focus more on transforming their business.”

Enhancing Azure Hybrid Cloud

The Dell APEX Cloud Platform is designed to address several key IT priorities.

First, it helps simplify management by making Azure operations consistent across on-premises locations and public cloud via native integration with Azure Arc. Deep integration and extensive automation enabled by Dell’s APEX Cloud Platform Foundation Software allow us to deliver benefits to our customers that far exceed our past solutions. For example, the automated deployment wizard results in an 88% reduction in deployment steps compared to existing integrated systems, allowing customers to save more time when deploying the platform.2

Next, by optimizing delivery of AKS hybrid, and Arc-enabled app and data services, the platform helps accelerate application delivery. Customers will be able to simplify management with deep integration and familiar tools. Additionally, users can enforce consistent security and compliance policies across the Azure landscape through integration with centralized Azure management and governance services.

To ensure customers get the fastest time to value and ongoing full stack support, Dell ProSupport Infrastructure Suite provides a single source of solution level-support for Dell hardware, system software and Azure HCI.  Onsite diagnosis, residency, data migration, data disposition, and education services cover you on tasks commonly required in a multicloud environment, allowing your internal staff to focus on other priorities.

“Dell APEX Cloud Platform for Microsoft Azure marks another key milestone in Dell’s continuing pursuit to simplify the hybrid cloud experience,” said Jeremy Rader, General Manager, Xeon Market Readiness, Intel. “The platform is based on PowerEdge and Intel’s latest 4th Generation Xeon Scalable processors which deliver a 2x performance improvement for demanding workloads over the previous generation. We look forward to continuing our longstanding collaboration focused on innovation and meeting the needs of our enterprise customers.”

Dell APEX Cloud Platform for Microsoft Azure Goes Above and Beyond

While the new Premier Solutions for Azure Stack HCI category represents the highest level of required automation, integration and collaboration with Microsoft, Dell APEX Cloud Platform for Microsoft Azure takes this even further. Let’s take a look at additional capabilities you can expect beyond what is required for Microsoft’s new category.

  • Lifecycle management. Dell APEX Cloud Platform for Microsoft Azure delivers near instantaneous availability of new releases and patches – within just four hours of a Microsoft release. Single-pane, full-stack lifecycle management ensures the complete infrastructure stack always remains compliant.
  • Unique automation. The platform provides automated cluster expansion, enabling rapid addition of on-premises infrastructure to meet workload requirements.
  • Edge offerings. Coming soon, we will offer specialized nodes based on the Dell PowerEdge XR4000 edge-optimized server platform to help customers extend Azure to the edge while minimizing cost, footprint and complexity.
  • Ultimate flexibility. Coming soon, we will support additional storage configurations with Dell software-defined storage, making it the only offer to support linear scaling of storage resources independently from compute resources, helping customers address workloads with diverse performance and scaling needs.

Meeting the Needs of our Customers and Partners

We have heard overwhelming excitement about this solution from customers and partners alike. Kyndryl, a strategic partner of Dell and Microsoft, is expanding its solutions with managed services for this platform.

“In a rapidly changing IT landscape, Kyndryl is helping customers modernize their mission-critical environments to a hybrid cloud operating model. As a strategic alliance partner with Dell and Microsoft, we are excited for the availability of the new Dell APEX Cloud Platform that will provide a consistent Azure operation across on-premises and Azure public cloud,” said Kevin Powell, Vice President, Private Cloud Services, Kyndryl. “We are committed to delivering services that help customers utilize the latest industry technology innovations from our ecosystem partners to deliver leading edge hybrid cloud solutions.”

Through customer conversations, we are seeing existing customers familiar with the operational outcomes delivered by our automated software are excited to adopt the APEX Cloud Platform for Microsoft Azure to extend their Azure deployments on-premises.

“More than 5,000 organizations around the world look to LoopUp to help them bring global communications to the cloud to support flexible work, increase productivity, simplify complexity and reduce cost,” said Chris Stanley, VP of Network Operations, LoopUp. “Dell APEX Cloud Platform for Microsoft Azure’s deep software integration and lifecycle management will help us scale and deliver cloud telephony innovations faster and get the most value from our Azure hybrid deployment.”

Orange Business, another strategic partner for Dell and Microsoft, are also excited about the transformative power Dell APEX Cloud Platform for Microsoft Azure could hold for their customers.

“As organizations increasingly turn to hybrid cloud strategies to help power digital experiences for their employees and customers, they need an efficient solution to easily manage it all from edge to core data centers to public cloud,” said Olivier Ménez, Marketing Director of Digital Services at Orange Business. “Dell APEX Cloud Platform for Microsoft Azure includes deep integrations and automation that will help us easily build and manage our customers’ data and applications in hybrid environments.”

Delivering Hybrid Cloud Innovation

We’re thrilled for our customers to get their hands on Dell APEX Cloud Platform for Microsoft Azure to see first-hand how it can help them unleash innovation by simplifying the Azure hybrid experience. Want to learn more? Check out our LinkedIn Live session hosted by SiliconANGLE with Dean Paron, Microsoft executive director for Azure Edge Product Management and Caitlin Gordon, Dell vice president of Multicloud Product Management.

Follow the links below to learn more about APEX Cloud Platform for Microsoft Azure.

1 ESG “Multi-cloud Application Deployment and Decision Making” May 2023
2 Compared to manual deployment. Based on internal analysis. Results may vary. September 2023