Accelerating Azure’s edge capabilities through collaborative partnerships

We are in a period of rapid, sweeping change. The converging forces of the post-COVID-19 hybrid world in which we live, a fluctuating financial climate, and the introduction of transformative technologies, such as AI, are driving action within every industry. As a result of these challenges and opportunities, we see customers innovating and leveraging technology to stay competitive and become more resilient to the changes around them. One example that many of us can relate to as consumers is how auto manufacturers have been heavily impacted by global supply chain disruptions, driving them to re-tool their factories to build and deliver vehicles based on real-time supply chain data.

The pace at which our customers are adapting to the complexities of the world around us is inspiring and unlocking the ability to make the best decisions is paramount, both in terms of business strategies and technology investments. To make the best decisions, customers need cloud-native agility to harness data and draw insights across an increasingly globally distributed estate spanning hyperscale clouds, traditional data centers, and distributed edge locations like factory floors and quick service restaurants. Microsoft Azure enables customers to bring just enough of Azure’s cloud-born capabilities to wherever they need them via a portfolio of services, tools, and infrastructure with Azure Arc. For customers looking for an end-to-end Azure experience at the edge, Azure Stack HCI provides a comprehensive curated infrastructure stack that is Azure Arc-enabled by design.

Simplifying the cloud-to-edge experience through partner collaborations

Microsoft collaborates with infrastructure partners to provide trusted and reliable solutions that combine hardware, software, and cloud services to serve customer needs, from the smallest distributed site to the largest office. The seamless integration of these components is crucial for delivering a solution that is reliable, easy to manage, and secured.

Our partnerships are important for building the solutions that fulfill one of our customers’ biggest asks today: bringing the power of the cloud out into the real world. I recently highlighted some of the work we are doing with partners, including our collaboration with Dell Technologies to deliver the new Dell APEX Cloud Platform for Microsoft Azure, which provides a turnkey Azure Stack HCI experience beyond the capabilities of our existing Validated Node and Integrated System solution categories. It natively integrates with Azure to deliver on our shared objective to simplify the customer experience and provide the agility to manage and process their data across their globally distributed footprint. 

I am excited to announce the launch of Premier Solutions for Azure Stack HCI which further exemplifies the success of these collaborations. Premier Solutions is a new category of Azure Stack HCI products that provides customers with an improved operational experience, faster time to value, and greater flexibility with as-a-service procurement options. Built through collaboration with leading partners, such as Dell Technologies and Lenovo, we’re bringing the best of our technologies together into a deeply integrated and comprehensive edge infrastructure solution that connects hardware, software, and cloud for customers without interruption. All Premier Solutions include:

  • The most complete integration between hardware, software, and cloud services, so customers can reduce time spent managing infrastructure and instead focus on innovation.
  • Continuous testing by Microsoft and our partners to ensure higher reliability and less downtime.
  • End-to-end deployment workflows that make it easy to deploy one cluster, dozens of clusters, or a thousand clusters, repeatedly and reliably.
  • Automated and jointly tested full-stack updates that provide seamless updates with a single click.
  • Flexible purchasing models and a variety of available value-added services to reduce the friction of getting started.
  • Global availability for a consistent solution across a customer’s global estate.
This graphic shows three Azure Stack HCI solution categories depicted as square layers stacked on top of one another, with Premier Solutions at the top, Integrated Systems below it, and Validated Nodes at the bottom. The text in the graphic indicates that Premier Solutions are turnkey solutions that are ready-to-use upon deployment; Integrated Systems are single-purpose configurations that come with pre-installed software for specific tasks; and Validated Nodes have the broadest variety of hardware components.

Learn more about each of the Azure Stack HCI solution categories and available solutions to find the right fit for your business needs. In addition to Premier Solutions, our partners already offer more than 200 Azure Stack HCI solutions across our Integrated Systems and Validated Nodes categories to bring the greatest flexibility and choice to virtually any edge computing need.

Learn how Arc-enabled Azure Stack HCI can help your digital transformation journey

The first Premier Solutions are available now in the Azure Stack HCI Catalog, with the launch of Dell APEX Cloud Platform for Microsoft Azure.

Our collaboration with Microsoft around Dell APEX Cloud Platform for Microsoft Azure and the launch of Premier Solutions for Azure Stack HCI delivers a completely new class of deeply integrated and automated solutions that simplify data and application management across Azure public cloud, data centers and edge environments.”—Sudhir Srinivasan, Senior Vice President, Multicloud and Data Solutions, Dell Technologies.

In the coming months, we plan to grow the portfolio of Premier Solutions with an expanded selection of innovative edge platforms from Lenovo. It’s one of the many ways we keep building and transforming with our partners to provide customers with solutions that can better solve their unique challenges.

“Lenovo is committed to empowering our customers’ intelligent transformation by simplifying the edge-to-cloud journey. Leveraging Lenovo’s comprehensive portfolio of AI-optimized edge-to-cloud servers as the foundation for collaborative solutions with Microsoft, we are excited to provide turnkey ThinkAgile Premier Solutions that will help businesses seamlessly unlock insights from their data, wherever they need it.”—Kamran Amini, Vice President and General Manager, Server, Storage, and Software Defined Solutions, Lenovo Infrastructure Solutions Group.

To learn more about Premier Solutions, visit the Azure Stack HCI Catalog for Premier Solutions, or get familiar with Azure Stack HCI for your edge computing needs by visiting our page on Microsoft Learn.