Windows Azure-Powered Cloud Coming August from Fujitsu
Fujitsu plans to launch a commercial cloud service in August using Microsoft's Windows Azure platform, the two companies announced on Tuesday.
The new Fujitsu Global Cloud Platform service, called FGCP/A5, will be the first to use Microsoft's Windows Azure appliance, which was announced last July during Microsoft's Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC). Bob Muglia, then president of Microsoft's Server and Tools Business, noted during WPC 2010 that the appliance lets service providers offer the same Azure capabilities from their datacenters as offered by Microsoft, while also maintaining "data sovereignty" by keeping the data stored locally.
FGCP/A5 will store data at Fujitsu's Japan datacenter, but the service will be globally accessible. Fujitsu plans to offer FGCP/A5 services to enterprises, as well as to small- to medium-sized companies. Services will include the Internet-based Azure computing platform that can host and scale applications based on .NET, Java and PHP, along with data storage using Microsoft SQL Azure technology. Java and COBOL applications can also be run and managed using Fujitsu's Systemwalker, NetCOBOL and Interstage middleware.
Microsoft had announced in WPC 2010 that Dell and Hewlett-Packard also would deploy the Azure appliances, but Fujitsu appears to be getting there first.
"This does mark the first official production release of a Windows Azure platform appliance," a Microsoft spokesperson explained by e-mail. "As for Dell and HP, we continue to work closely with our early deployment partners and customers to ensure a successful implementation."
Muglia had said at last year's WPC that the early Azure appliance deployments would include almost 1,000 servers. No details were released on the size of the FGCP/A5 deployment in Japan. Fujitsu has been operating the new service on a trial basis since April, with 20 companies participating.
Kurt Mackie is online news editor for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.