Fujitsu Bundles Microsoft's Azure Services for Hybrid Cloud Offering
Fujitsu this week launched a hybrid cloud offering that lets enterprises tie apps running on-premises to those running on Microsoft's Windows Azure service.
Based on a combination of bundling, consulting services and software integration, Fujitsu Hybrid Cloud Services is aimed at enterprises that want to run a portion of their applications and data on Windows Azure and SQL Azure but need to run other apps in their own datacenters for a variety of reasons, including compliance and legacy software issues.
Through a partnership with Microsoft, Fujitsu will bundle Windows Azure and SQL Azure but also target Windows Azure-developed apps to run on Windows Server, hosted in a customer's datacenter or in facilities operated by Fujitsu throughout the world.
That will provide customers the option of running Azure-based apps in an alternate datacenter where Microsoft may not have a presence. The services will be available initially in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Spain and Canada, with other locations to follow, Fujitsu said.
"This will enable customers to have a good, solid model for integrating with their on-premises apps," said Jeff Stucker, Fujitsu's Microsoft alliance director. "Even if they are going to move a majority of their workloads into the cloud over time, they need something that's going to tie it all together while they are in that process. It's a real nuts and bolts type of solution."
Fujitsu is also working with a number of ISVs that may be looking to bring their apps to the Azure platform but that also have to meet compliance and localization issues, Stucker said. He declined to identify any of the ISVs but he did say that Fujitsu is also working to modernize its own legacy apps so they can run on the Azure platform.
"We have updated our legacy modernization software and our toolsets for taking mainframe applications and enabled deployment options, not only for our customers to move an [IBM] AS/400 app to .NET running on Windows Server -- which we have done for some government customers -- but you can take that and move it to Windows Azure, as well," Stucker said. "We are also enabling our business process management suite and some of our platform tools to run in a hybrid multiplatform environment."
The offering will support Microsoft's System Center management platform and Fujitsu has tools to provide Active Directory and Windows Live ID integration, Stucker said.
Because Fujitsu is bundling Microsoft's Azure service, Fujitsu will provide a single bill and field help-desk calls, regardless of the source of a problem. "That's going to make it a more simplified cloud experience," Stucker said. "It will eliminate finger-pointing between vendors in this multiplatform environment."
The offering complements Fujitsu's release earlier this year of its FGCP/A5, a huge appliance equipped to run the Windows Azure Platform. FGCP/A5 was launched in Japan. Fujitsu has disclosed that it plans to equip its datacenters in the United Kingdom and Australia with the appliance but has not said when it will be available. Stucker declined to identify other locations where Fujitsu plans to offer the appliance.
Jeffrey Schwartz is editor of Redmond magazine and also covers cloud computing for Virtualization Review's Cloud Report. In addition, he writes the Channeling the Cloud column for Redmond Channel Partner. Follow him on Twitter @JeffreySchwartz.