Fujitsu (news, site) and Microsoft have announced the first production release of the Windows Azure Platform appliance. Fujitsu's Global Cloud Platform (FGCP/A5) Service, running at Fujitsu's Japan datacenter, is currently in test deployment and is expected to launch by August 2011.
The Microsoft Windows Azure Appliance Exists!
Microsoft and Fujitsu touted the Windows Azure Appliance as a concept as early as May this year with Fujitsu opening the beta test of its platform to a select number of customers. Microsoft calls the Windows Azure Platform Appliance a turnkey solution, and Fuitsu's Global Cloud Platform Service is the first commercially-available appliance to launch.
Fujitsu's FGCP/A5 lets clients build elastically scalable applications through Windows Azure. The service consists of Windows Azure compute, Windows Azure storage, SQL Azure and AppFabric. The service gives developers access to several frameworks, including Microsoft .NET, Java, and PHP, along with data storage capabilities. Fujitsu will also provide application development, migration, real-time operations and support for its customers.
Cost-Reduction For a Wide Variety of Enterprises
Fujitsu is targeting its FGCP/A5 IaaS at a wide range of clients, from small and medium businesses to large enterprises. Kazuo Ishida, Fujitsu's corporate senior executive vice president, says the service is a secure, reliable and always-available cloud computing infrastructure that will be affordable, yet flexible. "We are very confident that this cloud service will deliver to our customers the flexibility and convenience they are looking for in streamlining their ICT operations management costs," Ishida says.
Meanwhile, Microsoft's corporate vice president for server and cloud division, Bill Laing, stresses that the partnership is not only meant for the Japanese market, but for a global clientele, adding that FGCP/A5 "will greatly benefit customers both in Japan and around the world."
Reliability, Agility and Support
Fujitsu stresses three main benefits that customers can get from FGCP/A5, apart from cost-benefits of cloud computing.
Reliability, Control and Better Compliance - As the datacenter is hosted in Japan, domestic customers who are concerned with speed and latency will benefit from the proximity of the physical server location. Fujitsu says its systems involve disaster-readiness technologies, while being secure and environmentally-friendly at the same time. As Fujitsu has datacenters in the US, Singapore and the UK, Fujitsu is likely to roll out FGCP/A5 in other regions, as well.
Monitoring and Integration - FGCP/A5 offers simplified operations through monitoring, logs and process automation. Middleware products can also be used for distributed monitoring, in the case of hybrid clouds. For this purpose, Fujitsu is also offering support and consulting services to clients who wish to integrate or migrate from other cloud deployments.
Support - Fujitsu will offer round-the-clock support, not only for FGCP/A5 itself, but for middleware apps and services that clients would integrate into their clouds.
Fujitsu will offer the service at an hourly rate from 5 Yen per hour for a single virtual server, which corresponds to an "extra small" Windows Azure instance. FGCP/A5 will launch by August 2011.