Dell and Microsoft extended their partnership today with a cloud-in-a-box — a hybrid offering designed to make it easier for businesses of all sizes to transition to the cloud.

Dell CEO Michael Dell and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella made the announcement this morning at Dell World in Austin, Texas.

The Dell Hybrid Cloud System for Microsoft is built on Azure using the Microsoft Cloud Platform System (CPS) Standard, which pulls together Windows Server 2012 R2, System Center 2012 R2 and Windows Azure Pack, as well as the Dell Cloud Manager software. It "radically simplifies customer cloud experience, control and automates maintenance," the companies claim.

Dell also added a payment scheme — Dell Cloud Flex Pay — to its portfolio of Scale Ready Payment Solutions, which gives customers the option to try the product for six months before making a long term commitment. At the end of the six-month term, customers have the options to extend the evaluation period, continue to use the solution, return it or take ownership of it.

“Hybrid cloud for us is a path, it’s a journey. Every customer has a different way point but in order to be successful in cloud it must be open. You cannot have a common stack or just a single set of platforms, solutions or services,” Jim Ganthier, VP and GM of Dell Engineered Solutions and Cloud, noted in a statement.

Everyone Wants Hybrid

The release is a response to what Ganthier called an overwhelming market demand for hybrid cloud solutions. According to a Dell poll published in the Dell Global Technology Adoption Index (GTAI 2015) last week, 55 percent of organizations are using one or more types of cloud. The survey identified cost, security and complexity as the prime barriers to cloud deployments.

At the same briefing, Glen Keels, executive director of product management for Dell Cloud, HPC and Integrated Systems, said a large percentage of organizations are still wondering how to migrate to the cloud. He pointed out that spending on private and hybrid cloud went flat year-over-year, underscoring the need for flexible, scalable and affordable offerings.

Dell, Microsoft Together

Microsoft_Hybrid_Cloud_SystemHybrid Cloud System for Microsoft is an integrated, modular cloud solution that offers automated deployment and maintenance capabilities. With it, organizations get an on-premises private cloud with access to the Microsoft Azure public cloud in less than three hours. Dell also promises minimum downtime as well as fully automated system updates.

Dell said it also offers:

  • The ability to build and provision workload templates and flexibly deploy business services and governance models of multiple cloud environments from one management construct, via out-of-the-box integration with Dell Cloud Manager (DCM)
  • Unified, simplified private-with-public cloud management and consumption control across Windows Azure Pack (WAP), Azure and other cloud services.

Earlier this week, Dell also announced it will begin to resell Microsoft Azure, Office 365 and Enterprise Mobility Suite services.