Azure Stack is now live in New Zealand through Datacom, with the technology provider running the first Dell EMC node in-country.
In allowing providers to build their own versions of Azure in private data centres, the offering has been billed as Microsoft’s secret weapon in the battle of the cloud giants.
“This is our live ‘private preview’ environment, where we have multiple customers operating as part of our early access programme,” Datacom associate director of transformation and enablement Mark Hile told Reseller News.
“We are now calling out for additional customers who want to join the programme, before we move to general availability in the near future.”
According to Hile, the move represents a “key milestone” for Datacom’s Azure Stack and hybrid cloud teams across New Zealand.
“It is a powerful solution that is tailored to the unique market conditions in New Zealand and Australia, and we thank Microsoft and Dell EMC for their support,” Hile added.
“Our research and development teams have been working closely with Microsoft behind the scenes for the best part of two years, and we have taken that knowledge and used it to create a truly robust, flexible and scalable environment that simplifies IT strategy, and delivers transformational business outcomes.
“I’m proud of all the hard work our teams have put into getting to this major milestone, and also want to thank our local Dell EMC team for working with us to get this New Zealand first.”
Unveiled during the opening day of Microsoft Inspire in July 2017, Redmond delivered the first release version of Azure Stack to hardware partners, with Dell EMC, Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Lenovo on board early, and Cisco and Huawei following suit.
In providing servers and equipment required to run the services, the hardware partners shipped the first systems to customers in September 2017.
“Azure Stack is an extension of Azure, thereby enabling a truly consistent hybrid cloud platform,” Microsoft corporate vice president of Azure infrastructure and management Mike Neil said at the time of release.
“Consistency removes hybrid cloud complexity, which helps you maximise your investments across cloud and on-premise environments.
“Consistency enables you to build and deploy applications using the exact same approach - same APIs, same DevOps tools, same portal - leading to increased developer productivity.
“Consistency enables you to develop cloud applications faster by building on Azure Marketplace application components. Consistency enables you to confidently invest in people and processes knowing that those are fully transferable.”
As reported by Reseller News, Datacom has been testing Azure Stack on both sides of the Tasman since the first technical preview releases, working closely with Microsoft to build out go-to-market offerings.
And while Datacom isn’t the only local partner taking early advantage of Azure Stack, Hile said the provider is “uniquely positioned” to capitalise on the opportunity through its “vast ecosystem” of complementary products and services.
“Our large development teams can leverage the platform services (PaaS) to significantly reduce development timeframes while our National Network can provide simplified and cost effective data links,” Hile explained at the time.