Partners: New HPE Flexible Capacity Channel Model For Microsoft Azure Is A Game-Changer

Hewlett Packard Enterprise partners say the company's new Flexible Capacity model for Microsoft Azure for the first time allows them to bridge private and public cloud with a single pay-as-you-go unified billing consumption model.

HPE unveiled the Flexible Capacity option as part of the launch of a new HPE Microsoft Azure Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) stack for HPE's hot-selling DL380 hyperconverged system.

The HPE Microsoft Azure stack, which was unveiled at the Microsoft Ignite conference, is slated for availability in mid-2017. HPE said HPE Consulting for Azure Hybrid Cloud services are available now.

[Related: The 10 Coolest Hyper-Converged Products Of 2016 (So Far)]

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Partners said the big game-changer with the stack is the ability to provide customers for the first time with the Flexible Capacity single pay-as-you-go bill for both on-premise HPE private cloud and Microsoft Azure public cloud.

Rich Baldwin, chief strategy officer at Nth Generation Computing, a San Diego-based HPE partner, said he sees the new offering moving corporate enterprise business away from Amazon Web Services to HPE-Microsoft.

"This is huge," said Baldwin. "Microsoft and HPE are both forces to be reckoned with. This is a no-brainer for corporate IT. I think this is going to result in a major shift from Amazon to Azure. You have two powerhouses putting this together. It makes it a really easy choice for the IT community."

Baldwin said he has always viewed AWS as an offering that does not embrace the corporate enterprise. "Amazon comes at IT from a different perspective," he said. "Amazon just doesn't have the kind of major enterprise IT perspective that Microsoft and HP bring to the data center."

Nth Generation plans to begin the sales ramp-up to the HPE Azure stack immediately, said Baldwin. "This plays to all our strengths," he said. "It feels to me like the time is right to get customers to buy into a platform like this."

Chris Pyle, president and CEO of Boca Raton, Fla.-based solution provider Champion Solutions Group, applauded HPE for bringing customers a powerful hybrid cloud pay-as-you-go solution to avoid capital-expenditure-based hardware purchases.

"This is a big deal," said Pyle, noting accounting rule changes are pushing more customers to look at flexible capacity models that take capital expenditure hardware purchases off their balance sheets.

"I am sure we are going to sell a lot more DL380s to our clients as a result of this change. We have to present this to our customers. You have two great companies coming together and, let's face it, a lot of companies are running HP servers. This gives them a pay-as-you-go alternative. It makes a lot of sense."

The Flexible Capacity option comes with operating-expenditure-based cloud models growing at a breakneck pace, said Pyle. He said his operating-expense-based deals account for about 30 percent of his business today, up from just 10 percent a year ago.

HPE said the DL380 Azure stack, which will sit in the customer's data center, can be deployed with HPE SecureData software – protecting data in both public and private clouds and HPE Operations Bridge analytics software.