Windows Azure Platform Appliance

Windows Azure Platform Appliance has been announced last week at the Worldwide Partner Conference.

Windows Azure™ platform appliance is a turnkey cloud platform that customers can deploy in their own datacenter, across hundreds to thousands of servers. The Windows Azure platform appliance consists of Windows Azure, SQL Azure and a Microsoft-specified configuration of network, storage and server hardware. This hardware will be delivered by a variety of partners.

The appliance is designed for service providers, large enterprises and governments and provides a proven cloud platform that delivers breakthrough datacenter efficiency through innovative power, cooling and automation technologies.

Use Windows Azure Platform Appliance to:

  • Offer scale-out applications, platform-as-a-service or software-as-a-service in your own datacenter.
  • Deploy a proven cloud platform that can scale to tens of thousands of servers.
  • Leverage the benefits of the Windows Azure platform in your own datacenter while maintaining physical control, data sovereignty and regulatory compliance.

Windows Azure Platform Appliance Benefits

Efficiency and Agility:
  • Datacenter efficiency – proven to run at low cost of operations across hundreds and thousands of servers with a small ratio of IT operators to servers and efficient power, cooling and server utilization.
  • Massive Scale – ability to scale from hundreds to tens-of-thousands of servers.
  • Elasticity – ability to scale up and down from one to thousands of application instances depending on demand.
  • Integration – with existing datacenter tools and operations
  • Optimized for multi-tenancy – designed for multi-tenancy across business units or organizations.
  • Optimized for service availability – Designed for service availability via fault tolerance and self-healing capabilities

Partners and customers can utilize their existing development skills in familiar languages such as .NET and PHP to create and manage web applications and services,. Optimized for scale-out applications-designed so that developers can easily build scale-out applications using their existing application platforms and development tools.


Partners and customers will receive enterprise class service backed by reliable service level agreements and deep online services experience.

Why call it an appliance?

We call it an appliance because it is a turn-key cloud solution on highly standardized, preconfigured hardware. Think of it as hundreds of servers in pre-configured racks of networking, storage, and server hardware that are based on Microsoft-specified reference architecture.

The Microsoft Windows Azure platform appliance is different from typical server appliances in that it involves hundreds of servers rather than just one node or a few nodes and It is designed to be extensible – customers can simply add more servers -- depending upon the customer’s needs to scale out their platform.

Windows Azure Platform Appliance Availability:

The appliance is currently in Limited Production Release to a small set of customers and partners. We will develop our roadmap depending on what we learn from this set of customers and partners. We have no additional details to share at this time.

Who is using the appliance?

Dell, eBay, and Fujitsu intend to deploy the appliance in their datacenters to offer new cloud services.