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HPE sits down with NTT Communications to discuss HPE ProLiant for Microsoft Azure Stack


With September shipping of HPE ProLiant for Microsoft Azure Stack quickly approaching, John McMillan, Director of Partner Business Development at HPE, sat down with Alan Hill, Marketing Director at NTT Communication’s managed services business, to understand what their customers are asking for when it comes to hybrid cloud and how they will be deploying the HPE solution to meet their customers' needs.

McMillan:  What hybrid cloud trends is NTT Communications seeing in the marketplace?

Hill:  Stated simply, cloud computing is one of the most disruptive forces of IT investment we have actually witnessed since the dawn of the digital age. Incredibly, more than $1 trillion in IT spending will be directly or indirectly affected by the shift to cloud during the next five years, according to analyst firm Gartner.

So, quite frankly, it is not a case of “if”, but “when” businesses will migrate their IT workloads to hybrid cloud, the blending of both public and private clouds – and the quicker the better. Delaying hybrid cloud adoption can mean losing competitive edge and being left behind in the digital transformation stakes. Our clients show us that hybrid cloud is firmly established as an essential element for business success and is a key ingredient for a smooth transition to digital transformation.

Users are demanding a consistent and uninterrupted application experience, regardless of the enterprise infrastructure. In response, enterprises are increasingly looking to a managed hybrid cloud to achieve this.

McMillan:  What type of customers want a hybrid cloud solution?

Hill:  The combination of public cloud providing scale and efficiency and private cloud offering security, speed and customization is a potent mix for many enterprises. Hybrid cloud now appeals to clients and industries across the board as they realize that finding a one size fits all cloud solution just isn’t really feasible. Each business has different requirements and the flexibility of hybrid IT means it can be tailored accordingly.

One of the key reasons for moving to hybrid cloud is data protection, and with the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) looming in Europe, many companies are making the jump. Why? Because hybrid cloud enables them to lock down sensitive/critical data in the private cloud and share day-to-day data in the public cloud.  

We are also seeing enterprises that have already invested heavily in private cloud looking to public cloud to give them some scalability for their growth. By leveraging the benefits of hybrid cloud, enterprises are also fast realizing they can improve their cost efficiency.  Put succinctly, hybrid cloud enables enterprises to more closely align cost patterns with that of demand.

McMillan:  How is NTT Communications planning to use HPE ProLiant for Microsoft Azure Stack?

Hill:  HPE ProLiant for Microsoft Azure Stack is a hybrid cloud solution that allows organizations to run Azure-consistent services on premises in the data center, providing a coherent simplified development, management and security structure, which is increasingly what clients are demanding.

As one of the chosen platforms from Microsoft, HPE ProLiant provides a platform for us to offer our clients a differentiated and fully managed Azure cloud hybrid experience either on premises or hosted in one our many US-based data centers, such as Raging Wire.

Remote monitoring and management and single point of support enable us to provide customers with enhanced global support. At the same time, our customers will benefit from the agility and well-documented economics of cloud, while being safe in the knowledge that they are complying with data sovereignty and privacy regulations as the data is located exactly where they dictate it.

McMillan:  Why did NTT Communications choose the HPE solution?

Hill:  Firstly, Microsoft and HPE have a long history of working together to optimize IT environments and reach common goals. HPE ProLiant for Microsoft Azure Stack reflects both companies shared vision for the cloud.

Secondly, HPE’s solution is an integrated system that delivers Azure-consistent, software-defined infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and platform as a service (PaaS) on verified HPE hardware—hardware that has been validated to provide a robust Azure customer experience. The HPE ProLiant for Microsoft Azure Stack is a complete compute, storage, networking and software system that fulfills our criteria for a product that delivers on agility, security and true solution flexibility that our clients are demanding. 

Our own NTT Azure engineers are definitely impressed with the server technology from HPE. They quickly established that, due to enhanced memory capacity, we could increase the number of virtual machines on each server in our data centers by more than 50% over any other Azure Stack certified server platform. This makes HPE ProLiant for Microsoft Azure Stack a more cost effective solution.

Lastly, HPE’s go-to-market support is excellent.  As a member of the HPE Partner Ready Program for Service Providers, not only do we get development funding and joint marketing, but we also get joint selling.  HPE is incentivizing its enterprise sales reps to position and sell NTT Communications’ Azure Stack services, which is extraordinary.

McMillan:  What use cases will HPE ProLiant for Microsoft Azure Stack address?

Hill:  The Azure Stack solution has been architected to enable the easy migration and deployment of applications to meet security, compliance, cost and performance requirements. A number of use cases address this solution in the enterprise. Examples include the following:

  • Companies that want to leverage the advantages of Azure, but retain control over their sensitive data, such as those in the healthcare industry.
  • Situations called “Edge” that put users on the fringes of connectivity, where low bandwidth makes connection to public cloud a challenge. A simple example being an oilrig in the ocean.
  • DevOps teams that want to test cloud applications in an environment that more closely mirrors that of the production environment to get results that are more accurate.

In summary, the solution addresses latency and performance issues in terms of data flow as well as data sovereignty, regulations and security where absolute control of the data and the platform are paramount.

McMillan:  What type of workloads will run on HPE ProLiant for Microsoft Azure Stack?

Hill:  The solution appeals to existing Microsoft Azure users who want to integrate a private cloud into their existing public cloud without any major effort.  HPE ProLiant for Microsoft Azure Stack will be ideal for businesses using other clouds who want greater flexibility, scalability, governance and security; private cloud users who want an option to integrate public and private clouds; and those looking to migrate to cloud for the first time. IT can also build, test and run applications with on-premises resource requirements using Azure services and designs - using public cloud where required.

The types of workloads we see enterprises running on the solution are workloads that require balanced performance, compliance, interoperability and compatibility, with scalable web apps, batch processing and disaster recovery as candidates.

We are very excited to be working with HPE to take the new Microsoft Azure Stack solution to market in September. As an early adopter, NTT Communications is one of the first to be offering customers a proof-of-concept (PoC) on which to test applications on the HPE ProLiant for Microsoft Azure Stack platform, hosted in our data centers in the US.


To learn more about HPE ProLiant for Microsoft Azure Stack, please visit the website or download the white paper.

About the Author


Cloud, hybrid IT, Azure, Azure Stack