Fujitsu To Launch Windows Azure Service in August
Fujitsu expects to begin offering commercial cloud services in August from its datacenter in Japan that uses Microsoft's Windows Azure platform.
The new Fujitsu Global Cloud Platform service, called FGCP/A5, will be the first out of the gate to use Microsoft's so-called Windows Azure appliance, according to a joint announcement. The appliance was first announced at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference in July. At that time, then-President of Microsoft's Server and Tools Business, Bob Muglia, noted that the appliance enables service providers to offer the same Windows Azure capabilities from their datacenters as offered by Microsoft. In addition, the appliance lets service providers maintain "data sovereignty" by keeping the data stored locally, Muglia said at that time.
FGCP/A5 will store data at Fujitsu's datacenter in Japan, but the service will be globally accessible. Fujitsu plans to offer FGCP/A5 services to enterprises, as well as to small- to medium-sized companies. Services will include the Internet-based Windows Azure computing platform that can host and scale applications based on .NET, Java and PHP, along with data storage using Microsoft SQL Azure technology. Java and COBOL applications can be run and managed too, using Fujitsu's Systemwalker, NetCOBOL and Interstage middleware.
Microsoft had announced back in July that Dell and Hewlett-Packard also would deploy the Windows Azure appliances, but Fujitsu appears to be getting there first.
"This does mark the first official production release of a Windows Azure platform appliance," a Microsoft spokesperson explained by e-mail. "As for Dell and HP, we continue to work closely with our early deployment partners and customers to ensure a successful implementation."
Muglia had said in July that the early Windows Azure appliance deployments would include almost 1,000 servers. No details were released on the size of the FGCP/A5 deployment in Japan. Fujitsu has been operating the new service on a trial basis since April, with 20 companies participating.
Kurt Mackie is online news editor for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.