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Microsoft and Accenture Partner on Hybrid Azure Cloud

Microsoft and Accenture announced a collaboration agreement on Monday that aims to promote and support enterprise cloud use, tapping both private and public cloud infrastructures.

The two companies are working together to create the Accenture Hybrid Cloud Solution for Microsoft Azure. Both companies are supplying engineering and financial support toward the effort. The Accenture Hybrid Cloud Solution for Microsoft Azure also involves the technical expertise of another partner, Avanade, which currently provides management solutions and technical support personnel for businesses using various Microsoft products.

Avanade isn't really a third party to the deal, since the company is now majority owned by Accenture. In addition, Avanade was created back in 2000 as joint venture between Accenture and Microsoft, with approximately 50/50 funding at that time.

Accenture's solution will include Microsoft's products, including Windows Server, System Center and the Microsoft Azure Pack, with the "Accenture Cloud Platform," which is described as supporting "multi-platform environments" with a central dashboard for management and cloud brokerage services, along with enterprise-grade security support.

The solution will support the management of "multicloud, multivendor environments," according to Pierre Nanterme, Accenture's chairman and CEO. It will provide the "power to deploy, manage and move apps in a seamless way," according to Satya Nadella, Microsoft's CEO. Their comments can be found at Accenture's site, in prepared videos.

It's clear from the slides released by Accenture that the Accenture Hybrid Cloud Solution for Microsoft Azure aims to connect private clouds used by businesses with Microsoft Azure, as well as with third-party cloud services, including platform-as-a-service and infrastructure-as-a-service offerings. For instance, Slide 12 describes the Accenture Hybrid Cloud Solution for Microsoft Azure as having the capability to "move and manage IaaS and PaaS workloads between Microsoft private and public clouds in a seamless and automated way."

The Accenture Hybrid Cloud Solution for Microsoft Azure will be available in the spring of 2015, according to a Microsoft spokesperson. It's currently being piloted.

Accenture's product is actually a separate platform from Microsoft Azure, according to the Microsoft spokesperson. It supports various clouds, including "Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Cisco InterCloud, NTT Communications, Orange Business Services and Verizon Cloud," according to a description by Accenture. It's apparently unrelated to Microsoft's Cloud Platform System, which combines hardware and software to emulate the Microsoft Azure infrastructure for deployment by Microsoft's partners.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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