On Monday, July 12th, I was at our Nashville office presenting to an internal Cloud training initiative, and this announcement comes out between two of my talks. This is really interesting play that I didn’t see coming. Take a look and see what you think.

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…

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

Lots more details on the appliance home page.

Other interesting press releases / articles: