Auction giant eBay is adopting Microsoft’s new Windows Azure platform appliance, according to news from the Wordwide Partner Conference going on now in D.C. The appliance is “a turnkey cloud platform” that consists of Windows Azure, SQL Azure and a Microsoft-specified configuration of network, storage and server hardware. It’s different than traditional server appliances because it’s not just one node or a few nodes, it’s hundreds of servers and designed to be extendible, with the ability to scale up from hundreds to tens-of-thousands of servers. It also supports integration with existing datacenter tools and ops, multi-tenancy, and is optimized for service availability via fault tolerance and self-healing features.
eBay will be one of the first companies to use the solution, implementing it in two of its datacenters. Other partners including Dell, Fujitsu and HP will also adopt the technology and offer Azure to their customers.
But don’t let the name “appliance” fool you – the appliance is actually a container filled with servers running Azure. The appliance aspect to the solution is due to the fact that it brings the Azure servers to a customer’s own datacenter, instead of having that customer offload their data to Microsoft’s servers, in other words, it’s a private cloud in a box. A really big box!
(img credit: CNET)