Microsoft and Dell have announced a new collaboration that will see the companies develop cloud solutions for the “tactical edge”. Redmond’s Azure team has partnered with Dell’s EMC subsidiary to create services for locations where connectivity is low, and mobility is necessary.
The tactical edge solutions are for remote locations where network connectivity will be poor. Two new solutions have been announced, both of which will support humanitarian organizations or military campaigns in remote areas.
Dell EMC Tactical Microsoft Azure Stack and Azure Data Box are both designed to be U.S. government compliant and for U.S. military use.
Starting with the Tactical Microsoft Azure Stack, the companies have created a new product based on the existing Azure Stack platform. If you are unfamiliar with Stack, it is a private cloud service that allows organizations to implement Azure cloud infrastructure on premises. Stack essentially provides a secure in-house cloud.
Dell EMC will sell Tactical Microsoft Azure Stack as a “ruggedized” hardware and software bundle for military and government to use cloud infrastructure and devices in remote locations. The solution provides a cloud experience equal to on-premises data centers.
The benefits of Tactical Azure Stack are:
- Limited or no network connectivity
- Fully mobile, or high portability (“2-person lift”) requirements
- Harsh conditions requiring military specifications solutions
- High security requirements, with optional connectivity to Azure Government, Azure Secret, and Azure Top Secret
Azure Data Box
The second new tactical edge solutions is Azure Data Box, a group of products including Azure Data Box Gateway, Data Box Disk, Data Box Edge, and Data Box Heavy. Microsoft created the family of products to boost data transfer in edge environments by leverage machine learning tools.
“As U.S. government agencies support missions around the world, in remote locations, and beyond the reach of standard infrastructure, new technology is required for mission success,” Tad Brockway, general manager of Azure Storage & Azure Stack, wrote in a blog post. “Azure Stack and our Data Box family of products help government agencies with remote operations access the information they need to make decisions at the edge, along with access to the full range of cloud data analytics as connectivity allows.”