Microsoft executives today took the wraps off the new offering, known officially as the "Microsoft Cloud Platform System," in an event in San Francisco about Microsoft's cloud futures. "The enterprises of today and tomorrow demand a cloud platform that is reliable, scalable and flexible," Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said. "With more than 80 percent of the Fortune 500 on the Microsoft cloud, we are delivering the industry’s most complete cloud — for every business, every industry and every geography."
The company announced the latest milestone in the global expansion of Azure, with general availability of Azure in the Australia region next week. By the end of 2014, Microsoft Azure will be operational in 19 regions around the world.
Microsoft is also teaming with Dell to create an Azure cloud in a box offering for customers who want to run their own, on-premises datacenters. The Microsoft Cloud Platform System (CPS) brings together Azure, Windows Server and Microsoft System Center.
Microsoft will offer customers racks of servers running Windows Server 2012 R2, System Center 2012 R2 and Windows Azure Pack.
Azure Pack provides users with the on-premises equivalents of a number of Azure technologies, including a self-service portal for managing services like Web sites, virtual machines and Service Bus; a portal for administrators to manage "resource clouds"; scalable Web hosting and more.
The Microsoft Cloud Platform System will be available starting next month.
Microsoft also announced the G-series of virtual machines and premium storage for Microsoft Azure. Powered by the latest Intel Xeon processors, the G-series will be the largest virtual machines available in the public cloud to date, while Azure Premium Storage will provide high performance per virtual machine.
Finally, Microsoft announced the new Azure Marketplace, an easy way for startups and ISVs to connect with enterprises and Azure customers everywhere so their solutions can be deployed in a few clicks. Last week Microsoft announced a partnership with Docker and today the company has CoreOS and Cloudera join them, Oracle and hundreds of other partners in the Azure Marketplace.