Chinese cloud and networking company Huawei and Microsoft have signed a strategic memorandum of understanding (MOU) on cloud services in an attempt to provide a new layer of compatibility and service interoperability between the firm’s technology stacks.
Cloud buddy ups
So why the (strategic) buddying up here then?
Because under the new agreement, Microsoft applications will be released on Huawei Cloud as a layer for hosting to provide cloud-based software application processing and storage services.
This new reality comes, obviously, alongside Microsoft’s continued intention to have all roads leading to its own Azure cloud… unless a customer specifically wants to use Huawei Cloud, which is perfectly reasonable.
As part of the work here, the two companies will initiate cooperation (along with what is essentially co-opetetion) on the public cloud to provide the optimal experience of cloud services for enterprises.
There is some degree of a relationship here already, that is – Huawei has provided Windows Server and RDS for SQL Server.
The firms think that there is scope here for ‘joint innovation’ and that means the two parties providing customers with hosting and various enterprise applications as a service.
“Adhering to a customer-centered philosophy, Huawei is dedicated to enabling and promoting the development of a smart society. As a world-leading provider of software, services, and solutions, Microsoft has played an important part in the enterprise market all along. Huawei Cloud looks forward to cooperating with Microsoft to building an open and win-win ecosystem,” said Zheng Yelai, president of Huawei’s cloud BU (business unit) and IT product line.
Alain Crozier, CEO of Microsoft China offered similar platitudes and said that Huawei is a strategic partner for Microsoft in what is a mission to build a seamless computing platform.
New cloud model holds water
In this new cooperation then, Huawei and Microsoft will bring more Microsoft enterprise level products online — and that argument does (arguably) hold water if we consider the breadth and size of Huawei’s installed base of cloud technologies around the world. Meaning that, for some firms, there will be a desire to work with Huawei networking and cloud technologies while using Microsoft applications but run them on the Huawei cloud.
Matthew effect in cloud
Guo Ping, Huawei’s rotating CEO has said that society is experiencing a tangible ‘Matthew effect’ in digital technology development — meaning that the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.
This is further meant to suggest that those who adopt cloud and develop with it do well… but those than languish and fail to embrace so-called digital transformation soon find themselves falling apart.
“Because of this, as well as economies of scale in investment, clouds around the world will begin to converge – becoming more and more centralized. In the future, we predict there will be five major clouds in the world. Huawei will work with our partners to build one of those five clouds, and we’ve got the technology and know-how to do it,” claimed Huawei CEO Ping.
3-tiers of Huawei cloud
Huawei likes to break its cloud strategy out into three elements:
Firstly, the firm has invested cloud platforms while developing new capabilities in fields like big data and Artificial Intelligence (AI) in recent years.
The second element of Huawei’s cloud DNA is security — the firm provides end-to-end security solutions from chipsets to services.
The third element is service. The company says that its own IT architecture is extremely complex and it has grown with the cloud (rather than being natively born to it), so it understands the needs and challenges of large global companies and is positioned to help governments and large enterprises go digital.
As a final product note here, Huawei has announced the launch of its new Enterprise Intelligence cloud services, which the company will provide with a platform of general and scenario-specific solutions.
While some of Huawei’s newest product and service lines are released to the China market first, the firm operates to present itself globally fairly rapidly.
Will the firm really be one of the big five clouds in just a few years to come? It’s a tough one to call, but the breadth of the operations here are huge and cloud is nothing if not huge. A cloud needs to hold water and the forecast here is increasingly Chinese.