Advanced Computing in the Age of AI | Sunday, September 24, 2023

Huawei, Microsoft Partner on Public Cloud 

Huawei Technologies, the Chinese telecommunications giant, is partnering with Microsoft to bring server, database and other enterprise applications to the Huawei cloud.

The companies announced the public cloud partnership during a Huawei event in Shanghai. The deal with China's largest networking company gives Microsoft additional momentum in public cloud market currently dominated by (Amazon Web Services NASDAQ: AMZN).

The public cloud collaboration focusing on enterprise customers extends earlier Huawei cloud offerings, including Windows Server and Microsoft relational databases services for SQL server. The expanded partnership announced on Tuesday (Sept. 9) would deliver more Microsoft enterprise applications and services, giving Microsoft a firmer foothold in the nascent Chinese cloud market.

Huawei (SHE: 002502) and Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) "will initiate in-depth cooperation on the public cloud to provide the optimal experience of cloud services for enterprises and help enterprises implement digital transformation," the partners noted in a statement announcing the signing of a memorandum of understanding.

The partnership to offer Microsoft enterprise applications on its cloud platform is Huawei's latest with U.S. IT vendors. In August, the networking giant announced it would add scalable GPU-supported analytics to its servers via a deal with analytics and visualization specialist MapD Technologies.

The collaboration with MapD is intended to improve compatibility between Huawei’s latest FusionServer and MapD database and visualization platforms. Huawei announced earlier this summer it was converting its FusionServer line to Intel’s (NASDAQ: INTC) Xeon Scalable Processor.

San Francisco-based MapD said the deal would allow the Chinese telecom giant to sell it analytics platform in the nascent Chinese server market. Huawei also will roll out MapD’s flagship database and visual analytics client on its G series FusionServer described as a heterogeneous server built around 32 GPUs that can serve as the basis of a supercomputing cluster.

The latest generation Huawei server is reportedly optimized for cloud computing and network function virtualization.

Meanwhile, Huawei has been seeking to ramp up its public cloud services outside of China since last spring. "We will invest heavily in building an open and trusted public cloud platform, which will be the foundation of a Huawei cloud family [including] public clouds we develop together with operators, and public clouds that we operate on our own," said Eric Xu, Huawei's deputy chairman and current CEO.

The deal with Microsoft provides more clarity about Huawei's expansion plans as it eyes the cutthroat U.S. public cloud market along with Europe and other emerging markets.

About the author: George Leopold

George Leopold has written about science and technology for more than 30 years, focusing on electronics and aerospace technology. He previously served as executive editor of Electronic Engineering Times. Leopold is the author of "Calculated Risk: The Supersonic Life and Times of Gus Grissom" (Purdue University Press, 2016).