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What is Microsoft Azure Stack: A Unique Hybrid Solution [2017]

In Azure, Cloud, Data by Cliff, Professional ServicesLeave a Comment


All cloud providers, seem to be making constant iterations to keep up with the wave of technological pressures facing organisations.

For this case specifically, the matter of private/ hybrid/ public cloud is being approached with great possibility.

In this guide we will review the Microsoft Azure Stack, Microsoft’s most recent attempt to provide a simple hybrid solution to those businesses where the cloud is not fully appropriate / possible with current resources.

We hope that you can take these various considerations and benefits in mind with regards to your digital transformation strategy.

The creation of the Microsoft Azure Stack

With all the various learnings and data Microsoft have received from Azure, they created a model, aptly named – Azure Resource Manager (ARM).

ARM has proved to become a cornerstone as to the means in which organisations define exactly what they want, in view of then deploying in a consistent manner.

Microsoft Azure Stack graphic

For example: this can help across IaaS and PaaS services within Azure, and gives the entities you’re running in Azure a whole tool-set of policies and meta-data that help manage and maintain it.

But here’s the kicker:

The Azure resources can now be described declaratively, instead of a sequence of imperative steps.

Microsoft Azure Stack enables new cloud tricks

Now that Microsoft has given us ARM – they have created the springboard needed to perform the perfect Cloud trick…

Azure Stack.

As the market has proven, there are some circumstances where using a public cloud can prove problematic. This includes complex data protection regulations which require exact knowledge of where the data is stored.

In addition, there is getting ‘buy-in’ from business owners on ‘trusting’ the cloud. Which, as this graph demonstrates, is not always the case.

microsoft azure stack graphic

Despite the legacy structures of private cloud, even deploying a repeated infrastructure involves a lot of engineering and processes – which are hard to get right.

After-which, you inevitably have to define two different patterns for your deployments, or have a tool that can abstract away the differences between clouds.

Which unfortunately means you lose a cloud’s unique capabilities.

Cloud Utopia

In view of the solutions laid out above, Microsoft’s Azure Stack or ‘Azure On-Premises’ – provides the perfect solution.

Acting as an Azure Private Cloud.

What is the Microsoft Azure Stack?

With Azure Stack, you can gain all the common deployment model benefits of ARM that come with the public cloud, however, you can also apply them to the private cloud as well.

That means Azure is a single complete ecosystem for public and private clouds – cloud utopia.

This unified approach means it’s as easy to deploy into the cloud as it is to deploy on-premises. Dev/test/production/bcp/dr it doesn’t matter – it can be deployed as easily to one environment as another.

“This approach is unique in the industry and gives your developers the flexibility to create applications once and then decide where to deploy them later,” as Microsoft has noted.

So next time someone asks –

  • But what about if we want to run it on-premises for data protection reasons?
  • Or if Azure has a big outage?
  • Will we have to have one method for Azure and another for on premise?
  • Then I want to run this big application server which costs less to run on-premises than in Azure?

The answer is Azure Stack.

In regards to getting this technology in your hands, Microsoft has confirmed that Azure Stack -powered systems from Dell EMC, Lenovo, and HP Enterprise are available for delivery later this year.

We’ll be sure to update you when we get one ourselves.

This was originally posted February 11, 2016. However, it has been updated with more relevant data.



Written by Cliff Dabbs | Techincal Artict, RedPixie | See his LinkedIn Profile | Follow him on Twitter


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