Is it important that Microsoft extends its Cloud reach with AzureStack? We think so, and we really can’t understate how important it is for you to know more about it. Read on for tips on what AzureStack is and how it can help your business.
What does AzureStack do? AzureStack allows Microsoft Partners, Enterprise companies, and government agencies to deploy an Azure-like Cloud infrastructure in their own on-premises data centers. This extension will allow organizations to modernize their applications across hybrid cloud environments and allows for consistency in Azure services and DevOps processes and tools. With AzureStack, developers can speed up new cloud application development with pre-built solutions from the Azure Marketplace including open source tools and technologies.
Why is AzureStack making so much buzz? It is a big deal. Not only is it a big deal that will help Enterprise companies use cloud features without moving to the public cloud. It is a big deal because AzureStack creates a hybrid cloud that makes life easier than just running virtual machines. It’s a big deal because Enterprise companies feel better about keeping data in-house which lets them control sensitive data security.
It’s a big deal because neither Amazon or Google have a similar product.
Why is Microsoft the only one to have this hybrid technology? Think of this as a difference in ideology. Amazon and Google push toward cloud-first technology — moving everything eventually to the public cloud.
Microsoft is paving the way in hybrid clouds by allowing large companies that prefer to turn over some operations to the public cloud while retaining more sensitive operations in their own on-premises data center. Whichever path companies move toward in the future, Microsoft has it covered.
Why do I need this? Shouldn’t I just move to the Cloud? AzureStack is fundamentally different from Azure. Think of this as Azure running in your on-premises data center. You need this if you hesitate to move to the Cloud because you want control of your data and security and compliance. You may eventually move operations to the Cloud but for now, you can have AzureStack operating on-premises. Also, when you are ready to move to the Cloud, AzureStack makes migration easier.
Azure Resource Manager Templates. These templates are interchangeable between Azure Cloud and AzureStack. You can deploy the same set of resources without regard to the platform you use. This makes it perfect for developers, lab work, demonstrations for your customers, and for testing. You can also use these templates over and over which means you can give customers what they need within hours instead of weeks.
AzureStack is scalable. For organizations that are not moving to the public Cloud right away, Microsoft will provide an early adopter package that provides the same scalability and management that they would have in Azure in the Cloud but within their own on-premises, secure, data center.
Preview AzureStack. Microsoft made AzureStack available for download to test the system before it is generally available sometime in mid-2017. AzureStack technical preview (TP3), can be deployed on a single node, see requirements here. TP3 can be downloaded here.
If you do not have this hardware available, Microsoft says it is possible to run the test program through a Nested Virtual Machine. Of course, that will not give the same optimum performance.
What happens when AzureStack is generally available mid-2017? The initial generally available release will use turnkey integrated systems combining software, hardware, support and services in one packaged solution. These integrated systems are co-engineered by Microsoft with Dell, HPe and Lenovo using industry standard servers configured in a pre-determined and tested way.
How does AzureStack improve on virtual machines? Virtual machines were a great improvement over having to add additional hardware when we needed more capacity. Think about that process for a moment, though. Every time you spin-up a new VM, you need to include additional staff time (think, higher overhead) to manage the operating system and core applications. It becomes another system that demands you to manage, maintain, and keep patches up-to-date.
The beauty of AzureStack is that it combines CPUs, storage, networking, Database and Web tiers and lets you control how much capacity you need. Then, your AzureStack application receives just the right amount of resources you need. You can add or subtract resources. You are not adding or removing virtual machines. This difference is very important when you are scaling up in a big way. You wouldn’t want to add 100 virtual machines and manage them.
AzureStack gives you a choice. The choice is:
- you can scale operations up to the capacity you need and then have someone else manage the operation in the public Cloud with Azure, or
- you can scale up to the capacity you need and handle it all in-house in your own data center with AzureStack until you are ready to move to the public cloud.
Remember, too, that AzureStack takes all the difficulty out of migrating to the public cloud because it is Azure, just Azure in your on-premises data center, moving to the public cloud.
AzureStack also Gives Microsoft a Leg Up. AzureStack significantly improves Microsoft’s ability to excel in the IaaS and PaaS market segments by resolving private data center issues for its Partners, Enterprise companies, and government agencies who are not quite ready to move to the public cloud. And when they are ready, they will move to Azure in the Cloud for consistency.
To learn more about AzureStack, read networkworld.com’s article entitled “Truly Understanding Microsoft’s AzureStack” which was an inspiration for this post.
To talk more about this, or anything else, please contact us. We look forward to helping you grow your business.