Microsoft’s recently released Azure Stack is proof of the tech giant’s hybrid cloud vision – the new normal in IT. With Azure Stack, Microsoft gives an answer to common hybrid cloud challenges software professionals face, the primary one being to develop applications that can run seamlessly on-premises as well as in the cloud. The highlight of Azure Stack is that it allows enterprises to create and run applications on their own servers and manage them in their own data centers, yet use all Azure tools that were previously available to cloud-only adopters. With 73% of companies planning to move to a software-defined datacenter in the next two years, Microsoft’s Azure Stack is expected to significantly change the hybrid cloud game, with an aim to capture the lion’s share in this booming market.
Let’s take a look at how Azure Stack can help enterprises realize unprecedented productivity in the cloud world.
#1 Enables ‘One Azure’ ecosystem for consistent application development:
With Azure Stack’s unified application model, developers can write to the same Azure APIs, as well as build and deploy applications either on Azure or Azure Stack as per business needs. What’s more – they can also leverage the Visual Studio to easily transfer existing skills, enabling a seamless development and deployment process. The Azure Marketplace also offers pre-built solutions that developers can use to accelerate application development in the cloud or in on-premises environments.
#2 Enables flexibility to combine cloud and on-premises deployment as required:
With Azure Stack, Microsoft has once again put the control back in the users’ hands to adopt hybrid cloud computing on one’s own terms. Users can now incorporate Azure IaaS and PaaS services in on-premises environments to simplify hybrid cloud deployment and benefit from seamless application portability. Customers also have the option of having Azure Stack delivered and operated as a fully managed service, taking the pain away completely. This is a huge step towards overcoming the flexibility, speed, and scale issues that previously prevented users from switching to hybrid cloud models.
#3 Provides a turnkey delivery experience:
With Azure Stack, users can literally turn the lights on and go live instantaneously. All hardware components, hardware and software upgrades, and purpose-built Azure Stack integrated systems are ready-to-use and thoroughly pre-tested. Users can procure these components from HPE, Dell, Lenovo, Cisco, or Huawei allowing greater flexibility in choice of hardware. The end-to-end integrated experience with consistent customer support helps enterprises quickly provision services and take advantage of changing market and customer trends, just as they would in Azure.
#4 Helps take advantage of Azure innovation quickly:
Enabling Azure-consistent services, the Azure Stack helps users stay abreast with the latest innovations, significantly accelerating time-to-value in today’s hypercompetitive markets. Systems Integrators (SI) bring together in-depth Azure skill sets, domain and industry knowledge, and deployment expertise to ensure seamless execution and deliver operational efficiencies. With an eye on the future, Microsoft is committed to deliver continuous Azure innovation to Azure Stack, including new Azure services, hardware and software, and additional Azure Marketplace applications.
#5 Enables multi-dimensional scalability on-demand:
Azure Stack derives its scale from Azure and enables users to take advantage of several new concepts to scale in multiple dimensions as well as geographical regions. It does so by taking advantage of unified access through ARM and portal. The Azure Resource Manager spans across the entire stack and provides a single-entry point to the cloud, ensuring complete system reliability and quality.
Is Azure Stack the go-to solution for everyone?
Not necessarily, say experts. If you are a company that requires specific infrastructure and hardware, then Azure Stack may not be right for you as presently, it is a plug-and-play solution designed for companies that want to get up and running quickly. Will Microsoft roll out a DIY kind of solution for specific needs is still a question, but till then, Azure Stack is going to rule the hybrid cloud arena undoubtedly.