Hybrid Cloud

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Guest post by Mike Neil, General Manager for Windows Server, Microsoft

This week I’m in Chicago at the Microsoft Ignite conference talking with customers from around the world who are transforming their companies and IT organizations using our services and solutions. These IT leaders are becoming more agile to respond to the needs of their developers and a rapidly changing business climate.  They recognize the careful balance between moving at speed while still providing the level of stability and discipline their companies depend on them for. Hybrid cloud is an ideal solution for many organizations facing this situation, bringing together the agility of public cloud and the control of on-premises systems. In fact, 74 percent of enterprises believe hybrid cloud will enable business growth.1

Today, we are announcing several new solutions that will continue to expand the industry’s most complete cloud:

  • Microsoft Azure Stack, a next generation cloud infrastructure that brings Azure IaaS and PaaS capabilities to customers’ datacenters.
  • Windows Server 2016 and System Center 2016, the next versions of the popular application platform and management solutions.
  • Microsoft Operations Management Suite, a new hybrid management solution that helps you manage your corporate workloads no matter where they run: Azure, AWS, Windows Server, Linux, VMware, or OpenStack.

Building Hybrid Clouds

Microsoft is the only cloud vendor that builds and runs its own hyper-scale datacenters and delivers that same technology back to customers’ and partners’ datacenters. We are continuing to bring this innovation to customers in our next wave of cloud infrastructure.

Microsoft Azure Stack

Microsoft Azure Stack extends the agile Azure model of application development and deployment to your datacenter. Azure Stack delivers IaaS and PaaS services into your datacenter so you can easily blend your enterprise applications such as SQL Server, SharePoint, and Exchange with modern distributed applications and services while maintaining centralized oversight. Using Azure Resource Manager (just released in preview last week), you get consistent application deployments every time, whether provisioned to Azure in the public cloud or Azure Stack in a datacenter environment. 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 – all with role-based access control to meet your compliance needs.

Built on the same core technology as Azure, Azure Stack packages Microsoft’s investments in automated and software-defined infrastructure from our public cloud datacenters and delivers them to you for a more flexible and secure datacenter environment. For example, Azure Stack includes a scalable and flexible software-defined Network Controller and Storage Spaces Direct with automated sync and failover. Shielded VMs and Guarded Hosts bring “zero-trust” software-defined security to your private cloud so you can securely segment organizations and workloads and centrally control and monitor access and administration rights. Furthermore, Azure Stack will simplify the complex process of deploying private/hosted clouds based on our experience building the Microsoft Cloud Platform System, a converged infrastructure solution.

Customers can preview Azure Stack starting this summer.

New Technical Preview of Windows Server 2016 – Now Available

The next version of Windows Server will build on our leading operating system and application platform for enterprise applications like SQL Server and Exchange, and extend it to deliver a rich platform for modern applications. We’ve recently announced plans to introduce Windows Server Containers and Hyper-V Containers (expected in the third Technical Preview of Windows Server 2016 this summer). Windows Server 2016 will also offer Azure Service Fabric, a platform for building and hosting application services that automatically scale and heal, bringing you the same underlying technology used to power highly scalable services like Skype for Business, Azure SQL Database, and Cortana.

Today, we are pleased to release our second Technical Preview of Windows Server 2016. In addition to offering a first look at Nano Server, we are extending the advanced virtualization features in our first preview, with

  • Rolling upgrades for Hyper-V and Storage clusters for even faster adoption of new updates and operating systems.
  • Compute resiliency so virtual machines (VMs) continue running even if the compute cluster fabric service fails.
  • Storage Replica updates for synchronous storage replication for affordable backup and disaster recovery.

Managing a Hybrid World

Today’s hybrid reality means your applications and data are spread across multiple vendors’ environments. While you may not control all the platforms they run on you still need to manage and control these assets to help your organization meet business, compliance and regulatory needs.

Microsoft Operations Management Suite (OMS)

Launching today, OMS extends your System Center investments and our best practices in operating one of the world’s largest cloud environments to simplify management of your assets wherever they live. That means any instance (physical, virtual or container) and any cloud, including your data center, Azure, AWS, Windows Server, Linux, VMware, and OpenStack, at a lower cost than competitive solutions. OMS is a solution that tracks and manages:

  • Log Analytics: collect and search millions of records in seconds across thousands of machines to identify the root cause of operational issues.
  • Security: identify malware status and missing system updates, and collect security related events to perform forensic, audit and breach analysis.
  • Availability: enable application and data protection for all servers and applications, no matter where they reside with cloud-based backup and site recovery.
  • Automation: orchestrate complex and repetitive operations for more efficient and cost-effective hybrid cloud management.

We will bring additional capabilities to OMS at a rapid pace. Over the next year, we plan to introduce cloud-based patching, inventory, alerting, container management, and more.

New Technical Preview of System Center 2016 – Available This Week

System Center 2016 continues to speed time to value with new provisioning, monitoring and automation capabilities designed for your software-defined datacenter. The second Technical Preview of System Center 2016, coming this week, adds:

  • Improved Linux management, including Desired State Configuration (DSC) support, native SSH support, and improved LAMP stack monitoring.
  • Software Defined Datacenter management, including mixed mode cluster upgrades, enhanced Scale-Out File Server (SOFS) management, and deployment of software-defined networking (SDN) at scale.
  • Powerful new monitoring for Azure, Office365, SQL Server and Exchange.

We look forward to your feedback as we release our next-generation of hybrid cloud infrastructure. You can view sessions from the 2015 Microsoft Ignite conference here.

 

1 Avanade, Global Study: Hybrid Cloud – From Hype to Reality; December 2014