Microsoft differentiates itself from competitors by offering private, public, and hybrid clouds. Combining the expertise gained from running IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS services with a history of providing on-premises solutions, Microsoft is able to develop solutions with hybrid cloud in mind unlike any other company. Examples of this are SQL Server Stretch Database and Microsoft Azure StorSimple, in which on-premises solutions have built-in capabilities to automatically scale by utilizing Microsoft Azure.
Microsoft is taking things a step further with Microsoft Azure Stack, which blurs the line between public, private, and hybrid clouds by extending Azure into customers’ datacenters. Azure Stack is not a different version of Azure, but provides the same portal, APIs, application model, and tooling as Azure. It's this month's topic for the Azure Partner Community call and blog series.
Microsoft Azure Stack overview
The concept of the hybrid cloud has been around for years. There are several reasons, such as regulatory and latency concerns, why a company would not be able to move its entire infrastructure to the cloud. Hybrid cloud does come with challenges, though. For example, how to develop and architect applications to seamlessly work both on-premises and in the cloud. IT resources must have knowledge of both cloud technology and on-premises infrastructure. Also, hybrid cloud doesn’t always provide the speed, flexibility, and scale of public cloud.
How Azure Stack solves common hybrid cloud challenges
One application model
- Write to the same Azure APIs
- Write your application with Azure services, and deploy either on Azure or Azure Stack depending on business needs, regulations, and policies
Developer and IT consistency
- Developers can build applications using a consistent set of Azure services and DevOps processes and tools
- Developers can speed up new cloud application development by using prebuilt solutions from the Azure Marketplace, including open source tools and technologies
- Use Azure Resource Manager to build reusable application templates for traditional and cloud-native apps
- Use role-based access control in Azure Resource Manager and Azure Active Directory to enable fine-grained access to application resources
Gain the efficiencies of public cloud
- Customers can quickly provision services through the portal just as they would in Azure
- Automatically scale out on-premises or to Azure as needed
- Increase productivity by utilizing PaaS services and Azure marketplace solutions on-premises
- Realize cost benefits with a pay-as-you-use pricing model
The partner opportunity
Microsoft Azure Stack presents new opportunities to assist your customers with their digital transformation plans. Customers that choose hybrid cloud environments should have the same flexibility and innovation capability that cloud customers have. Azure technologies are now accessible on-premises with Azure Stack, and organizations can now modernize their applications across hybrid cloud environments.
- Learn more about Microsoft Azure Stack
- Read the Azure Stack Technical Preview 3 announcement
- Azure Stack documentation
- Microsoft Mechanics: Operationalizing DevOps practices with Azure and Azure Stack
Get hands-on with Azure Stack and learn more on the April 13 partner call
Azure Stack Technical Preview 3 is available for download now. Read the March 1 announcement for a look at what's new in Azure Stack TP3, descriptions of hybrid use cases for Azure and Azure Stack, and a roadmap update. Then, sign up for the April 13 Azure Infrastructure Partner call for an in-depth discussion about Azure Stack.
Azure Infrastructure and Management Partner Community
- Community call schedule
- Yammer group
- Blog series
- Training and enablement
- Watch community calls on demand
- Cloud Infrastructure and Management Playbook [download]