The Azure Stack is Microsoft’s Cloud Technology for the Datacenter
The option for Windows Server 2016 that will let enterprises and hosting providers build private clouds based on the same technology as the Azure service is now available to testers to evaluate. Some say it could bring major changes to the datacenter.
The following is a summary of an article published in Redmond magazine in May 2016; read full article via the link below.
AZURE FOR WINDOWS SERVER 2016
Now available for testers to evaluate, Microsoft’s Azure Stack option for Windows Server 2016 may bring major changes to the datacenter with its ability to let enterprises and hosting providers build private clouds based on the same technology as the Azure service.
This release highlights Microsoft’s efforts to change its server OS into a Cloud OS. The theme of Windows Server 2012 had a similar concept when Microsoft launched it four years ago, but Microsoft may have overstated it as a Cloud OS at the time. Many of the limitations of the Windows Azure Pack of 2012 go away with Azure Stack, as reported by Microsoft and confirmed by initial testers.
While Azure Stack is on schedule to arrive before the end of the year, Microsoft has left many details unclear. For example, will Microsoft offer it as an optional Windows Server 2016 SKU or as a separate add-on? Some questions remain unanswered for now, but Azure Stack promises to allow enterprises and service providers to run the same Azure in their own datacenters as Microsoft operates in its public cloud.
Recently implemented, the Azure Resource Manager (ARM) in Microsoft’s public cloud provides a common control plane among the 59 core Azure services and will bring powerful capabilities to Azure Stack for template-based deployment of applications that may utilize various resources. Through the ARM common control plane, applications have role-based access control (RBAC) so with both Azure and Azure Stack you can use Azure Active Directory roles and user assignments. This portability is important so that IT pros and developers can extend their programming and management skills.
WHO’S MOVING FORWARD
High-level decision makers at some of the largest banks, health-care providers, and government agencies find the notion of running Microsoft’s Azure cloud in their own datacenters appealing. Many of these large enterprises will not move their systems into the public cloud due to concerns about security and performance, but they would like to move to a cloud platform.
First testers claim installing Azure Stack is a long process and that it takes a while to go in and deploy everything; however once installed, testers have been impressed with what they see. Azure Stack provides the same experience that people are familiar with in the public Azure, yet many people do not see Azure Stack replacing what Windows Server 2012 set out to do for the small organization and for custom or internal systems. Azure Stack appeals more to companies operating on a larger scale with its different model, based on cores, not virtual machines. Because of this, the earliest adopters of Azure Stack will most likely be larger hosting and services providers.
While it’s too soon to determine Azure Stack’s full capabilities given the limitations of the early preview, testers are optimistic about its ability to provide a truly in-Azure experience for a customer in a private environment, able to dedicate and isolate them from the network, to the compute, and down to the storage.