Microsoft Releases Azure Stack
After a lot of delays and changes, the Microsoft Azure Stack hybrid cloud computing system is finally taking orders. They have partnered with Dell EMC, HPE, and Lenovo to build the necessary hardware, which should begin shipping to customers in September of this year. The hardware and software that will ship is still being certified by the tech giant. Microsoft Azure is a powerful cloud computing system, which has been blazing tails in this industry for quite sometime now.
The Azure Stack will allow companies to take advantage of many of the Azure cloud services, while maintaining in-house control of much of the hardware. This is important for companies that have concerns about having their data stored off site due to regulatory issues, or the simple desire to have a greater level of control over their systems.
Most people are calling Azure Stack a hybrid cloud system, though Microsoft itself says it is ‘an extension of Azure.’ Whatever you decide to call it, having the incredible power and features of Azure supplementing in-house systems is a great opportunity for many people.
Microsoft has already released their Azure Stack Development Kit (available HERE), which can be used for developing in-house apps and other services that will be powered by Azure Stack. It is important to know that the September launch of this platform is just the first phase of what Microsoft has planned. Their goal is to allow customers to bring many of the different Azure systems in-house to meet specific requirements.
Certain services run on Azure can’t practically be run locally because of the need for the scale that only a public cloud environment could provide. From all the information that has been released so far, however, it appears that Microsoft is creating an excellent hybrid solution that will allow many new companies to take advantage of the PaaS solutions that are being offered.
Moving to an Azure Stack system isn’t going to come cheap, however. The HPE ProLiant for Microsoft Azure Stack system was the first to release their pricing. They are offering hardware and support that will cost $300,000 to $400,000 depending on the specific configuration that is selected. The Lenovo ThinkAgile SX system for Azure Stack is a four-node setup that will cost $236,000. Dell’s Azure Stack system prices have not yet been released.
These prices include the hardware and support. Any additional cloud Azure services that are needed will be priced separately. Azure’s pricing structure is setup so companies will only pay for the specific services they use, and only for the amount of time they are used, which can help to minimize unnecessary expenses.
Another benefit to Azure Stack is that it is ‘cloud consistent.’ This simply means that any code that is running on an in-house Azure Stack system will also be able to run on the public Azure cloud. Developers would just need to adjust the endpoints and move the apps or other software. This could provide some significant benefits for major software developers moving forward.
While we will still have to wait until at least September for the full Azure Stack systems to be delivered and used, this cloud hybrid platform certainly shows a lot of promise.