Organisations are increasingly adopting hybrid cloud models, procuring public cloud services while still maintaining control of a private cloud. But managing a hybrid environment to ensure consistency across public and private cloud services can be challenging. To make this easier for businesses that use its public cloud platform, Azure, Microsoft is launching Azure Stack for hybrid cloud environments, which will be available as a technical preview this week.
While businesses are embracing public cloud services, they are still keeping their foot in the private cloud camp for data sovereignty and regulatory reasons. These kinds of scenarios are driving the popularity of hybrid cloud models.
According to Microsoft, Azure Stack is the only hybrid cloud platform consistent with a leading public cloud and can help organisations run Azure services from their own datacentre. Azure and Azure Stack have a standardised architecture, including the same portal, a unified application model, and common DevOps tools.
"With Azure Stack, Microsoft is bringing proven innovation – including IaaS and higher level PaaS services — from hyper-scale datacentres to on-premises, enterprise-scale environments to meet customers’ business requirements," Microsoft corporate vice-president for enterprise cloud Mike Neil said in a blog post. "Why does a consistent hybrid cloud platform really matter? Because it provides customers access to the rich Azure ecosystem, empowering developers, IT and organisations to do more."
For application developers, they can create applications on the Azure Stack platform with APIs that work for Azure. This means they only have to write the application once for it to work in the public cloud and on-premise. Developers can use Visual Studio, PowerShell, as well as other open-source DevOps tools as they would in Azure.
IT professionals can use Azure Stack to turn on-premise datacentre resources into Azure infrastructure-as-a-servce (IaaS) or platform-as-a-service (PaaS) with the same management and automation tools that they use to operate Azure public cloud. Microsoft will be adding more services and content, including OS images and Azure Resource Manager templates in future technical previews.
The first technical preview of Azure will be live on Friday, January 29 (Which might end up being Saturday, January 30 for Australian users). You can visit the Azure Stack page to access it at launch.
[Via Microsoft Azure Blog]