It is not just the public cloud today, but it is Hybrid Cloud.
Microsoft is working on making our hybrid life less difficult by introducing Azure stack. We all know the pain of getting Microsoft System Center integrated and working on-premises to enable private cloud. Yes, I agree with you SC is not a candidate for comparing it with Azure Stack. However, I believe Azure Stack will be solving these issues and bringing cloud to your data center with ‘Pay as You Use’ Pricing model.
What is Azure stack as per Microsoft?
Microsoft Azure Stack is a hybrid cloud platform that lets you deliver Azure services from your organization’s datacenter. Bring the agility and fast-paced innovation of cloud computing to your on-premises environment with Azure Stack. This extension of Azure allows you to modernize your applications across hybrid cloud environments, balancing flexibility and control. Plus, developers can build applications using a consistent set of Azure services and DevOps processes and tools, then collaborate with operations to deploy to the location that best meets your business, technical and regulatory requirements.
What is ‘Pay as You Use’ model with Azure Stack?
You pay only for the Azure services you use which means that you are not paying upfront software licensing cost to Microsoft for Azure Stack. The cost will be much lesser than the actual Azure Cloud services cost but you are going to pay the hardware and administrative cost. We will have to see if there are any minimum commitment required for starting with Azure Stack. Your Azure Stack should be connected to Microsoft and you will get bills along with your Azure bills. It is should be noted that you can also go with yearly subscription model if you want to run a disconnected environment.
Azure Stack is not about a self-service virtualized environment. In Azure Stack, you get all the services you get in Azure public cloud. At the same time, you also get same experience with portal, command lines etc. As per Microsoft it is breaking down the barrier between the public cloud and private cloud.
Azure Stack currently supports both Azure AD and ADFS as identify provider. Azure Stack includes its own ADFS and Active Directory instance. Another terminology we should be using on this is Resource Providers (RPs) which form the foundation for all Azure based IaaS and PaaS services. There are four foundational RPs we should watch out for: Network, Storage, Compute and KeyVault. In storage RP you get blob, table , and queue storage but file storage is not available now.
An Organization can have multiple regions with resources in each regions which support running various service like VM, SQL, SharePoint, Exchange etc. The services can be grouped as Plan which is available to tenants to subscribe and quota can be set for each of those plans.
The integration with Azure will provide the organization the ability to move effortlessly from on premise to public cloud (Azure) and vice versa. We all call AWS as market leader and Azure is filling the gap faster utilizing their existing customers and partners. Azure has already got an edge over AWS with their capability to go hybrid but this is really a game changer in the cloud space and advantage for Azure because it is Hybrid the way forward. We wondered what is it AWS to do with VMware partnership. That could an alliance to counter these as AWS was lacking the hybrid cloud from the beginning. We will have to wait and watch what could be coming out from very aggressive AWS team. At the same time we will need to see what is it in the final kit of Azure Stack with General Availability (GA).