The Cloud Is Falling (Into Your Datacenter)! The Hybrid Cloud Just Got More “Azurey”

You may be familiar with the fable called “Chicken Little”, where a chicken keeps claiming that “The sky is falling!”. In fact, Disney made an animated movie of it. Well, consider this the techno-equivalent: “Azure Stack is coming!”

 

The Hype for Azure Stack

At the Ignite 2015 conference in Chicago, Microsoft announced the new Azure Stack.

Here is a Channel 9 recording about The Microsoft Azure Stack, and the official blog Announcing the Microsoft Azure Stack at that time.

 

The Details

Well, it’s been some time since the announcement at Ignite, and there is a lot of interest in this new platform. But information has been somewhat limited.

Thankfully, yesterday Microsoft announced that the first Public Technical Preview of Azure Stack will be released on Friday January 29th! So mark your calendars! In fact, you can sign up for a notification when it is released.

 

Basically Azure Stack is “Azure in a box” where it allows you to run “Azure” inside of your own datacenter! Think about it as having your own mini-Azure, that you have full control over.

This is Microsoft’s “go-to” diagram to explain the Microsoft Azure Stack Architecture:

AzureStackArchitecture The Cloud Is Falling (Into Your Datacenter)! The Hybrid Cloud Just Got More "Azurey"

Microsoft Azure Stack Architecture

What’s really cool about this concept, is the fact that the interface and technology are the same as Azure itself. While not all current Azure services and features may be available through Azure Stack, it does empower each business. How?

By deploying Azure Stack in your own datacenter, you enable your business to develop and deploy against the same model and service architecture as you would in Azure. This means that your developers can code your applications using technology like ARM templates, “As-A-Service” models, etc. and if/when you are ready, you can easily move that directly into Microsoft’s Azure cloud without any re-coding required! That’s a huge win, especially since it can give your developers a sort of “playground” to work in prior to making the big move into the Cloud.

It also helps the IT team as well, since it provides a mechanism to be able to deliver more rapid enhancements and features to your organization, and thus keeping others within your IT space vs. having “shadow IT”.

Now, you may be wondering a few things like, what are the hardware requirements to running Azure Stack? Per the following TechNet article (http://blogs.technet.com/b/server-cloud/archive/2015/12/21/microsoft-azure-stack-hardware-requirements.aspx), som e of the current POC requirements include:

  • CPU: 12-16 physical cores
  • RAM: 96-128 GB
  • HDD: 4 disks each with 140 GB – 250 GB

That’s a heavy load for a single server! And yes, the POC (to my knowledge) is only being released for single-server deployment initially. I know that my home lab hardware can’t handle that (but if yours can, connect with me so that I can see it in action)!

 

Reference Material

There are many resources out there on this yet-to-be-released platform. For reference, here are a few good ones:

Azure Stack Overview: https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/overview/azure-stack/

Azure Stack Hardware Requirements: http://blogs.technet.com/b/server-cloud/archive/2015/12/21/microsoft-azure-stack-hardware-requirements.aspx

Understanding the Azure Stack: https://channel9.msdn.com/Events/Ignite/Australia-2015/INF332?ocid=relatedsession

Announcing the Azure Stack: http://blogs.technet.com/b/server-cloud/archive/2015/05/04/announcing-microsoft-azure-stack.aspx

Introducing Azure Stack Webcast: https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/overview/azure-stack/webcast/

 

 

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