Throughout the Technical Previews, we’ve seen tremendous customer and partner excitement around Microsoft Azure Stack. In fact, we’re speaking with thousands of partners this week at our Microsoft Inspire event. Our partners are excited about the new business opportunities opened up by our ‘One Azure Ecosystem’ approach, which helps them extend their Azure investments to Azure Stack, to unlock new possibilities for hybrid cloud environments. In that vein, today we are announcing:
- Orderable Azure Stack integrated systems: We have delivered Azure Stack software to our hardware partners, enabling us to begin the certification process for their integrated systems, with the first systems to begin shipping in September. You can now order integrated systems from Dell EMC, HPE, and Lenovo.
- Azure Stack software pricing and availability: We have released pricing for the pay-as-you-use and capacity-based models today, you can use that information to plan your purchases.
- Azure Stack Development Kit (ASDK) availability: ASDK, the free single-server deployment option for trial purposes, is available for web download today. You can use it to build and validate your applications for integrated systems deployments.
Azure Stack promise
Azure Stack is an extension of Azure, thereby enabling a truly consistent hybrid cloud platform. Consistency removes hybrid cloud complexity, which helps you maximize your investments across cloud and on-premises environments. Consistency enables you to build and deploy applications using the exact same approach – same APIs, same DevOps tools, same portal – leading to increased developer productivity. Consistency enables you to develop cloud applications faster by building on Azure Marketplace application components. Consistency enables you to confidently invest in people and processes knowing that those are fully transferable. The ability to run consistent Azure services on-premises gets you full flexibility to decide where applications and workloads should reside. An integrated systems-based delivery model ensures that you can focus on what matters to your business (i.e., your applications), while also enabling us to deliver Azure innovation to you faster.
In its initial release, Azure Stack includes a core set of Azure services, DevOps tooling, and Azure Marketplace content, all of which are delivered through an integrated systems approach. Check out this whitepaper for more information about what capabilities are available in Azure Stack at the initial release and what is planned for future versions.
Hybrid use cases unlock application innovation
Azure and Azure Stack unlock new use cases for customer facing and internal line of business applications:
- Edge and disconnected solutions: You can address latency and connectivity requirements by processing data locally in Azure Stack and then aggregating in Azure for further analytics, with common application logic across both. We’re seeing lots of interest in this Edge scenario across different contexts, including factory floor, cruise ships, and mine shafts.
- Cloud applications that meet varied regulations: You can develop and deploy applications in Azure, with full flexibility to deploy on-premises on Azure Stack to meet regulatory or policy requirements, with no code changes needed. Many customers are looking to deploy different instances of the same application – for example, a global audit or financial reporting app – to Azure or Azure Stack, based on business and technical requirements. While Azure meets most requirements, Azure Stack enables on-premises deployments in locations where it’s needed. Saxo Bank is a great example of an organization who plan to leverage the deployment flexibility enabled by Azure Stack.
- Cloud application model on-premises: You can use Azure web and mobile services, containers, serverless, and microservice architectures to update and extend existing applications or build new ones. You can use consistent DevOps processes across Azure in the cloud and Azure Stack on-premises. We’re seeing broad interest in application modernization, including for core mission-critical applications. Mitsui is a great example of an organization planning their application modernization roadmap using Azure Stack and Azure.
Ecosystem solutions across Azure and Azure Stack
You can speed up your Azure Stack initiatives by leveraging the rich Azure ecosystem:
- Our goal is to ensure that most ISV applications and services that are certified for Azure will work on Azure Stack. Multiple ISVs, including Bitnami, Docker, Kemp Technologies, Pivotal Cloud Foundry, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, and SUSE Linux, are working to make their solutions available on Azure Stack.
- You have the option of having Azure Stack delivered and operated as a fully managed service. Multiple partners, including Avanade, Daisy, Evry, Rackspace, and Tieto, are working to deliver managed service offerings across Azure and Azure Stack. These partners have been delivering managed services for Azure via the Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program and are now extending their offerings to include hybrid solutions.
- Systems Integrators (SI) can help you accelerate your application modernization initiatives by bringing in-depth Azure skillsets, domain and industry knowledge, and process expertise (e.g., DevOps). PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) is a great example of an SI that’s expanding their consulting practice to Azure and Azure Stack.
Orderable integrated systems, free single-server kit for trial
Azure Stack has two deployment options:
- Azure Stack integrated systems – These are multi-server systems meant for production use, and are designed to get you up and running quickly. Depending upon your hardware preferences, you can choose integrated systems from Dell EMC, HPE, and Lenovo (with Cisco and Huawei following later). You can now explore these certified hardware solutions and order integrated systems by contacting our hardware partners. These systems come ready to run and offer consistent, end-to-end customer support no matter who you call. They will initially be available in 46 countries covering key markets across the world.
- Azure Stack Development Kit (ASDK) – ASDK is a free single server deployment that’s designed for trial and proof of concept purposes. ASDK is available for web download today, and you can use it to prototype your applications. The portal, Azure services, DevOps tools, and Marketplace content are the same across this ASDK release and integrated systems, so applications built against the ASDK will work when deployed to a multi-server system.
As an extension of Azure, Azure Stack will deliver continuous innovation with frequent updates following the initial release. These updates will help us deliver enriched hybrid application use cases, as well as grow the infrastructure footprint of Azure Stack. We will also continue to broaden the Azure ecosystem to enable additional choice and flexibility for you.
I look forward to hearing what everyone does with Azure Stack!