Microsoft Azure Stack Extends On-Prem Data Centre Offering

Microsoft is expanding its Azure Stack platform across on-premises infrastructure, with hardware partners now taking orders from customers looking to run the private cloud platform in their own data centres.

Customers are required to purchase Azure Stack as part of a certified integrated system from partners, which initially include Dell EMC, HPE and Lenovo. Both Cisco and Huawei are also expected to start taking orders towards the end of the year.

‘From Azure data centres to the edge of the cloud — whether miles underground in a mine shaft, away at sea on a ship, or on a factory floor dependent on continuous real-time operation — Azure Stack enables modern cloud applications that meet all business and regulatory requirements,’ said Judson Althoff, Executive VP of Worldwide Commercial Business at Microsoft.

An official blog post written by Mike Neil, VP of Azure Infrastructure and Management, confirmed the following: ‘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.’

The announcement, made at Microsoft Inspire 2017, also revealed several companies which are currently working on getting their applications ready for Azure Stack, including Docker, Pivotal Cloud Foundry, Red Hat Enterprise Linux and SUSE Linux.

Microsoft noted that Azure Stack will be offered on a consumption-based model, which is relatively atypical for on-premises offerings. The tech giant suggested that customers will subscribe to a pay-as-you-use policy, with a small fee for storage and additional costs for usage of individual Azure services.

As customers will be managing and operating the cloud themselves, Microsoft will not be charging the same fee as for its regular Azure packages.

‘Azure Stack is an extension of Azure, thereby enabling a truly consistent hybrid cloud platform,’ continued Neil. ‘Consistency removes hybrid cloud complexity, which helps you maximize your investments across cloud and on-premises environments.’

Neil added in the blog that attaining this consistency will enable customers to streamline application development and deployment (i.e. the ability to use the same APIs, DevOps tools, and portals), leading to increased productivity among developers.

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