How Azure Stack Helps Microsoft Deliver The Promise Of Intelligent Cloud And Edge – Forbes
Last month at the Ignite conference, Microsoft has announced the commercial availability of Azure Stack, the long-awaited hybrid cloud platform from Redmond.
The product that was supposed to be shipped almost a year ago got delayed due to multiple factors. It’s finally available from select OEM vendors as a hyper-converged appliance. Despite the delay, the Microsoft ecosystem is excited about the hybrid cloud opportunity delivered by Azure Stack.
Azure Stack is shipped at a time when the industry is skeptical about hybrid cloud. Microsoft’s packaging and pricing strategy of Azure Stack, which went through a few iterations causing further delay, got the analysts question about the seriousness. But at the end, Azure Stack comes across as a compelling hybrid cloud platform.
Since the rise of public cloud, the industry has been aggressively pushing the hybrid story to enterprises. Capitalizing on the fact that not every workload can move to the public cloud, many cloud vendors, system integrators and ISVs have promised to connect the enterprise data center seamlessly with the public cloud. Yet, the on-premises integration with the cloud remains a considerable challenge and also an opportunity.
Amidst the uncertainty, doubt and confusion, how does Microsoft plan to deliver on its promise of a true hybrid cloud? How does Azure Stack align with the vision of intelligent cloud and intelligent edge? Let’s explore.
Azure Stack as a real extension of Azure Cloud
Unlike other offerings, Azure Stack shares the same codebase as its public cloud counterpart. This is the secret sauce of Microsoft when compared to its competitors. The shared codebase enables Microsoft to extend the learning and innovation from the public cloud to the private cloud.
Azure went through a painful transition from being a Windows-only PaaS to an open infrastructure running almost all the flavors of Linux. Microsoft had to literally refuel the aircraft on the fly. Mark Russinovich, CTO of Azure along with the stellar teams led by Scott Guthrie, EVP for Cloud and Enterprise business did a phenomenal job of transforming Azure into a competitive IaaS platform in a short span of time.
During this process, the Azure team went through a massive learning curve bringing new features and services to the cloud platform without hitting the stop or pause button. All these learnings of building and delivering a stable and scalable cloud platform are passed onto Azure Stack.
As Microsoft continues to innovate on the public cloud, Azure Stack’s customers will benefit from it. New fixes, features and services will slowly but steadily become available in the private cloud in the least disruptive form.