Azure Pack Vs Azure Stack

This article is the third article in my Azure Stack Series. You can read my previous articles Demystifying Azure Stack and Azure Stack Architecture.
 
If you are talking about Hybrid Cloud then you must know the histroy of Microsoft's hybrid cloud strategy.
 
Azure stack is the 4th revision of Microsoft's Hybrid Cloud approach.
  • In 2008, Microsoft has released Azure -- Public Cloud but soon the demand of the Hybrid Cloud approach by enterprises increased and as a result Microsoft has launched Azure Pack which later morphed into Cloud Platform System (CPS). Cloud Platform System comes in two flavors - Cloud Platform Systme Premium and one downgraded version of Cloud Platform System which is called Cloud Platform System standard.
  • Azure pack was launched in 2013 , which is an on-premises version of cloud but Azure Pack was based on Azure Service Management model and service management Framework.Key point with Azure Pack  is not the exact replica of Azure Service Management Portal (public cloud), it has different APIs, code and components. Azure Pack is made up of System Center so a few different components of System Center are included such as Virtual Machines and Hypervisor.
  • In 2014, Microsfot has launched Cloud Platform System Premium which is better version of Azure Pack including hardware coupling, back-up, data protection and so on.
  • In 2015, Microsoft announced Cloud Platform System Standard which is same as Cloud Platform System premium but a scaled-down version.
  • In 2016 they launched POC of Azure Stack and today we have released a version of Azure Stack which is a total replica of Azure Public Cloud. Azure Stack is based on Azure Resource Management model and framework and consists of the same API and Codebase of Azure Public Cloud. The soultion you developed uisng Visual Studio or PowerShell commands you fire your Azure Resource Manager Templates you use for deployment purpose are deployed equally on Auzre Public Cloud as well as on Azure Stack as both has same underlying components and services. 
Now let us compare Azure Pack with Azure Stack.
  
Azure Pack     
  • Azure Pack was the first version of Microsoft's effort towards the hybrid cloud direction.  
  • Azure Pack was based on Classic Azure. That means it is based on Azure Service managment API and framework.
  • It requires System Cetner and Windows Server.
  • Azure Pack was based on Windows Server 2012/R2/2016.
  • Cloud Platform System Premium and Cloud Platform System Standard was initially Azure Pack but packaged up and made better.
  • Azure Pack does not match with Azure Service Management (ASM) portal.
  • Azure Pack supports VHDX, secure boot etc.
  • It supports hot memory resize,dynamic memory, Virtual Network hot add and remove.
  • Scalling can be done manually and you have to choose your own hardware.
Azure Stack
  • Azure Stack is  Microsoft's version 4 in the journey towards hybrid cloud appraoch.
  • It is based on Azure Resource Manager framework and has the same code base and APIs making it a truly hybrid cloud solution. This means  that services and workloads that run on Azure can also run on Azure Stack.
  • Workloads can be developed once and used on either Azure Public Cloud or Azure Stack or on both. 
  • It does not require System Center and uses Windows Server 2016 softwares defined features, storage spaces and ARM portal.
  • It supports Resource Groups and Role Based Access Control is possible.
  • Azure Stack offers IaaS along with PaaS.
  • IaaS offering includes Compute, Stroage, Network,Key-valult etc.
  • PaaS offering covers SQL, MySQL, Service Fabric and App Services (Web App,Mobile App,Azure Functions,API Apps etc) .
  • Azure Stack supports same tooling same as Azure Public Cloud like ARM Portal, PowerShell,Visual Studio, FTP tools, Git etc. 
  •  Azure Stack allows market syndication which gives you the ability to make items form the Azure market place available in Azure Stack. For example if you have SQL Server database or Windows Server based VM image running on Azure public cloud, you can import it to market place and then download it to Azure Stack which saves time and effort. 
  • In Azure Stack we can scale in unit at the solution level.
  • In Azure Stack we have integrated out of the box hardware solutions  available. Hardware comes with pre-installed and validated software. We can update it and add patches on demand.
  • It comes with full Networking and Storage support like Azure public cloud. 

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