Demystifying - Azure Stack

In this article, I will simplify Azure stack and in which scenarios any organization should go with Azure Stack.

What is Azure Stack?

  • Azure Stack is really an extension of Azure.
  • It follows the same Azure Resource Manager concept and same Azure portal experience.
  • The difference is only in infrastructure.
  • We can run Azure stack in on-premises.
  • You are bringing Microsoft’s Azure cloud to the organization’s data center.
  • Under the hood, Azure Stack runs Microsoft’s Hyper-V, Windows, Networking, and storage but you never realize it.
  • It is like you are running an instance of Twitter or Amazon or Salesforce in your datacentre.
  • Running Azure Stack is running Microsoft’s public Azure cloud in your datacentre – It is a complete hybrid cloud solution by Microsoft.
  • It is an integrated system with self-service IaaS, PaaS, and cloud solutions.
  • It is regularly updated for Azure consistency. Initially, for app services, there is a quarterly update available—That means Azure Stack for App service is updated every 3 months.

Why One would like to run Azure on-premises --- The Big Question.

The biggest question can come to your mind is “Why would one like to run a cloud service offering in your own data center?”

The answer is simple - “When your organization wants to go with Hybrid Cloud Approach”.

Say, in one banking organization where I have provided consultancy, we are denied offloading a couple of instances of our Accounting and Payment modules to Microsoft Azure because of security, compliance, and assured reliability (excuses). Core business apps are not (currently) allowed outside our data center and thus, we need to go with Hybrid Cloud approach. We are able to offload plenty of other workloads like Email, Collaboration, File sharing etc.

So, we spun up a couple of instances of Accounting and Payment modules to Azure Stack.

Here, using the Azure Stack, we got the same environment in on-premises, on our organizational data center as in the Microsoft Azure (public cloud). Here, I get Microsoft Azure public cloud in my own on-premise dev/test and on-premise internal data center environment.

One can implement Azure Stack for multiple reasons.

Azure Stack to implement security

Azure Stack is for the organizations that want and need the scalability that Azure provides but in a private highly secured environment. Not everyone is moving towards the public cloud and for those organizations that have applications, they want to scale and manage in public cloud but within the constraints of their own datacenters, Azure stack provides them that capability.

Azure stack for Dev/Test Scenarios

Microsoft Azure makes perfect sense for production of the app by providing excellent hosting and scaling mechanisms. However, an organization can go with Microsoft Azure provided scalable dev/test environment. Sometimes they want development capacity in isolated locations. Azure Stack provides the ability to completely control the physical location and allocate the capacity of their background environment. As the application is developed in Azure Stack on-premises, they can easily shift the application from Dev/Test into the Azure environment because both are the same underlying environments.

Here is the Azure Stack Pricing Data Sheet: