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In Part 1 of this blog post, I covered an overview of The Azure Stack and what sets it apart. In part 2, I will give a deeper dive of the implications of a hybrid environment and the business capabilities and benefits of Azure Stack.

Benefits and Functionalities of Microsoft’s Azure Stack

 

Business Capabilities and Benefits

  • Only hybrid cloud platform that is truly consistent with a leading public cloud 
  • Offers foundational (IaaS) services as well as PaaS/SaaS services to gradually transition to 
  • Provide Instant compliance with international and industry-specific compliance standards
  • Gat an out of the box auditing trail for the complete stack, which conforms to Hipaa, PCI, Fedramp and more 
  • Benefit from a powerful reseller model.
  • Enable and onboard new customers otherwise restricted to their older traditional IT model.
  • Create unique offers per region. You can provide different services per region, mixing and matching the underlying resources and associated performance. 
  • Transfer from capital infrastructure cost (capex) to operational costs (opex) by using a pay-per-use cloud model. 
  • Monetize Azure Stack using chargeback data generated by the customizable billing meters.
  • Deliver additional services, building your catalog through the marketplace. 
  • Control and reduce shadow IT. Developers already adopting Azure or doing shadow IT elsewhere, now can safely switch to locally controlled Azure services. 
  • Save on server licensing costs by using Microsoft Azure cloud on-boarding benefits. 
  • Use or offer new higher-level managed services made possible with a (hybrid) cloud model like advisory and security services. 
  • Monitor and track usage through the portal or API’s in one uniform way across clouds, analyze the data and enhance your application.
  • Cut down costs by having a single pane of glass detailing all usage and costs.
  • Companies can now develop for financial incentives instead of the usual technology incentives. 
  • Transition IT towards a stable profit center instead of the traditional fluctuating cost center by using agile DevOps practices. 

Infrastructure Benefits

  • Pick your own hardware setup (even with an integrated system) with beefy CPU’s and speedy NVME disks. 
  • The network is local to you, no fee for network traffic, low latency, great performance. 
  • Benefit from the new super-fast storage spaces direct solution using ReFS.  
  • Add a physical server to the Azure Stack scale unit (cluster) for instant resource expansion 
  • Retire/remove servers from the scale unit the same way. 
  • You can start small with only 4 servers at GA. 

“Azure Stack brings the power of the new Microsoft software-defined networking, delivering technologies like VFP, OVSDB, VXLAN, BGP, NAT, network security groups (NSG), iDNS, user defined routes, packet direct, Switch Embedded Teaming (SET).”

Functionalities

  • Azure Stack servers are hyper-converged using software-defined networking and storage in Windows Server 2016. 
  • Load-balancing (SLB) and distributed firewall are brought from Azure to Azure Stack. 
  • Benefit from Infrastructure as Code (IaC), so you can deploy or export your environment as code. 
  • Azure Stack’s Cloud model enables true agile DevOps practices 
  • Use higher level PaaS services like the App, Container or Service Fabric services and benefit from true cloud elasticity, scalability and agility. 
  • Developers want clean code and deploy their apps instantly to finished services without infrastructure or software component dependency hassles. 
  • Provide MySQL and SQL DB as a service. 
  • Leverage OMS, DSC, Docker and custom script VM extensions as a method for deploying software and configuration in an automated way into your VM’s. 
  • Use existing community-made quickstart ARM templates from GitHub to rollout your environment and get to know ARM. 
  • Use new Web apps, Mobile apps, and API apps. Use MySQL, PHP or deploy WordPress and other web-enabled applications from a template or from the App gallery. 
  • Create custom ‘Resource Providers’ under the Azure Stack admin context and provide your own custom services with Azure Stack. 
  • Use Azure Site Recovery (ASR) as a migration path. 
  • Use Azure AD or Active Directory with ADFS as your identity source. 
  • Additional Azure services such as Service Bus and Azure Backup service come with Azure Stack over time. Make use of multiple fault domains (clusters) in one region. 
  • VM Self-service diagnostics; VM redeployment, Serial Output, screen capture, VM local user password reset. 
Stay tuned next for the conclusion of this three part series, How to Differentiate with Microsoft’s Azure Stack!