Azure Stack Brings the Benefits of the Cloud to Your Data Center

 In Microsoft, Microsoft Azure

Cloud computing’s benefits—reduced cost for equipment, maintenance and support; increased flexibility and agility to respond to changing computing needs—have been difficult to achieve for organizations that can’t place data and applications in the public cloud.

Whether due to security and compliance concerns or unwillingness to place core business functions outside of the corporate data center, companies that want the flexibility of the cloud have struggled to implement private clouds or mix public and private clouds in a blended, hybrid architecture.

The nonstandard solutions are difficult to support; companies are largely on their own and find it difficult to incorporate the advances and improvements in cloud technology into their data centers. Microsoft’s new Azure Stack changes this. By providing companies a true internal cloud platform that’s consistent with the public Azure cloud, companies can take advantage of both public and private clouds and position applications to migrate to the public cloud easily.

Flavors of Azure

With the introduction of Azure Stack (currently in technical previews, with official release planned for later this year), it’s important to understand the differences between Azure, the Azure Pack, and the Azure Stack.

  • Azure is Microsoft’s public cloud service. When you deploy on Azure, your applications run in a Microsoft Data Center. They provide all the network, storage, and computing hardware needed, plus Infrastructure as a Service and Platform as a Service.
  • Azure Pack was a previous effort by Microsoft to bring cloud flexibility into the data center, and is used by some vendor products like Dell’s Cloud Platform System. It is based around existing virtualization technology to provide cloud-like capabilities rather than being a true cloud computing environment. Although Azure Pack may eventually be phased out in favor of Azure Stack, it’s available now for organizations that can’t wait to get started.
  • Azure Stack is derived from Azure and is a true cloud implementation. While it doesn’t have all the features of the public Azure product, it shares the same code base and runs on standardized hardware configurations. Azure Stack provides the same portal, management, and other tools as Azure. As a result, automation and code deployments will work the same in both public Azure and the Azure Stack, so companies can write code once, deploy it in either environment, and support it the same way no matter where it’s running.

Adopting Azure Stack

Companies that want to adopt Azure Stack need to understand that they will become a cloud service provider to their internal users. Taking advantage of the cloud’s flexibility requires having adequate capacity on hand to support on-demand usage. Self-service tools allow users to access resources as needed and also enable chargebacks.

As a Microsoft Partner, Prescient Solutions understands the intricacies of cloud computing and Azure. Our certified expert technologists can help you evaluate your needs and help you decide whether you simply need virtual machines, a public cloud, or private cloud. After you evaluate your options and select the architecture that will help your business achieve its goals, we help you implement a complete solution, including hardware, network, software, and ongoing support. Contact us for a free infrastructure assessment and to get started with the cloud, in the cloud or in your own data center.

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