At its Ignite conference today, Microsoft announced Azure Stack, a cloud infrastructure platform that packages the capabilities of Microsoft’s public Azure cloud for use by customers in private data centers and public hosting services.
Azure Stack aims to offer Microsoft’s infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) and platform as a service (PaaS) cloud technologies for companies’ existing on-premises data centers. The idea is that you’ll be able to use the same application development and deployment techniques from the hosted cloud platform on your own terms.
Azure Stack is a combination of Windows Server 2016, Azure Pack and Azure Service Fabric. It is also optimized for the deployment of enterprise applications such as SQL Server, Exchange, and SharePoint.
Furthermore, it will allow companies to provide self-service application provisioning in the same way that Microsoft currently does within the Azure public cloud while maintaining control over what can be deployed and managing integration with internal billing or charge-back systems.
It’s a big move from Microsoft, considering that its direct competitors like Amazon’s EC2 and Google Cloud Compute don’t provide offerings for hosting your own service.
Mike Schutz, General Manager of Microsoft’s Cloud Platform Product Marketing said-
With CPS, we took Hyper-V and Azure Pack and did all the heavy lifting to marry it with hardware. With Azure Stack, we took our experience with us doing this ourselves and will deliver it on the hardware of customers’ choice.
A preview of Azure Stack will be available later this summer, said Microsoft officials. Microsoft also unveiled the Microsoft Operations Management Suite, a set of Azure-hosted management services that can manage cloud services running not just on Azure and Windows Server, but also on AWS, Linux, VMware and OpenStack.
While announcing Azure Stack, Microsoft also announced the Microsoft Server 2016 technical preview, which gives you the power of container technologies such as Hyper-V containers and the Nano Server, and also Azure Service Fabric to build and deploy modern hyper-scale applications using micro-services.
Microsoft also announced System Center 2016 Technical Preview 2. The SC 2016 tech Preview 2 has new features and capabilities that enhance the management experience for a hybrid cloud world that System Center already provides.