Azure Stack is the ultimate convergence of cloud and on-premises. They exist in parallel with Azure Stack. What are the three major trends that are driving hybrid cloud adoption? They are security, agility, and mobility.

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What Are the Most Significant Benefits of Azure Stack?

Microsoft Azure Stack enables organizations to deliver hybrid cloud services to all parts of the business on-premises, Azure Stack, and a mixture of Azure Stack and Azure. It is a hybrid platform that provides a single sign-on (SSO) in both public and private clouds, a choice of vendor, services, management, and SLA management tools, and orchestration of both Azure public cloud and Azure Stack on-premises. It can also evolve and support various emerging technology capabilities as they are released by Microsoft and be flexible and agile to allow for that flexibility.

What Are the Three Biggest Challenges for Microsoft Azure Stack Adoption?

When organizations migrate to Azure Stack, they must be aware of the risks and challenges of hybrid cloud and stay focused on the key areas to address. These risks and challenges involve detailed compliance, data protection, availability, and reliability considerations. The goal is to deliver a low-risk hybrid cloud via a simplified and secure migration path to Azure Stack.

In Terms of Integrations, What Can Customers Do Today to Get Started?

Today, you have the option of the pre-integrated Azure Stack integrated platform as a service (iPaaS), which can be installed in minutes, is pre-configured with a variety of pre-validated customers, and thus delivers greater agility and ease of use than the native Microsoft Azure stack. You also have the option of ordering a scalable, custom-configured Azure Stack solution from a new partner for enhanced capabilities.

End-to-end compatibility of Azure Stack and Azure, including SOA, JSON, RPC, and Web Services API endpoints, is being addressed.

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How Are Microsoft Azure Stack and Azure Stack Linked?

Microsoft Azure Stack is hosted on a Microsoft Azure cloud. The principal difference between Azure Stack and Azure is that Azure Stack is a layer in Azure architecture. Azure is a cloud and an integrated platform that includes compute, storage, networking, middleware, databases, a runtime environment, and administration tools.

The ability to run Azure Stack applications and services and access Azure from the comfort of an Azure Stack portal is a crucial benefit. The public preview of Azure Stack has allowed the migration of many applications to Azure Stack.

How Do Cloud Providers Provide Secure, Controlled Access to Their Clouds?

A customer can only access the Azure Stack using the standard Azure portal. The consumer can only access any tenant's service within the Azure platform. For example, they are using PowerShell or their command-line interface.

What Advantages Do Customers Gain From the Closed Approach to Azure?

The closed approach to Azure allows customers to control the security parameters. They can access any cloud service they want and create policies to protect their data.

How Are Cloud Service Providers, CSPs, Taking Advantage of Azure Stack?

The cloud has been in the news lately as each of the most prominent players (Amazon, Google, and Microsoft) get involved in this space. CSPs must ensure they get a slice of the cake. The closed approach to Azure can also work in their favor.

CSPs are already taking advantage of Azure Stack as a solution that allows them to ensure their customers will never need to be in the middle of a global network. By having a physical location separate from their business, CSPs can provide their customers with that control element and stay committed to providing an unparalleled level of reliability and control.

Knowing when a new product will be available to their customer base helps. Based on customer demand, CSPs can act more quickly and differentiate themselves by offering new services in this new way.

The secure, scalable, private cloud model can also appeal to customers. It allows the customer to choose when to operate in a more business-critical manner versus being all in, all the time. This flexibility allows the customer to reap the benefits of an overall cloud-delivered service portfolio while remaining on the safe side.

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What Concerns Did Microsoft Need to Address to Make Azure Stack Accessible to Developers?

Developers were the early adopters of Azure, and therefore it made sense to leverage them in the initial development of Azure Stack. Microsoft has created tools and libraries, such as the Azure C# Compiler for ARM and a new, simplified C# Template.

If you are using a toolchain such as Visual Studio, you will be able to create C# applications that work on Azure Stack in a way that's consistent with Azure. For example, you can share the same codebase and APIs between Azure and Azure Stack. You can also quickly move a complete application from Azure to Azure Stack.

What Are the Next Steps for Microsoft’s Open Cloud?

Today, Azure Stack has been available to small and medium businesses that need an answer to a growing problem. Most people want to reduce IT costs, but they don't want to access their existing apps and data. Many companies use applications in-house for customers, partners, and employees, and that's where Azure Stack comes in.

For most customers, Azure Stack will provide the control they are looking for, but in a way that's scalable, secure, and easy to manage. The way customers access Azure will evolve.

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Summary

To our original question—Microsoft has launched its Open Cloud strategy in the enterprise, but not the SMB space.

But Azure Stack, an enterprise version of Azure, has been available to small and medium-sized businesses (SMB) since its launch in 2017.

On May 15, Microsoft announced a new service, Azure Stack Mobility. This service will allow an organization to take their Azure Stack infrastructure on-premises by either bringing their compute resources or their existing virtual machines to Azure Stack or using a VMware or Citrix-based virtualization. With Azure Stack Mobility, enterprises can upgrade their existing Azure Stack infrastructure to Azure at their own pace.

This new offering gives an organization more flexibility regarding where they keep their Azure resources.

Microsoft also offers a range of Azure subscriptions, which allow an enterprise to scale resources or applications based on various factors, including business demands, public cloud usage, or a custom threshold.

Simplilearn has multiple programs for training and certification in Azure cloud computing. These range from introductory courses like Microsoft Azure Fundamentals to comprehensive career-path programs like the Cloud Architect Master's Program.

About the Author

Matthew DavidMatthew David

Matt is a Digital Leader at Accenture. His passion is a combination of solving today's problems to run more efficiently, adjusting focus to take advantage of digital tools to improve tomorrow and move organizations to new ways of working that impact the future.

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