Microsoft Delivers HCI to the Azure Stack for Cloud Customers
Microsoft Azure customers who want to run their critical virtualized business workloads on hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) can now accomplish that task with the company’s latest offering — Azure Stack HCI.
Designed to work alongside a myriad of existing Azure products and services, Azure Stack HCI is available immediately form some 15 Microsoft partners which offer Microsoft-validated hardware systems that will run the new services reliably for customers.
The Azure Stack HCI services were announced by Arpan Shah, general manager of Microsoft Azure.
“Azure Stack HCI solutions feature the same software-defined compute, storage and networking software as Azure Stack and can integrate with Azure for hybrid capabilities such as cloud-based backup, site recovery, monitoring and more,” wrote Shah in a blog. “Azure Stack HCI solutions are designed to run virtualized applications on premises in a familiar way, with simplified access to Azure for hybrid-cloud scenarios.”
For customers, the new service allows IT departments to more easily run virtualized applications on new hyperconverged infrastructure while taking advantage of cloud services, building cloud skills and using their existing IT staffs.
“Customers that deploy Azure Stack HCI solutions get amazing price/performance with Hyper-V and Storage Spaces Direct running on the most current industry-standard x86 hardware,” wrote Shah. “Azure Stack HCI solutions include support for the latest hardware technologies like NVMe drives, persistent memory, and remote-direct memory access (RDMA) networking.”
Because Azure Stack HCI is tied in with other Azure services, IT admins can use the Windows Admin Center for integrated connections with Azure Site Recovery, Monitor, Backup, Update Management and a wide range other components in the Azure product family.
Azure Stack HCI is an evolution of Windows Server Software-Defined (WSSD) products the company previously made available through its hardware partners. Now that earlier technology has been brought into the Azure Stack family to build on connections within Azure that can help bolster infrastructure management services for customers.
Justin Warren, an IT analyst with PivotNine, told Channel Futures the new offering reinforces the idea that lots of data won’t live in the big centralized data-center form of public cloud, but will instead require people to rethink what they mean by cloud or edge computing and hybrid computing.
“I say that because the strength of cloud computing is based on the operational model, not the deployment location,” said Warren. “If you want to work in a cloud way, but at the edge or in your own data center, then you want to operate it the same way you operate things in public cloud. Microsoft and AWS are both providing on-site ways of deploying cloud now, so you get used to their way of running things.”
What will be interesting, he added, is what the response will be from …