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  1. #1
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    [EN] Azure Stack takes Microsoft public cloud private

    Paul Teich
    September 22, 2017

    Microsoft announced Azure Stack at its Ignite event in September 2016 and soft-launched Azure Stack at its Inspire event in July, when it announced that the private cloud solution was available for customer orders. The first wave of Microsoft’s Azure Stack system partners – Dell EMC, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, and Lenovo – plan to ship their certified solutions to customers in September. We will be surprised if Microsoft does not announce first customer shipments with those vendors at Microsoft’s Ignite event in late September.

    Azure Stack with compete with other hybrid private cloud frameworks, such as OpenStack, Cloud Foundry, HPE’s Project New Hybrid Stack, Oracle Cloud at Customer, and others. While these frameworks offer paths to move applications between customer owned hardware (on premises or off) and public clouds, Azure Stack has a unique relationship with Azure: Azure Stack is mostly the same code base as Azure, implementing the same application programming interfaces (APIs) and the same developer and customer portals as Azure public clouds.

    The core differentiating value of Azure Stack private clouds is that applications can be written once for Azure Stack and then run in Microsoft’s Azure public cloud with no changes or special considerations.

    Microsoft’s SharePoint, Exchange, and Office 365 products run on Azure and Azure Stack, as do Microsoft’s database, e-commerce, and software development products. Likewise, Azure software partner Bitnami has certified that much of its Azure optimized application catalog will run on Azure Stack, such as Drupal, GitLab, the LAMP stack, Magneto, NGINX stack, Ruby stack, and WordPress.

    Timeframes and Target Customers

    Microsoft anticipates the first wave of Azure Stack enterprise customers will already be Azure public cloud customers. These Azure customers will have specific use cases for hybrid public/private cloud business models (including data sovereignty, physical security, and occasionally connected use cases), and an interest in integrated systems. These customers are not looking for more cost-effective virtualization or a VMware replacement (“lift and shift”), nor are they general private cloud customers.

    The first iteration of Azure Stack will offer compute, storage, and networking services via hyperconverged server hardware, as well as previews of SQL Server, MySQL, and Azure App Service. Hyperconverged servers tightly integrate an X86 compute server, a software-defined storage server, and software-defined networking (SDN) into a single server appliance, typically to support a highly virtualized IT environment like VMware. Most server vendors now sell richly-configured hyperconverged servers.

    All hyperconverged servers within a vendor’s Azure Stack stamp, which Microsoft calls a “scale unit”, must have identical configurations. (A stamp is a high-volume cloud hardware purchase configuration and typically includes several racks of servers.)

    In addition, the first wave of Azure Stack stamps from Dell EMC, HPE, and Lenovo will have a tight range of Intel Xeon E5 processors and motherboards, networking, and storage features across those vendors’ stamps (see table below). Microsoft wants to ensure that their Azure Stack code base has a solid foundation before they allow their hardware partners to customize their hardware stacks.

    Azure Stack Detail By Vendor

    Feedback from the first wave of Azure Stack customer deployments in through the first half of 2018 will either reinforce or defuse Microsoft’s hybrid cloud strategy of using the same code base to implement both their Azure public cloud and Azure Stack private cloud products. This Azure software development investment is a big bet for Microsoft – it is the core of Microsoft’s strategy to move enterprise applications out of virtual machines (VMs, mostly running in VMware’s virtualized environment) and into a true cloud framework.



    Microsoft’s private cloud solution is based on ecosystem thinking: “Ensure that most ISV applications and services that are certified for Azure will work on Azure Stack.” To achieve this, Microsoft modified the code of their Azure public cloud code base, without interrupting Azure services, so that a subset of Azure will run on a very small scale unit: Azure’s scale unit is 880 servers (it used to be 960 servers), while the first Azure Stack scale unit is four to twelve dual-socket servers.

    The minimum cost of an Azure Stack scale unit from one of Microsoft’s partners is about $200,000. Each Azure Stack scale unit will be delivered as a single assembled and tested unit. Dell EMC, HPE, and Lenovo started taking orders for Azure Stack scale units in July, during Microsoft’s Inspire event. Microsoft stated that the first Azure Stack scale units will start to ship in September, in 46 countries.


    Lenovo Brought a Running Azure Stack to Microsoft Inspire 2017

    Initially, Azure Stack will run on a minimum scale unit of four dual-processor Intel Xeon E5 “Broadwell” servers. This is a remarkable achievement for a code base that scales to millions of servers in Microsoft’s Azure public cloud.

    Microsoft, Dell EMC, HPE, and Lenovo will spend the rest of this year building their supply chains and ensuring Azure Stack availability and reliability. In addition to the launch partners, Cisco will also start shipping Broadwell-based systems before the end of the year, as well.

    In the first quarter of 2018, Huawei Technology will join the growing pantheon of Azure Stack system partners with Intel “Skylake” Xeon SP compute nodes. We predict that all Azure Stack system partners will upgrade their compute nodes to Skylake processors and their “Purley” systems at about that time, after Microsoft and enterprise IT customers have qualified the new processors and systems. Intel launched Xeon Scalable in July; a typical IT qualification cycle for a major processor generational refresh is six months. Leading IT shops are already starting to evaluate Xeon SP chips with plans to start deploying in volume in 2018. Azure Stack will be no different.

    Also in 2018, Microsoft will add multi-scale units and multi-region support, new virtual machine types, managed disks, and will deliver Service Fabric and Azure Container Service as a service. Microsoft plans to enable field expansion will be available sometime in 2018, as well, so that customers can upgrade their lower-node-count Azure Stack instances to the maximum of twelve servers.

    (continua)

  2. #2
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    Deploying and Managing Azure Stack

    Azure Stack scale units will be delivered as a preinstalled, integrated whole; a gestalt solution. However, customers will need to manage their Azure Stack installation – both hardware and software. Larger IT shops may rise to the challenge. But as OpenStack deployments already know, there are a lot of moving parts in a private cloud software stack. Azure IT certifications will carry over to Azure stack, as they implement the same code and APIs.

    Managing Azure Stack will require more knowledge than configuring a solution in an Azure public cloud, because Microsoft manages its own hardware infrastructure for Azure customers, while Azure Stack customers will manage their own hardware. Will there ever be an Azure Stack management certification? Microsoft has not said yet, but if so it might be modeled after its Azure Certified for IoT program.

    Customers may choose to have Azure Stack delivered and operated as a fully managed service, either on premises and off. Microsoft lists several partners who can do so:

    • Tieto and Atos use Dell EMC scale units
    • Daisy and Cloud28+ use HPE scale units
    • Rackspace works with several system vendors
    • Avanade, a joint venture between Microsoft and Accenture, works with several vendors


    These vendors have been delivering managed public services for Microsoft’s Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program and are now extending their offerings to include Azure hybrid solutions.

    To be clear, every private cloud software stack has or will have this stack complexity challenge. For example, Rackspace is also one of the founders of OpenStack, and has offered fully managed OpenStack private cloud solutions for many years.

    Because Microsoft operates Azure, only Microsoft has access to Azure’s administration portal. Azure Stack is managed by a customer or by a managed service provider, and so the only major operational difference between Azure public cloud and Azure Stack private cloud is operator access to Azure Stack’s administration portal. The portal provides operators with workload and health monitoring, capacity management, and patching control, plus access to marketplace services (on a per user basis).

    Patching control is one of the more important aspects of Azure Stack licensing. Microsoft will validate Azure/Azure Stack patches with partners (remember that both use the same code base). Operators (customers or managed service providers) will decide when to deploy the patches, but Microsoft’s Azure Stack license will specify a service policy for installing patches. Operators will be expected not to fall too far behind the current patch, but more detail is not yet available, the service policy has not been published.

    Underneath the Hood

    The top of Azure Stack is the same code as Azure. However, the bottom of the software stack, where software meets hardware, is different. Microsoft implemented a hardware abstraction layer it calls a “Resource Provider” (RP) to customize the hardware underlying the common code base for Azure and Azure Stack.

    Azure Resource Manager (ARM) calls on RPs to provide access to physical and virtual hardware services. ARM automates deploying infrastructure, applications, and services (cloud orchestration). RPs are foundational web services for all Azure based infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) and platform-as-a-service (PaaS) services.

    RPs configure and control underlying physical and virtual hardware resources. Microsoft Azure Stack partners, systems integrators, and managed service providers will use RPs to manage Azure Stack hardware scale units.

    There are four foundational RPs: Compute (CRP), Network (NRP), Storage (SRP), and KeyVault (KRP).

    • Compute RP (CRP): allows Azure Stack tenants to create their own virtual machines and containers.
    • Network RP (NRP): delivers a series of Software Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Function Virtualization (NFV) features for the private cloud.
    • Storage RP (SRP): delivers four Azure-consistent storage services: blob, table, queue, and account management.
    • KeyVault RP (KRP): offers management and auditing of secrets, such as passwords and certificates.


    Microsoft and hardware vendors will write CRPs for differentiated compute resources. CRPs enable Microsoft to operate Azure public cloud using a variety of processors – AMD, Cavium, Intel, and Qualcomm. However, Microsoft is managing end customer qualification of Azure Stack via a staged transition from the first generation of Intel Broadwell and Skylake Xeons in 2018. It is unlikely that Azure Stack suppliers or customers will request ARM-based processors – Cavium or Qualcomm – in 2018. AMD’s Epyc will perhaps be a different story.

    We believe there will also be an opportunity for hardware vendors to write CRPs for compute accelerators, if the accelerator has a well-defined instruction set or application programming interface (API). For example, supporting GPUs to accelerate virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) should be low-hanging fruit. Likewise, for supporting in-memory computing and GPU-accelerated Big Data and machine learning applications.

    Operators can upgrade RPs for an existing scale unit to improve performance and Azure Stack scale unit hardware partners can write RPs to enable new and differentiated compute, storage, networking, and security hardware.

    (continua)

  3. #3
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    Hardware Differentiation

    The first wave of public partner Azure Stack infrastructure has matured from Microsoft Ignite in September 2016 to Inspire in July 2017

    The dual-socket Intel Broadwell-based hyperconverged compute nodes are still there from Microsoft Ignite 2016, with similar processor, memory, storage, and networking options. However, there are differences between vendor stacks.

    Management switches and software are now vendor specific. Vendor-controlled system management is table stakes for the vendors, and my guess it is a significant part of Microsoft extending Azure Stack to Technical Preview 3 (TP3). Microsoft uses Technical Previews to preview new software to hardware and software partners and ask for feedback from those partners. TP2 is rare for Microsoft products; TP3 is almost unheard of.

    For example, Dell EMC will enable cloud administrators to control service levels, backup policies, and retention choices. In addition, Dell EMC will extend infrastructure management into both platform automation and lifecycle management. Microsoft joined the Cloud Foundry Foundation in January 2017 to support Cloud Foundry in Azure. Dell EMC has stated that Pivotal Cloud Foundry support will extend into Azure Stack.

    HPE has partnered with Sogeti (a subsidiary of Cap Gemini S.A.) for Azure Stack cloud native development and application migration services and with Cloud28+ for Azure Stack go-to-market (GTM) campaigns. HPE-Microsoft are opening Azure Stack Innovation Centers in Redmond, Geneva, and via remote mobile units for building proof of concept apps, hosting Azure Stack hackathons, and giving developers access to Azure Stack experts.

    Quanta Cloud Technology (QCT) showed the makings of a first-generation Azure Stack (uncertified… certification will be the responsibility of whomever wants to deploy a solution). QCT’s participation speaks to broader supply chain interest in Azure Stack. It also hints that the first wave of OEMs may want to quickly differentiate their stacks in 2018. QCT will present a session about deploying SQL Server on Azure Stack at Ignite.



    Perhaps unsurprisingly, Cisco Systems will enter the Azure Stack infrastructure fray in November with differentiated network speed and architecture. Cisco will offer 40 Gb/sec top of rack switching to hyperconverged node network plus integrated in-band management capability. Azure Stack will be managed through a service profile in UCS Manager. We would guess that Cisco had additional certification hurdles courtesy of added NRP software development. Cisco will also add NVMe storage to their Broadwell-based platforms via a host baseband adaptor (HBA), which probably involved some changes to the SRP. The rest of Cisco’s infrastructure falls into line with Dell EMC, HPE, and Lenovo.

    Huawei intends to ship Intel Xeon SP processors and optional 25 Gb/sec networking in Q1 2018. The move to Xeon SP will bump DDR4 memory speed from 2.4 GHz to 2.6 GHz and include native support for NVMe storage. Otherwise, there isn’t much different in Huawei’s first Azure Stack configuration from the first wave. However, these seemingly small tweaks involve certifying changes to the CRP, NRP, and SRP.

    It is reasonable to expect that the rest of the first wave of vendors will have a response for Intel Xeon Scalable support by the time Huawei delivers its Azure Stack solution in early 2018.

    Microsoft, Dell EMC, HPE, Lenovo, Cisco, and Rackspace all offer single-node “proof of concept” (PoC) Azure Stack Development Kit (ASDK) developer systems (either physical hardware or virtual instances), so that software developers can start integrating their apps into Azure Stack’s framework. But these PoC systems cannot be upgraded to a full Azure Stack implementation.

    Azure Stack Will Eat Enterprise Private Cloud

    Microsoft’s private cloud advantage stems from its decision to write and maintain only one code base for Azure public cloud and Azure Stack private cloud. While Azure Stack will be a subset of Azure functionality, the shared functionality will behave identically on both products. Application developers can choose to scale-in their Azure applications to run in Azure Stack instances or to scale-out applications written for Azure Stack into Microsoft’s Azure public cloud.

    Microsoft also has a hardware advantage through its Azure architecture team. We think that Microsoft will eventually have to consider certifying Azure Stack scale units assembled from the same gear its Azure team will start deploying soon – Open Compute Project (OCP) Project Olympus rack-scale platforms. This should be attractive to managed service providers, like Rackspace and Avanade. But key questions for the Azure Stack hardware ecosystem are how fast hardware vendors can carve out defensible, differentiated product niches and how much margin can they generate in the process?

    Over 16,000 channel partners attended Microsoft’s Inspire event in July. Every Azure Stack session and vendor presentation at Microsoft’s Inspire channel partner event was packed, with standing room only.

    We expect that Ignite will attract the same attention from Microsoft’s massive developer community – last year Ignite had 23,500 attendees. We also anticipate more Azure Stack announcements as the first wave of Azure Stack hardware is delivered to customers in the coming weeks.

    The near ubiquity of Microsoft’s enterprise presence – Microsoft owns commanding high-ground in operating systems, development tools, applications, channel partnerships, and developer mindshare – gives Azure Stack a private cloud market potential that OpenStack and other private cloud competitors can only dream of.

    https://www.nextplatform.com/2017/09...cloud-private/

  4. #4
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    Azure Stack Shipments Begin

    Jeffrey Schwartz
    September 25, 2017

    The first Azure Stack appliances are now shipping from OEMs like Dell EMC, Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Lenovo, Microsoft announced at its Ignite conference on Monday.

    First unveiled at the 2015 Ignite event, Azure Stack is the cornerstone of Microsoft's hybrid cloud strategy, which includes a unified portal management experience and the ability to build and provision instances and applications with the use of common APIs.

    "Azure Stack also enables you to begin modernizing your on-premises applications even before you move into the public cloud," said Scott Guthrie, executive vice president of Cloud and Infrastructure at Microsoft, during a keynote session at Ignite on Monday.

    "The command and control [are] identical," said Sid Nag, Gartner's research director for cloud services, in an interview following Guthrie's session. "If I have a craft, I don't have to learn new skills. I can transition very smoothly without a learning curve."

    Preorders for Azure Stack began in July at the Microsoft Inspire partner conference. As with any major new piece of infrastructure, the pace and number of Azure Stack deployments remain to be seen -- despite significant interest in the solution. "Clients have been looking for an onramp to the public cloud, but they are not ready to commit," Nag said.

    New Azure Portal Features

    Microsoft maintains that enterprises should embrace the hybrid path it has championed for some time, but the company is also apparently giving them a nudge by bringing the Azure Portal to their world, whether or not they use the public cloud. Adding these new capabilities brings the portal even to those not using Azure Stack.

    During an Ignite session, Corey Sanders, Microsoft's director of Azure compute, demonstrated the new features coming to the Azure Portal:

    PowerShell Built into Azure Portal: PowerShell is now built into the Azure Portal, aimed at simplifying the creation of virtual machines (VMs). "It's browser-based and can run on any OS or even from an iPhone," Sanders said. "If you are familiar with PowerShell, it used to take many, many, commands to get this going. Now it takes just one parameter," he said. "With that, I put in my user name and password and it creates a virtual machine, so you don't have to worry about the other configurations unless you want to."

    Sanders said IT pros can use classic PowerShell WhatIf queries to validate what a given command will do.

    Change Tracking: When running a VM, every change on the VM -- including every file, event and registry change -- is tracked. The portal can scan a single machine or an entire environment, letting IT pros discover all changes and investigate anything that requires attention.

    Log Analytics: Administrators can now call on a set of prebuilt operations and statistics to discover the number of threats. It looks beyond the built-in anti-malware, letting administrators go into the analytics designer to create queries that Sanders said are simple to write. "They are very SQL-like and allow me to do very custom things," he said.

    For example, it can query the processor time of all the VMs in a specific subscription over the last seven days. It can group them by computer and display a time chart that identifies spikes in all the CPUs timed across those seven days.

    Update Management: Administrators looking to see what updates or patches have been installed, or who are awaiting installation, can use this new feature in the Azure Portal. It displays details of what the updates include and allows administrators to choose which ones to act on. Sanders emphasized this works across an entire Azure or on-premises infrastructure of Windows and Linux machines.

    Disaster Recovery: Noting that planning how to back up infrastructure and ensure a workable recovery plan is complex, Sanders said the site recovery capability in the Azure Portal lets administrators pick a target region, and it will provide a picture of how a failover scenario will actually appear. "The key point here is this isn't just a single machine. You can do this across a set of machines, build a recovery plan across many machines, do the middleware and actually run scripts according to that plan," he said.

    Microsoft said these features will appear in preview mode starting Monday, though it hasn't disclosed a final release date.

    https://rcpmag.com/articles/2017/09/...nts-begin.aspx

  5. #5
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    HPE brings software-defined approach to Azure Stack

    Firm adds flexible pricing model to Microsoft's private cloud.

    Joe Curtis
    25 Sep, 2017

    HPE will allow customers to pay for Azure Stack deployments on its own servers on a consumption model, claiming this makes it as cost-effective to run as a public cloud.

    The tech giant's ProLiant servers are available now to run Microsoft's cloud-in-a-box, which aims to replicate Azure's capabilities in a company's own data centre.

    With it, HPE allows customers to deploy HPE Flexible Capacity, meaning they can scale up and down and pay only for what they use - though there is a minimum fee commitment.

    HPE said this provides "cloud speed and economics on-premises, on par with the cost of public clouds".

    ProLiant also takes advantage of HPE OneView, an infrastructure management dashboard, to manage software updates and monitor system status.

    McLeod Glass, VP and general manager for HPE's software-defined and hyperconverged offerings, said: "Our customers live in a complex hybrid world that requires tools to simplify and optimise their hybrid IT environments.

    "HPE and Microsoft have a shared vision for making it easier to manage hybrid clouds. By extending our software-defined capabilities to Microsoft Azure Stack, we are simplifying and speeding-up deployment of on-premises cloud capabilities, enabling customers to succeed in their digital transformation initiatives."

    IT departments that deploy HPE ProLiant for Microsoft Azure Stack can choose from between four to 12-node configurations, either in single increments or blocks of four, as well as processors designed for specific types of workloads.

    DXC Technology - the result of a merger between CSC and HPE's Enterprise Services division - is offering to manage firms' Azure Stack deployments, while Veeam will provide a data availability platform from the first quarter of 2018.

    Other partners include Capgemini subsidiary Sogeti, NTT Communications, PwC and Wipro.

    "Customers are looking to build modern applications across cloud and on-premises environments that meet business policies and regulatory requirements," said Mike Neil, Microsoft's corporate vice president of Azure infrastructure and management. "With HPE ProLiant for Microsoft Azure Stack, customers can innovate on a truly consistent, high-performance hybrid cloud platform that will increase agility, enhance innovation and control costs with the right mix of cloud and on-premises that is under their complete control."

    Dell EMC unveiled its own support for Azure Stack back in May, expected to launch before the end of the year, allowing customers to build and share applications across on-premise and public cloud environments.

    Microsoft rival Oracle recently added SaaS services to its own data centre-dwelling cloud, Cloud at Customer. Nirav Mehta, VP of product management at Oracle, told Cloud Pro at the time that Azure Stack "fell short" of a comprehensive cloud service by relying on partners to provide the hardware infrastructure.

    http://www.cloudpro.co.uk/leadership...to-azure-stack

  6. #6
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    PR: Availability of HPE ProLiant for Microsoft Azure Stack Accelerates Hybrid Cloud Deployments

    ORLANDO, Fla., Sept. 25, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Today, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (NYSE:HPE) announced general availability of HPE ProLiant for Microsoft Azure Stack at Microsoft Ignite. HPE ProLiant for Microsoft Azure Stack enables customers and service providers to run Azure-consistent services on HPE infrastructure in their own data centers to help simplify their hybrid IT environments.

    Today's enterprise manages and consumes IT services across a hybrid infrastructure that combines traditional on-premises IT, private, managed and public clouds. As a result, IT is under pressure to respond to line of business and developer initiatives with cloud speed, optimize their organizations' right mix of IT, all while lowering capital and operational expenditures. HPE ProLiant for Microsoft Azure Stack enables customers to:

    • Run and manage high performance Azure-consistent services on-premises - HPE ProLiant for Microsoft Azure Stack integrates HPE OneView to simplify Azure Stack operations, making it easier to manage software and firmware updates and monitor system status. Additionally, HPE infrastructure provides the high capacity and speed required to meet customers' demanding workloads.
    • Connect with HPE, Microsoft and third-party experts to plan, build and manage hybrid clouds - The one-of-its-kind HPE-Microsoft Azure Stack Innovation Center has been established in Bellevue, WA, to ensure customers have a seamless experience when leveraging Azure Stack across HPE infrastructure, software, and services. There customers can connect with HPE and Microsoft experts for business and technical planning, to test use cases and implement a proof of concept.
    • Run consumption-based Azure Stack services for simplified billing and lower costs - HPE is the only provider to offer Azure Stack services and infrastructure in a single invoice on a consumption-basis. HPE ProLiant for Azure Stack can be combined with HPE Flexible Capacity, offering on-demand capacity and consumption-based payments. HPE Flexible Capacity gives customers the ability to scale-up and -down capacity as needed, allowing them to pay only for what they consume above a minimum commitment, providing cloud speed and economics on-premises, on par with the cost of public clouds.


    "Our customers live in a complex hybrid world that requires tools to simplify and optimize their hybrid IT environment," said McLeod Glass, vice president and general manager, Software-Defined and Hyperconverged Solutions, HPE. "HPE and Microsoft have a shared vision for making it easier to manage hybrid clouds. By extending our software-defined capabilities to Microsoft Azure Stack, we are simplifying and speeding-up deployment of on-premises cloud capabilities, enabling customers to succeed in their digital transformation initiatives."

    A high-performing solution for Azure Stack, supported by HPE and Microsoft expertise and leading third-party solutions

    HPE ProLiant for Microsoft Azure Stack is co-engineered and validated by HPE and Microsoft to provide enterprises and service providers a simplified and integrated development, management and security experience consistent with Azure public cloud services that they can run on-premises. HPE ProLiant for Microsoft Azure Stack enables organizations to modernize application development, deploy applications to their preferred location, meet data sovereignty, security and compliance requirements and achieve superior performance from on-premises infrastructure.

    HPE ProLiant provides one of the best-performing platforms for Azure Stack available today, with 768GB of RAM and 2400MHz memory speed, increasing memory bandwidth by 28 percent compared to competitive solutions with the same capacity.1 This feature enables customers to run more workloads at the fastest rate possible.

    In addition, HPE ProLiant for Microsoft Azure Stack offers customers the ability to customize their implementations with the choice of:

    • Configurations from four to 12 nodes - available as single increments vs. blocks of four, letting customers to order the system size to meet their particular requirements.
    • Processors that are best suited for their specific workloads.
    • Memory and storage options, choice of racks, as well as third party networking switches and power supply options to allow for seamless integration into existing environments.


    Customers will also have access to a growing ecosystem of partner and third-party solutions and services that address specific business requirements. The new solutions and services for HPE ProLiant for Azure Stack joining those from Sogeti, NTT Communications, PwC and Wipro, include:

    • DXC Technology Managed Services for HPE ProLiant for Microsoft Azure Stack delivers streamlined end-to-end operation and management of hybrid cloud environments with solutions designed to support customers' specific workload placement, privacy and regulatory requirements aligned to industry use cases.
    • Veeam Software combined with HPE infrastructure and Azure Stack provides customers with the same agility of the Azure public cloud on-premises, using a common data availability platform to ensure rapid recovery of mission-critical applications. This will provide customers peace of mind that their data and applications are protected, secure and available no matter where they reside.


    "Customers are looking to build modern applications across cloud and on-premises environments that meet business policies and regulatory requirements," said Mike Neil, corporate vice president, Azure Infrastructure and Management, Microsoft Corp. "With HPE ProLiant for Microsoft Azure Stack, customers can innovate on a truly consistent, high-performance hybrid cloud platform that will increase agility, enhance innovation and control costs with the right mix of cloud and on-premises that is under their complete control."

    Availability

    HPE ProLiant for Microsoft Azure Stack is available now. The Veeam Software solution is targeted for availability in the first quarter of calendar year 2018.

    http://www.nasdaq.com/press-release/...20170925-00712

  7. #7
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    First Microsoft Azure Stack systems are headed to your datacenters

    Natalia Mackevicius
    September 25, 2017

    We’re seeing a fantastic response to our previous announcements around Azure Stack orderability. Today represents another big milestone for us. We’ve now completed work on the initial release of Azure Stack along with our hardware partners. I’m at Microsoft Ignite today, speaking with tens of thousands of our best enterprise IT customers, and they are all excited about this release. As such, I’m thrilled to announce:

    • First Azure Stack integrated systems have shipped. Dell EMC, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, and Lenovo are now shipping systems. Please contact our partners who will deploy and install Azure Stack, ready to run your applications. You can contact our hardware partners for more details.
    • Expanded purchasing options. Azure Stack integrated systems from Cisco are ready to order now. Additionally, Wortmann plans to introduce terra integrated systems for Azure Stack by the end of this year. We are also excited to announce a fully managed solution from Avanade, which enables a single point of purchase, is now available to order.
    • New Azure Stack training and certification courses for IT Professionals. We’re investing in a new “Azure Stack Operator”-focused learning path and certification exam to help you build in-depth skills in managing and operating Azure hybrid clouds. While the certification exam will be available in Q1 CY18, you can begin your preparation today using initial training materials.


    True hybrid application innovation

    Every customer I talk to has (or is working on) a cloud strategy to deliver differentiated customer experiences and transform the way they do business. Most of them also have significant on-premises investments – they’re looking to build modern applications across cloud and on-premises environments, along with the flexibility to deploy them to meet business policies and regulatory requirements. This was the primary motivator for us to build Azure Stack as an on-premises extension of Azure.

    Azure and Azure Stack deliver the industry’s only truly consistent hybrid cloud platform, which enables a unified approach to application development and unlocks completely new use case scenarios, as well as pay-as-you-use pricing. Customers are investing in the hybrid cloud model using Azure and Azure Stack – including AVID, ABSA Bank, ANZ Bank, Mitsui Knowledge Industry, Saxo Bank, and Schlumberger.

    Simply stated, we’re committed to bring Azure services virtually everywhere to help drive our customers’ businesses forward. Check out this whitepaper for more information about what capabilities are available in Azure Stack at the initial release and what is planned for future versions.

    New Azure Stack training and certification for IT Professionals

    While Azure Stack and Azure share the same application development model, you still need to manage and operate Azure Stack integrated systems that run at your premises. You don’t need to do this with Azure, as Microsoft does that work. To make sure you are successful, we are sharing our learnings and best practices running Azure so you can successfully do the same across your hybrid cloud environments. Accordingly, we’re investing deeply in “Azure Stack Operator” training and certification programs that will equip you with the people, process, and technology expertise to thrive during this time of change. These new valuable skills will enable our Microsoft IT professionals to develop valuable skills as their organizations transition to cloud with Azure and Azure Stack.

    One Azure Ecosystem offerings

    Our partner ecosystem has made available several offerings to help speed up your Azure Stack initiatives:

    • ISVs are extending their Azure applications and services to Azure Stack, and we have a rapidly growing list of validated offerings including Bitnami, Chef, Docker, Kemp Technologies, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, and SUSE Linux. We’ve also validated popular Microsoft workloads such as Windows Server and SQL Server to run on Azure Stack.
    • Managed Service Providers (MSPs) are expanding their offerings to include managed services based on Azure Stack. MSPs like NTT, Pulsant, Revera, Tieto, and YourHosting will have offers in market in the coming weeks.
    • As an example of a complete, fully managed hybrid cloud solution, Avanade is delivering an all-in-one offer that includes cloud transformation services, software, infrastructure, set up & configuration, and ongoing managed services so you can consume Azure Stack just like you do with Azure today.
    • Multiple Systems Integrators (SIs) have expanded their application modernization practice to include Azure Stack – this includes Avanade, DXC, Dell EMC Services, InFront Consulting Group, HPE Pointnext, and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).


    Closing thoughts

    Today’s milestone is the culmination of a lot of deep engagement and feedback from many of you. I look forward to learning more as you plan and design your hybrid solutions using Azure and Azure Stack. We’re really interested in understanding the business challenges you want Azure Stack to solve, as well as what you’d like to see in subsequent Azure Stack releases.

    Also, be sure to follow us at Microsoft Ignite – we have a ton of sessions and numerous interactive forums. A large contingent from our product group is in attendance, and we’d love to speak with you!

    https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/bl...r-datacenters/

  8. #8
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    Navigating the challenges of a hybrid cloud strategy

    Dimuth Samaranayaka
    22 Sep 2017

    Over the last few years, enterprise digital transformation initiatives have resulted in a dramatic increase in the adoption of cloud technologies. Two dominant players have emerged in the public cloud computing market – Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services (AWS). Challengers include Google Cloud Services and Aliyun (the cloud service arm of Alibaba).

    Unlike early adopters of cloud technologies, enterprises are now embarking on a multi-cloud strategy to harness the best of the solutions offered by these vendors.

    Research conducted by Gartner indicates that by 2019, 90% of native cloud providers will be forced out of the market due to the duopoly held by AWS and Microsoft. Research also indicates that by 2020, 90% of organisations will adopt a hybrid infrastructure management capability. Furthermore, the co-location and hosting market is expected to grow by 8.7% a year on average until 2020.

    One complication for enterprises when adopting cloud technologies is the price of on-premises server computing capabilities. While the cost of computing (e.g. CPU/RAM) has dropped, vendors such as HP, Dell, IBM and Cisco are offering increased computing capabilities and providing greater value for money. Research conducted by IDC suggests that many enterprises are struggling to decide whether to deploy workloads on-premises or off-premises with continuous consolidation of server environments.

    Competing with AWS and Azure

    With the strength of AWS and Microsoft in the cloud services space, many of the organisations in the data centre space find it challenging to compete. This will fuel a wave of data centre transformations focused on the delivery of as-a-service capability, providing automation of many of the data centre functions and hybrid cloud capabilities to their clients.

    Data centre providers that do not transform are likely to face significant challenges in continuing to be relevant in the market. There is a growth in interest from data centre providers to provide value-added services to their clients by adopting Platform as a Service (PaaS) tools. This enables them to provide their customers with many of the capabilities enjoyed by AWS/Microsoft customers but within their own data centre. It is likely we will see an increase in data centres that will transform their business in this manner.

    It makes sense for organisations to maintain a hybrid cloud and data centre services capability. Each organisation is unique in their IT requirements and workloads, and have varying skill sets and personal preferences that will dictate the cloud of choice.

    Hybrid cloud data centres enable organisations to maintain a multi-cloud strategy which ensures a level of agility and limited vendor lock-in, with the freedom to choose the best technology for resolving their business problems.

    Some of the challenges associated with public clouds identified from research and experience with customers include; difficulties in maintaining legacy applications, the complexity of application integration where no single application in the enterprise dominates, increased data volume and size, increased data retention in order to harness predictive analytics, and having to maintain and refresh non-production environments.

    It is no surprise, therefore, that Microsoft Azure stack was introduced in mid-2016 to address the increasing demand for on-premises private clouds for many of its enterprise customers. At the time of writing, most of the hardware vendors, such as HP, Dell and Lenovo have partnered with Microsoft to offer Azure stack.

    Cloud adoption challenges

    There is still some hesitation towards selecting a single cloud as a strategy. The main reason behind this is not the traditional consumption of IaaS computing capability, but more that the application catalogue provided by these cloud vendors is ever changing and potentially can influence an organisation’s digital strategy.

    Customers also do not want to be locked into a single cloud and want to have a level of independence. While both AWS and Microsoft provide attractive incentives to come onboard, most enterprise IT landscapes are quite complex, requiring significant effort to decouple and make proper use of cloud capabilities.

    Organisations are adopting cloud as ‘extra compute scaling’ and ‘application piloting’. When you truly cost a public cloud strategy, the cost can become prohibitive if you have a complex and large IT infrastructure landscape. Many firms focus on the Software-as-a-Service applications provided by cloud providers as a real alternative to on-premises solutions such as email. Finally, data privacy and security issues are perceived to be barriers and can restrict the adoption of public cloud capabilities.

    Poorly planned cloud implementation strategies are costing businesses significant amounts of money. This inevitably results in depleted IT budgets and greatly limits opportunities for businesses to pursue other initiatives which could add value to the organisation.

    https://thestack.com/data-centre/201...loud-strategy/

  9. #9
    WHT-BR Top Member
    Data de Ingresso
    Dec 2010
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    18,573

    Now taking orders for Cisco Integrated System for Microsoft Azure Stack



    Liz Centoni
    September 25, 2017

    We are now taking orders for Cisco Integrated System for Microsoft Azure Stack, offering customers a powerful cloud-ready solution that gives them full control over how they manage data, governance, security and performance.

    We combined Microsoft’s robust Azure cloud platform with Cisco’s UCS server platform that is designed for cloud workloads, providing customers and partners with confidence and continuity for their investment in this evolving digital world.

    In its initial release, Azure Stack includes a core set of Azure services, DevOps tooling, and Azure Marketplace content, all of which are delivered through an integrated systems approach. What does this mean? Cloud applications deploy faster because they are built on the same Azure Marketplace application components. The ability to run consistent Azure services on-premises ultimately means the flexibility to decide where applications and workloads should reside.

    So why choose Cisco for Azure Stack?

    An agile and scalable cloud infrastructure, Cisco Integrated System for Microsoft Azure Stack combines the network, security, and tools to build applications for public and private cloud deployments with simplified management and control.

    Cisco’s 60,000 plus UCS customers enjoy proven operational advantages, with 40% faster infrastructure deployment, a 38% reduction in ongoing management costs, and over a 90% reduction in downtime compared to commodity server infrastructures. Cisco is also first to market with NVMe and 40Gb Ethernet end to end systems for Azure Stack to help ensure that our Azure Stack solution can accept additional workloads and efficiently deliver the performance that our customers demand.

    Given Cisco’s Nexus leadership market position, customers have already decided to trust their IT data security and management to Cisco. And Cisco Integrated System for Microsoft Azure Stack incorporates the latest in Nexus technology. Why should IT staff have to learn a new “language” for their Azure Stack domain? By selecting Cisco, customers can maintain their Nexus standard and ease any network integration concerns that diverse switch technologies can cause.

    Our recent investment in AppDynamics layers application performance analytics on cloud applications built for the Azure cloud – both public and on premise. Cisco is the only Azure Stack supplier that delivers all components of a successful cloud application deployment – from high performance networks and compute systems to application performance management and analytics with AppDynamics.

    Cisco’s automation tools, combined with UCS Manager allows our customers and partners to not have to worry about the day-to-day business of keeping the data center operational, they can now be deployed to strategic areas of the business to increase revenue and customer satisfaction.

    Our partners are also a key ingredient for a successful hybrid cloud deployment. We offer them a recurring revenue stream from Microsoft Azure Stack deployments on Cisco UCS, and they can build or augment a thriving cloud business by reselling Azure services. They can increase the value of their solutions with an efficient and elastic cloud consumption model that grows to meet the needs of their customers’ business and offer pre and post installation services to assist customers with planning a successful Azure Stack deployment.

    Microsoft Ignite is Sept. 25-29 in Orlando Florida. Come visit Cisco at Booth #735 and check out the Cisco Integrated Solution for Microsoft Azure Stack. In addition check out Microsoft’s blog of the release of Azure Stack

    https://blogs.cisco.com/datacenter/n...ft-azure-stack

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