The Viewfinder

Why Azure Stack is a great choice for hybrid cloud

Author: Larry Swonke
Principal Architect, Managed Cloud & Infrastructure Solutions
Long View

Hi everyone, I'm Larry, I have helped clients evaluate and implement Azure for more than 14 years.  I often get asked by my clients and partners why they should consider Azure Stack as part of their hybrid cloud solution. In this blog post, I want to share with you some of my thoughts and experiences on how Azure Stack can help you leverage the power of Azure in your own environment.

First of all, let me explain what Azure Stack is and how it differs from Azure. Azure is a public cloud service that offers more than 100 services in 60 regions and 200 datacenters around the world. You can use Azure to build, deploy, and manage applications and services using the latest technologies and innovations from Microsoft and its partners.

Azure Stack is a hybrid cloud solution that extends Azure services and capabilities to your on-premises environment. With Azure Stack, you can run Azure applications and services on your own hardware, using the same tools and APIs as in Azure. Azure Stack is designed to meet the needs of businesses and industries that require more control, security, or compliance over their data and applications.

Azure Stack consists of two products: Azure Stack HCI and Azure Stack Edge. Azure Stack HCI is a hyperconverged infrastructure solution that combines compute, storage, and networking into a single system. Azure Stack Edge is a cloud-managed appliance that provides edge computing, AI, and IoT capabilities. Each product has its own features and scenarios, but they all share the same consistent Azure experience.

So, why would you want to use Azure Stack? Here are some typical use case scenarios I see:

  • Guaranteed resource capacity during a datacenter region failure. If a region in Azure has a failure, the capacity it would need to supply from another region might not be available or optimal. With Azure Stack, you can have your own dev/test environment on-premises and provide failover to your own HCI region or regions.
  • Option for BCP and HA for some workloads. You can run some PaaS services in the cloud and failover to Azure Stack in case of a disaster or outage. For example, you can use Azure App Service and Azure Functions on Azure Stack to host your web apps and serverless functions.
  • AI services that never leave your datacenter. You can use Azure Stack Edge to run AI models and inferencing on your data without sending it to the cloud. This can help you reduce latency, bandwidth, and privacy risks.
  • Running some PaaS services in your datacenter. You can use Azure Arc to enable some Azure PaaS services on your Kubernetes clusters, such as Azure SQL Managed Instance. This can help you simplify your database management and leverage the benefits of Azure services on-premises.
  • Cost avoidance for extended support updates. If you are still running Windows Server or SQL Server 2012, you might be facing the end of support and the need to pay for extended support updates. With Azure Stack, you can migrate your workloads to a modern platform and avoid the extra costs.

These are just some of the reasons why I think Azure Stack is a great choice for hybrid cloud. Of course, every scenario is different and you need to evaluate your own requirements and goals. But if you are looking for a way to achieve more with your cloud strategy, I highly recommend you to check out Azure Stack and see how it can help you.

If you would like more information, here are some resources to explore:

  • Microsoft Customer Story-Co-op Group consolidates architecture with Azure Stack HCI to save £400,000 a year on power
  • A leading healthcare provider uses Azure Stack Hub to run Azure services on-premises and comply with strict data privacy and security regulations. They also leverage Azure Stack Edge to process medical images at the edge and improve patient care.
  • A global manufacturing company uses Azure Stack HCI to modernize their legacy infrastructure and run virtualized Windows and Linux workloads on-premises. They also use Azure Stack Edge to enable real-time analytics and AI at the edge for their industrial IoT devices.
  • A game development studio uses Azure Stack Hub to create and deploy hybrid games that span across their on-premises and Azure environments. They also use Azure Stack Edge to deliver low-latency gaming experiences to their players around the world.

Thanks for reading! Until next time.

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