If Microsoft’s Azure is a swim in the cloud pool, and Azure Stack is a paddle in the shallow end, Azure Stack HCI is a toe dip. For some organizations, that is just enough cloud.
Azure Stack brought the cloud to the datacenter. With Azure Stack HCI, Microsoft is hoping to bring the legacy datacenter one step closer to the cloud.
Azure Stack HCI is the spiritual successor to Windows Server Software-Defined (WSSD) infrastructure, which originally launched in 2016. WSSD is essentially Windows 2016 paired with Microsoft’s software-defined storage offering (SD2), bringing hyperconvergence to the Microsoft stack.
Microsoft recognizes that some organizations don’t have the inclination or expertise to run its cloud stack on premises (the Azure Stack promise), and that many prefer the familiarity of virtualized applications with Azure connectivity. Microsoft provides documentation on the relationship between Azure, Azure Stack, and Azure Stack HCI:
Azure Stack HCI is new, but it’s not new. And that’s exactly what some organizations need. Where skilling up is cost prohibitive or applications need to remain firmly on premises (and not managed through the Azure console), Azure Stack HCI may be just the ticket.
What’s more interesting about Azure Stack HCI is what it’s not: a true cloud offering. The latest front in the cloud computing wars is hybridity: AWS launched Outposts, IBM bought Red Hat, and Google launched Anthos. Microsoft billing its hyperconverged platform as part of its cloud offering cements this direction. The head honchos in Redmond must recognize that for many organizations a wholesale leap into cloud IaaS is not realistic in the short term. This rebranding is a way for Microsoft to own that reluctance. Smart!
COVID-19 has forced software companies and their suppliers to refocus efforts around prioritizing systems and workflows that are nearly 100% digital in nature. As a result, Info-Tech has observed the quick emergence of six market themes that are highly relevant post COVID-19. This note series will profile key vendors and how they fit into the post-COVID-19 world.
COVID-19 has forced software companies and their suppliers to refocus efforts around prioritizing systems and workflows that are nearly 100% digital in nature. As a result, Info-Tech has observed the quick emergence of six market themes that are highly relevant after COVID-19. This note series will profile key vendors and how they fit into the post-COVID-19 world.
Oracle has announced the general availability of Exadata Cloud@Customer, a managed service that enables enterprises to unlock the previously cloud-first features of Oracle's Autonomous Database for on-premises data centers. This offering is ideal for enterprises that must conform with regulatory and/or technical challenges that force on-premises database residency.
Experiencing issues when using Microsoft online services? You are not alone. Capacity constraints were being hit, pre-COVID-19, and usage has surged in regions with enforced social distancing.
Google has announced a premium support plan for its cloud customers, promising a 15-minute response to the highest severity tickets. Google’s cloud has long struggled with enterprise customers – especially when compared to giants Microsoft and AWS – and this announcement is the latest incarnation of Google’s push to better serve a critical constituency.
In January, Microsoft announced what it’s calling “the largest expansion of its Canadian-based cloud computing infrastructure” since 2016. Additional availability zones and services will increase capacity for cloud-hungry Canadians, and the addition of an Azure ExpressRoute site in Vancouver will guarantee security and performance in a regulated jurisdiction.
Microsoft’s announcement that server-side encryption with customer managed keys for Azure Managed Disks is now available is welcome news for security-minded public cloud customers. Managing one’s own keys in a cloud environment can be an important step in complying with regulatory requirements, and this new feature should open Azure Managed Disks to a wider group of customers who may have held back for this reason.
Amazon Web Services (AWS) has provided its customers with better options for Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) ingress routing. Customers will have to consider which works best for their needs.
AWS VPC Traffic Mirroring gives customers more visibility for out-of-band traffic inspection. This feature is another useful tool for monitoring in the AWS cloud.