Microsoft’s release of Azure Stack, an on-premises version of its public cloud, could be important for networking and data center pros for one simple reason: It gives customers a way to use a popular and familiar cloud platform without shipping their sensitive data into a multi-tenant environment.
Azure Stack is software from Microsoft that’s been certified to run on a select group of partners’ hardware and is intended to look and feel just like the Azure public cloud. In addition to providing a common management platform between the public and private cloud, Azure Stack is important for another reason too: none of Microsoft’s biggest public cloud competitors have anything like it.
Microsoft is the first of the three major IaaS vendors – Microsoft, Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud Platform – to offer a hybrid cloud that consists of an on-premises hardware/software bundle that runs the same software management tooling as the public cloud.
After first announcing plans for Azure Stack in 2015, Microsoft this week announced that the offering is finally available for customers to order, with shipping expected by this fall.