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Datacom in the driving seat as Microsoft releases Azure Stack

James Henderson | July 13, 2017
Local providers leverage Redmond’s secret weapon in battle of the cloud giants.


Microsoft Azure Stack is officially open for business, with channel partners across Australia and New Zealand already delivering on the promise of hybrid cloud.

Following a round of technical previews and testing, Datacom is one provider in the midst of building out local capabilities, with plans now in place to increase go-to-market strategies on both sides of the Tasman.

For many, Azure Stack - which allows providers to build their own versions of Azure in private data centres - is seen as Microsoft’s secret weapon in the cloud, a weapon capable of taking down industry rival and long-time market leader Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Unveiled during the opening day of Microsoft Inspire in Washington D.C., the tech giant delivered the first release version of Azure Stack to hardware partners, with Dell EMC, Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Lenovo already on board, and Cisco and Huawei set to follow.

In providing servers and equipment required to run the services, the hardware partners will ship the first systems to customers in September.

“Throughout the technical previews, we’ve seen tremendous customer and partner excitement around Microsoft Azure Stack,” Microsoft corporate vice president of Azure infrastructure and management Mike Neil said.

“Our partners are excited about the new business opportunities opened up by our ‘One Azure Ecosystem’ approach, which helps them extend their Azure investments to Azure stack, to unlock new possible for hybrid could environments.”

Alongside its hardware partners, Microsoft also released pricing for the pay-as-you-use and capacity-based models, alongside Azure Stack Development Kit (ASDK) availability.

ASDK, the free single-sever deployment option for trial purposes, is now available for web download, allowing partners to build and validate applications for integrated systems deployments.

“Azure Stack is an extension of Azure, thereby enabling a truly consistent hybrid cloud platform,” Neil said. “Consistency removes hybrid cloud complexity, which helps you maximise your investments across cloud and on-premise environments.

“Consistency enables you to build and deploy applications using the exact same approach - same APIs, same DevOps tools, same portal - leading to increased developer productivity.

“Consistency enables you to develop cloud applications faster by building on Azure Marketplace application components. Consistency enables you to confidently invest in people and processes knowing that those are fully transferable.”

Furthermore, in its initial release, Azure Stack also includes a core set of Azure services, DevOps tooling, and Azure Marketplace content, all of which are delivered through an integrated systems approach.

“It’s a game-changer for many different reasons but primarily because it simplifies IT strategy,” Datacom associate director of transformation and enablement Mark Hile told Reseller News. “For example, the ability to use a single set of deployment templates and operational procedures across on-premise infrastructure and public cloud was previously not possible.


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