In the metropolitan areas of Australia, alongside select parts of Asia and high security environments, Hile said different customer needs are emerging, with end-users attracted to the benefits of public cloud but “cannot or prefer not” to move.
“In these scenarios we can 'bring public cloud to the mainframe' in their region or data centre,” he explained. “Therefore it’s really about choice, customers will select Azure Stack where it makes sense for their given workload, but importantly if business requirements change then moving to Azure is a simple process, not a major transition.”
For Hile, Azure Stack has an important role to play in the A/NZ market because it supports the priorities of the IT leaders around key topics such as digital transformation, automation, operational efficiency and consumption based pricing.
“While digital transformation might be the current buzz word of the industry, Azure Stack supports the technology side of this agenda leaving business leaders to focus on their customers and core business,” Hile said. “A/NZ markets embrace disruptive technologies and true hybrid is the next evolution of cloud platforms.”
Competitively speaking, the release will help Microsoft claw back ground in the wider cloud market, with AWS currently lacking a credible Azure Stack alternative.
Perhaps AWS could point to its relationship with VMware as a counter play, yet the partnership provides a different set of customer and partner advantages, and is viewed by many as fundamentally different to the Azure Stack.
“Microsoft has been very strategic and understands that not all workloads are suitable for public cloud,” Hile added. “Azure Stack favours any workload that cannot currently be moved to public cloud, along with many edge, disconnected or Internet of Things (IoT) workloads.
“Additionally, Azure Stack can reduce IT transition risk as complex applications can be transformed in the local data centre before they are moved to Azure.”
Looking ahead, Hile believes Azure Stack will take its place as a “disruptive technology” within the market, creating opportunities for partners across the wider Microsoft ecosystem.
“Datacom embraces disruptive technology that delivers better outcomes for our customers so we will structure our cloud business accordingly,” Hile added. “The network and data centre businesses support the delivery of Azure Stack and form part of our Azure Stack ecosystem.”
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