Azure Stack Tech Preview - Run You Own Azure
Written by Kay Ewbank   
Monday, 01 February 2016

The first public technical preview of Azure Stack is being released by Microsoft.

The idea behind Azure Stack is to offer a cloud-based system in which the data is held in house. The reasoning is that some companies aren't comfortable with sensitive data being held in the open cloud, but would like to make use of the advantages cloud-based systems offer.

 

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Writing about the forthcoming preview in a post on the Azure blog, Mike Neil, Vice President of Enterprise Cloud at Microsoft, said the first preview will be available for download on January 29. He said that the system will build on Microsoft's experience and knowledge gained building and operating hyper-scale datacenters, adding:

"With Azure Stack, we're now doing the hard work of translating these learnings for on-premises environments so customers can benefit from speed and innovation of the cloud model without location constraints."

In practical terms, Azure Stack combines a variety of Microsoft products and services in a way that companies (or hosting partners) can put together in their own datacenters, avoiding the need to move to the public cloud with all its perceived dangers.The stack looks and feels like Azure, with the same APIs, and companies will be able to develop and run both “cloud-native” applications and traditional applications on it. 

Neil said in the post that:

"The Microsoft Azure Stack gives application owners the ability to “write once, deploy anywhere”, whether it be to your private cloud, a service provider’s cloud, or the public Azure cloud."

As developers, you'll be able to use 'consistent tools, processes and artifacts' to develop apps across Windows and Linux, then deploy them on public, private and hosted clouds. The initial technical preview will be based on a host operating system along with a collection of Windows and Linux virtual machines that are used to run various services.

The host operating system consists of a number of Windows Server technologies that have been customized to make the most of the hardware you're running it on; there are approved hardware configurations from companies such as Dell and HPE. Companies will put together the components from the list of qualifying devices to create their own hardware/software appliance.

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The application model is based on Azure Resource Manager, and development tools are Visual Studio and PowerShell. Further technical previews will add more operating system images and Azure Resource Manager templates.The plan is that Azure Stack will be generally available in the fourth calendar quarter of 2016.

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More Information

Azure blog

Azure Stack Overview

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Azure Big Data Announcements

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Azure SQL Updates

 

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Last Updated ( Monday, 01 February 2016 )