While Amazon keeps pushing customers to go all-in on the public cloud, Microsoft is bringing the power of its cloud capabilities to customers who want to keep all their workloads in private datacenters.
The new Microsoft Azure Stack, which the company announced at its Ignite conference in Chicago this morning, allows administrators and developers to take advantage of the infrastructure- and platform-as-a-service tools that Microsoft has built into its public cloud platform and use them on-premises as well. People can use it to manage enterprise applications from Microsoft like SQL Server and Sharepoint, as well as manage the deployment of virtual servers and platform services.
The system will also allow for self-service application provisioning in an on-premise environment, similar to what Microsoft offers through its public cloud service. In addition, users will be able to take advantage of the just-previewed Azure Resource Manager to handle hybrid cloud workloads that span both on-premise infrastructure and Microsoft’s public cloud.
Azure Stack will be released in preview beginning this summer. It’s part of the company’s larger hybrid cloud ambitions, which include the Cloud Platform System, a piece of rack-mounted hardware built in conjunction with Dell. That system provides similar functionality in a single box that companies can purchase to connect their private datacenters with the Azure cloud.
In addition to the Azure Stack announcement, Microsoft also released the second preview of Windows Server 2016. The update brings with it support for rolling upgrades to Hyper-V and Storage clusters, as well as compute resiliency that will allow virtual machines to keep running even if the compute service fabric fails.