Microsoft skewers the Azure on-site dream

A building being locked out of linking to hardware

Posted on Tuesday, May 23, 2017

When Microsoft announced the forthcoming release of Azure Stack, many CTOs thought that they may be able to deploy MS-style cloud services in-house.

The ability to scale resources on demand has been one of the largest benefits of hosted infrastructure after all. And the option to scale-out into the Azure cloud proper is even more compelling.

When pricing details were released back in March, we learned that the service would be on the same pay-as-you-use basis – albeit slightly cheaper because Azure Stack users would have to provide their own hardware.

Unfortunately things have changed slightly.

Azure in a can. A very special can.

Skip forward to May, and we have learned that Azure Stack is nearing completion. We have also discovered that businesses will not be able to deploy Azure Stack on their own hardware after all.

Instead Azure Stack will ship pre-installed on boxes provided by Dell EMC, HPE, Lenovo and Cisco. There will not be any DIY Azure options, and white box vendors like Supermicro, Quanta, Huawei, Inspur and Sugon will also be left out in the cold.

Which begs the question – after purchase of all-new hardware to run Azure Stack, how much of a saving will the new service actually offer over its off-site cousin?

SDS is still the only way

The decision to limit Azure Stack deployments to new hardware seems to have been designed to help a select group of vendors sell more units. It also means that the only option for on-site cloud-type deployments remains software defined storage (SDS).

Using these technologies your business can deploy the arrays and controllers it chooses, including post-warranty systems. In this way, you really can reduce cloud deployment and running costs without compromising data availability or operations.

To learn more about your software defined storage future, and your options outside Microsoft Azure Stack, please get in touch.