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Azure Stack – Black Box Architecture

Azure Stack – Black Box Architecture

Previously I talked about the Integrated System approach from Microsoft for Azure Stack. In this post I want to talk a little bit more about why Microsoft will be sealing the system.

Azure Stack will run on a black box architecture with no way to get in the systems running on it. All of your administration is performed through the Azure Stack Resource Manager. You will not be able to log on the Hyper-V hosts, the credentials you use are not recognised by the Windows Servers as their level of access stops at the Azure Resource Manager level. Any action that is needed to be undertaken on the physical infrastructure will be done by the appropriate resource provider.

One example of “Black Box Architecture” could be your Storage Area Network… For example, you can’t login to a SAN with Root level permission, make some fundamental changes to the underlying operating system and then expect the SAN to work as before!

Some people I’ve spoken to are not happy about this however after some explanation their FUD subsides. One of the biggest problems that I have come across over my time in IT is change. Change can be very good thing if managed correctly, thought through and fully understood. Sometimes people make a “small” change with the expectation of a minimal impact – however change is rarely minimal.

Whenever someone logs on to a server, a client, an application a “change” is made. This is why Microsoft are making Azure Stack a Black Box. Without access to settings such as Group Policy, which Microsoft have architected for Azure Stack, along with PowerShell DSC configurations and various other settings, change is prohitibited. As mentioned above, Azure Stack will not allow you access to these, the only method of change is through the appropriate Resource Provider and even the actions you will be able to undertake will only be those permitted by Microsoft.

Azure Stack is a platform for you to deploy Azure in your datacentre and just like Azure, you don’t have access to the underlying infrastructure!

Updates and changes to Azure Stack will be undertaken through the Update Resource Provider, through a fully orchestrated process – more of the update process in future posts!

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