Azure Stack

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...

Hybrid Cloud – It’s both the future and the past

We’ve all heard of the cloud by now, it’s fair to say it’s now a mainstream term for many people (not including the weather!) and most would agree it’s the future. When we look specifically at enterprise IT there’s still a discussion to be had on whether you should go public cloud, private cloud or hybrid cloud. There’s even more concepts coming down the line but we’ll stick with these for the simplicity of this post.  There’s always some scepticism around cloud, as there is with many ‘new’ IT concepts. But have you ever looked back and wondered if history is repeating itself? I’m writing this as someone with 17 years in the industry and more as a hobbyist so I’ve been around long enough to work with twinax terminals, ...

Azure Stack Development Kit (PoC)

Azure Stack, for a production deployment, will only be available on Integrated Systems as described here. However, there is an option for you to install Azure Stack on a single server to “kick the tyres” … This is the Azure Stack PoC (PoC), soon to be renamed to Azure Stack Development Kit. This server does not need to have all the required hardware that a production deployment would require, for example you do not have to have SSDs and HDDs in the server, you need a minimum of 5 disks in the server for the PoC installation, 1 for the Boot OS and 4 for use by Azure Stack to create a Storage Space. For the exact specifications of the hardware please check this website: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/azure-stack/azure-stack-deploy. If you are planning to test the AppService, SQL, MyS...

Integrated Systems and Azure Stack

Microsoft have announced that Azure Stack will only be available on integrated systems from a select number of vendors: Dell EMC HPE Lenovo Cisco (after the GA release of Azure Stack) You can watch a video here (https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/resources/videos/microsoft-azure-stack-insights-into-integrated-systems/) with Vijay Tewari, Principal Group Program Manager, where he talks about the integrated systems and why… But here’s my take on the situation… Anyone who has been deploying Hyper-V, or VMware, on a large scale will have come across a wide variety of problems ranging from incorrect firmware/driver versions on hardware to errant administrators who make a change that they don’t fully understand the implications of. Inevitably these situations lead to problems where the platform i...

Business Case for Azure Stack

Azure Stack is Microsoft’s brand new offering in the hybrid cloud space that uses the same technology as their hyperscale public could, Microsoft Azure. With this Microsoft, the ONLY hyperscale public cloud provider that can offer their services in a truly hybrid fashion. This essentially allows YOU to run Azure in your own datacentre. Microsoft have said that “Cloud is model, not a place” and this is very apt with Azure Stack. Azure Stack brings the technology of the hyperscale cloud to your datacentre. This can present organisations a huge opportunity… There are organisations that, for whatever reason, can’t use “the Cloud”, be that for compliance, security or other business reasons. Rarely is the reason a company “can’t use Cloud” a technological reason. Some organisations have data tha...

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