Microsoft unveils new Azure Stack migration strategy

Microsoft is to build its Azure Stack by increments on a foundation of consistency and continuity, it has pledged. The software turned cloud service vendor has blogged about the next move in its hybrid cloud strategy. Later this week it will offer the first technical preview of the new Microsoft Azure Stack.

In deference to its increasing numbers of Azure users who are nervous of committing to the public cloud, Microsoft announced it will provide incremental upgrades and changes on a foundation of continuity and consistency. While Azure Stack will use identical application programming interfaces (APIs) to the ones that reach into Microsoft Azure, developers are to be given guidance on creating .Net or open source apps that can straddle both public and private cloud. Meanwhile, according to Mike Neil, Microsoft’s enterprise Cloud VP, IT professionals can transform on-premises data centre resources into Azure IaaS/PaaS services without losing their powers of management and automation.

Microsoft is seeing nearly 100,000 new Azure subscriptions every month but many enterprises fear going fully public because of the data sovereignty and regulatory issues, Neil said. Microsoft’s strategy is to work around a client base with one foot in the public cloud and one on-premises. It will do this by providing a consistent cloud platform that spans hybrid environments. In a series of Technical previews, starting on Friday 29th of January, Microsoft is to show how Azure Stack inventions for the hyperscale data centre can be layered onto the hybrid cloud.

Since the APIs are the same, in future apps can be written once and deploy to Azure and Azure Stack and use the Azure ecosystem to jumpstart their Azure Stack development efforts. The same management, DevOps and automation tools will apply said Neil. The application model is based on Azure Resource Manager, so developers can take the same declarative approach to applications, regardless of whether they run on Azure or Azure Stack. Tooling-wise, developers can use Visual Studio, PowerShell, as well as other open-source DevOps tools, creating the same end user experiences as in Azure, Neil said.

A series of technical previews will be the vehicle for adding services and content such as OS images and Azure Resource Manager templates. “Azure has hundreds of applications and components on GitHub and as the corresponding services come to Azure Stack, users can take advantage of those as well,” said Neil, who disclosed that open source partners like Canonical are contributing validated Ubuntu Linux images to make open source applications work in Azure Stack environments.

The first Technical Preview of Azure Stack on Friday, January 29 will be followed by a web cast on February 3rd by Azure CTO Mark Russinovich and Chief Architect of Enterprise Cloud Jeffrey Snover.