This is the second of a two-part series covering Azure Stack. Our first post provided an introduction to Azure Stack.
Why would your organization consider using Azure Stack? What are the key differences between Azure Stack and Microsoft Azure? In this post, we’ll begin to answer both of those questions.
Azure Stack Use Cases
Organizations that use both Azure and Azure Stack are able to leverage new hybrid use cases for internal line-of-business applications, as well as customer-facing apps. Typical use cases include edge and disconnected solutions, cloud apps that need to meet varied regulations, and the ability to leverage cloud apps on-premises.
Edge and Disconnected Solutions: Azure Stack offers organizations the ability to mitigate latency and connectivity issues by allowing them to process data on-prem, using Azure Stack, and then leveraging Azure to aggregate and analyze such data.
Cloud Applications with Varied Regulations: By offering organizations the ability to develop applications in Azure that can then be deployed on-prem in Azure Stack, Azure Stack allows such organizations to meet regulatory requirements with the need for code changes in such applications. Customers looking to deploy instances of an application in both the cloud and on-prem can do so without making changes to the application, which leads to more streamlined regulation compliance.
Cloud Application Model On-Premises: Azure Stack allows organizations to leverage Azure-based services to update existing applications, extend applications, and even build new applications all while leveraging consistent processes in Azure (cloud) and in Azure Stack (on-prem).
Azure Stack Versus Microsoft Azure
When considering Azure Stack, it’s important to understand that, while Azure Stack offers many of the same features as the cloud-based Microsoft Azure offering, there are several differences between the two offerings.
For starters, the support structure for Azure Stack varies from that of the cloud offering. Instead of contacting Microsoft for support on issues with Azure Stack, organizations, instead need to contact the service provider (partner) that hosts the solution. Organizations leveraging the Azure Stack Development Kit are relegated to finding support in the Microsoft Forums since the ASDK isn’t intended for production workloads.
As far as available services go, Azure Stack only supports a subset of Azure services. It doesn’t support ALL of the same services offered through the cloud-based Azure offering. Available services in any Azure Stack solution will vary, based on what the Azure Stack provider makes available. It’s important to discuss what features are available – prior to signing on with a partner for a deployment of Microsoft Azure Stack.
Other differences between Azure Stack and the cloud-based Azure offering include other things that would be expected, such as differences in management URLs, portal URLs, etc. Slightly less-expected differences would include differences in region availability. In Azure Stack, resources can only be deployed to the region that’s available on the Azure Stack deployment. Of course, in Azure, resources can be deployed to many different regions. Speaking of regions and resources, the cloud-based Azure offering affords the ability to span regions within a resource group. Azure Stack does not offer this capability, as there is only one region available in a deployment.
Azure Stack is undoubtedly expensive when deployed for production workloads. However, for organizations that require on-prem cloud-centric features that are otherwise only available in the cloud-based Azure offering, Microsoft Azure Stack is a solution well-worth considering. By making the Azure Stack Development Kit available, Microsoft has provided organizations that are interested in leveraging Azure Stack with a development/testing platform (albeit limited) that can be used to pilot solutions that rely on the platform.
While it’s largely seen as being “on-par” with the cloud-based Azure offering, the Azure Stack offering, is, in fact, scaled down a bit – as not all of the Azure offerings are available in Azure Stack. As such, it’s important to ensure that required features are discussed and vetted with a Microsoft partner BEFORE deploying the solution in a production environment. Deploying such an expensive hardware solution (and it IS a hardware solution) without proper vetting and planning can ultimately lead to a bad day.
So, where does Azure Stack really fit in – and make sense?
The beauty of Azure Stack is that it offers the ability to run a public Azure in the on-prem data center. It offers a selection of IaaS virtual machines can be provisioned, along with other PaaS services, such as SQL Server. It also offers other services like KeyVault that can be leveraged for storing certificates and passwords securely. Other services, such as Azure Functions and App Services are also available.
Azure Stack is a true hybrid cloud. Virtually anything that can be deployed on the public Azure should run without issue in Azure Stack. Provided an organization’s needs fit into any one of the various use cases outlined in this article, Azure Stack should be considered a viable option for such use cases.
Which Certifications Should I Get?
As we mentioned in an earlier post, the old AWS slogan, “Cloud is the new normal” is indeed a reality today. Really, cloud has been the new normal for a while now and getting credentials has become an increasingly effective way to quickly showcase your abilities to recruiters and compan...
New Content: AWS, Azure, Typescript, Java, Docker, 13 New Labs, and Much More
This month, our Content Team released a whopping 13 new labs in real cloud environments! If you haven't tried out our labs, you might not understand why we think that number is so impressive. Our labs are not “simulated” experiences — they are real cloud environments using accounts on A...
Kickstart Your Tech Training With a Free Week on Cloud Academy
Are you looking to make a jump in your technical career? Want to get trained or certified on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud Platform, DevOps, Kubernetes, Python, or another in-demand skill?Then you'll want to mark your calendar. Starting Monday, June 22 at 12:00 a.m. PDT (3:00 a.m. EDT), ...
Azure Certifications: Our Experts Explain Which Is Best for You
How do you choose an Azure certification? It can be hard to get started when choosing an Azure certification. There are so many to sift through, so many interesting options, and it requires a time commitment to just understand the cert landscape.To help guide you through the select...
New Content: AZ-500 and AZ-400 Updates, 3 Google Professional Exam Preps, Practical ML Learning Path, C# Programming, and More
This month, our Content Team released tons of new content and labs in real cloud environments. Not only that, but we introduced our very first highly interactive "Office Hours" webinar. This webinar, Acing the AWS Solutions Architect Associate Certification, started with a quick overvie...
Azure vs. AWS: Which Certification Provides the Brighter Future?
More and more companies are using cloud services, prompting more and more people to switch their current IT position to something cloud-related. The problem is most people only have that much time after work to learn new technologies, and there are plenty of cloud services that you can ...
Blog Digest: 5 Reasons to Get AWS Certified, OWASP Top 10, Getting Started with VPCs, Top 10 Soft Skills, and More
Thank you for being a valued member of our community! We recently sent out a short survey to understand what type of content you would like us to add to Cloud Academy, and we want to thank everyone who gave us their input. If you would like to complete the survey, it's not too late. It ...
New Content: Alibaba, Azure Cert Prep: AI-100, AZ-104, AZ-204 & AZ-400, Amazon Athena Playground, Google Cloud Developer Challenge, and much more
This month, our Content Team released 8 new learning paths, 4 courses, 7 labs in real cloud environments, and 4 new knowledge check assessments. Not only that, but we introduced our very first course on Alibaba Cloud, and our expert instructors are working 'round the clock to create 6 n...
Introducing Our Newest Lab Environments: Lab Playgrounds
Want to train in a real cloud environment, but feel slowed down by spinning up your own deployments? When you consider security or pricing costs, it can be costly and challenging to get up to speed quickly for self-training. To solve this problem, Cloud Academy created a new suite of la...
Blog Digest: AWS Breaking News, Azure DevOps, AWS Study Guide, 8 Ways to Prevent a Ransomware Attack, and More
New articles by topicAWS Azure Data Science Google Cloud Cloud Adoption Platform Updates & New Content Security Women in TechAWSBreaking News: All AWS Certification Exams Now Available Online As an Advanced AWS Technology Partner, C...
New on Cloud Academy: AWS Solutions Architect Exam Prep, Azure Courses, GCP Engineer Exam Prep, Programming, and More
Free content on Cloud Academy More and more customers are relying on our technology and content to keep upskilling their people in these months, and we are doing our best to keep supporting them. While the world fights the COVID-19 pandemic, we wanted to make a small contribution to he...
How to Effectively Use Azure DevOps
Azure DevOps is a suite of services that collaborate on software development following DevOps principles. The services in Azure DevOps are:Azure Repos for hosting Git repositories for source control of your code Azure Boards for planning and tracking your work using proven agil...