The Sourcing Company is closely involved in testing Azure Stack
After the public cloud success of Microsoft’s Office 365, Dynamics 365 and Azure, Microsoft are preparing their Azure extension - 'Azure Stack'. This gives you the power of the Microsoft public cloud ecosystem from the comfort of your own data centre. The Sourcing Company has been busy testing Azure Stack for more than a year. Last year, we were asked by Microsoft to participate in a special Non Disclosure Agreement program.
Microsoft Azure is, as most people will know, a cloud environment that can offer the ease of Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IAAS) and Platform-as-a-Service (PAAS) applications. Charged per second, this is the ideal solution for temporary test and acceptance environments. Thanks to the enormous power of the templates (ARM scripting), this is now gaining popularity within production environments.
With these templates, an environment can not only be deployed or updated with the push of a button, but it can also be auto-scaled. For example, twenty remote desktop servers are active during peak times, and scaled back to just a few during off-peak periods. This is obviously very cost-effective seeing as usage is calculated per second.
Azure Stack and Apple iPhone
Microsoft Azure Stack is an extension of Microsoft Azure Public. It is an appliance which hosts a stripped back version of Azure Public. We like to use the metaphor of the smartphone, more specifically the iPhone, when we talk about Microsoft Azure Stack.
You are more or less the owner of your iPhone. You do not have access to the operating system (iOS), but you are in control over which apps you install on it, how you use your apps, when you update to the next version and how you make use of the cloud. Because Apple supplies the hardware, your iPhone is also very reliable. Furthermore, every new generation iPhone is an improved version with more storage than its predecessor. In short, the iPhone is a powerful ecosystem.
The Sourcing Company philosophy sees Azure Stack as similar to the iPhone iOS platform. Microsoft determines the ecosystem, but the owner of the hardware determines where the system is kept and which templates (apps) are run on it. The quality of the template determines the experience the ‘environment' has to offer. In other words, the Microsoft ecosystem is incredibly flexible.
Azure Stack - top gear
In mid-2016, we were asked by Microsoft to participate in a special Non Disclosure Agreement program. As true pioneers, we had the privilege of becoming the very first to be given access to this software and shared our experiences and acquired knowledge with Microsoft. The Sourcing Company, along with three other groups and the Azure Stack team, recently spent a week at the Microsoft campus for the first Azure Stack 'test' (read: 'hack'). phase. We have also developed additional functions and built in new features.
That Azure Stack is a fantastic opportunity for Microsoft should also be made clear. At present, there are around forty locations worldwide from which Microsoft offers the Azure platform. With the arrival of Azure Stack, this becomes a globally infinite market.
For The Sourcing Company, this means a single ecosystem upon which we can concentrate our development and maintenance skills. It allows our customers to determine where their data is kept, and at which speed, latency and security levels their data can be accessed. In our company opinion, data integrity, data access and development speed can finally hit top gear!