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Azure Stack 1-Understand Solution

11/22/2017

Now available in most countries of the world where Microsoft has Datacenters, the Azure Stack became a constant theme.

But first you need to understand the focus and composition of the solution.

How is composed?

The Azure Stack is a rack of servers with sizes and settings pre-determined, today available from Dell, HP, Lenovo and Cisco.

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The HW manufacturer was approved and standardized, which ensures updates direct from the Azure Stack for both software and hardware.

Does that mean that I can’t use my own settings? Exactly, to ensure that the system updated and the hyper-converged work the drivers have to be type-approved and tested.

It is important to understand that all the Azure Stack is based on the hyper-converged, IE are used the technologies of SDN (Software Defined Network) and SDS (Software Defined Storage) or SDx in General as they are called.

That is, there is no dedicated storage. Each server has a part of 15 k SAS disks and SSD discs, with the Storage Space Direct (S2D) enabled. This allows the servers have their stores added to the share each other volumes.

To guarantee data with the S2D is guaranteed by the distribution of data between servers, as does the VMWare vSAM or Nutanix.

For whom?

Unlike what many people think, the Azure Stack does not target the customer who thinks Microsoft Azure expensive and yes it has limitations in relation to public clouds.

For example, some cases in Ignite were of Swisscom and KPMG of Sweden.

KPMG the scenario was the legislation and the requirement of some customers who didn’t want their audit data in public cloud for more that try to justify the given security. The solution was the Azure Stack where KPMG would have the same services used by other branches in the world, but on-premisse.

Already the case of Swisscom was to be a local Datacenter as the Azure has no one in the country. So, those customers who want to use public cloud services using private cloud Azure Stack to host their local services.

That is, the main customers are, among others:

  • Countries where there are no restrictions about legal store data in other countries
  • Data centers interested in offer services to your user the same interface of the Azure, but locally, for example in Brazil only have one DC Microsoft Azure and a traditional provider could use the Azure Stack as Avaliability point Group
  • Companies with high usage of computer resources based in IaaS and have own Datacenter
  • Companies with tradition on-cause you don’t want to view your data out of the environment but wish to use the Cloud model Publishes “in place” with easy maintenance and high level support

And that customer who thinks the Azure expensive, worth using the Stack? At the tip of the pencil, not because we need to remember that it is a rack and need cooling, energy, high floor and all the other costs involved in a physical DC.

How much does Azure Stack?

You must first view the cost of Hardware that can be sold differently by each of the 4 current manufacturers.

For example in the case of the Dell configurations start at 20 CORE servers 4 and 4.1 TB and can reach 12 servers per rack, and the maximum capacity of 4 Racks with 12 servers each.

In addition, we have the servers Low, Mid and High profille, where a rack with 12 servers High Profile capacity is 336 Core 6.1 TB RAM, 138TB, cache, 1.2 PB of disk!!

Now let’s talk about the cost of Software. It is important to remember that the Azure Stack has no software cost, or whether billing as a service, which includes:

  • Updates of the Software Stack
  • Driver updates and logical components
  • Pre-configuration of the provision and components and templates
  • Microsoft Azure support is the same as answering Azure Stack

That is to say, the Azure Stack has a cost for consumption, not with licensing, in “Pay-As-You-Use”, based on the table below:

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References: https://azure.microsoft.com/pt-br/overview/azure-stack/how-to-buy/

Based on that, we have for example a VM A2 which costs U $130/month in Microsoft Azure, in the Azure Stack goes for $40/month.

Of course you must include the TCO Datacenter infrastructure, warranty and support of HW, and electric power administration in Microsoft Azure does not have.

Even so, large environments that already have the Datacenter becomes advantageous option for already include many of these embedded costs.

And if the customer does not want to pay for consumption?

It is also possible to get the cost per CORE, but personally I see no advantage because the cost increases for the following reasons:

  • The template variable “Pay-As-You-Use” scalability also reflects on the price decrease when the load
  • The disconnected model it is necessary to pay separately the Windows and SQL licensing in the model “Pay-As-You-Use” is built
  • In the disconnected model annual payment is upfront

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All Azure services are available in the Azure Stack?

Not yet. As you can see in the table of prices the most important Yes.

For example, some types of VMs as G could not run on the Stack and the same with some high-capacity services such as Machine Learning and Cognitive Services.

It is possible to create plans and join different solutions to create complex workloads, as documented in https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/azure-stack/azure-stack-offer-services-overview

Conclusion

Azure became the flagship product of Microsoft and Stack integration between public and private clouds actually becomes a unique experience!

Visit the link and learn product details: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/azure-stack/

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