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Microsoft strengthens hybrid argument with Azure Stack

Microsoft is looking to provide those partners supporting users with a hybrid cloud strategy with even more ammunition with the Azure Stack

Microsoft has stuck to its hybrid cloud strategy since the start and is now making it easier for resellers to help customers take advantage of public cloud scale with the Azure stack.

The idea behind the Stack is that customers can take advantage of the scale that the cloud model can deliver without the need to push their data into a public environment.

What has been holding users back has been access to a cloud platform that would provide support for those looking to stick with a hybrid strategy but looking to get the services like PaaS that come from the public cloud.

The debate led by the likes of AWS and Google is for public cloud to become the end goal. Some other vendors operating at the other end of the spectrum are keen to help customers bolster their own private cloud infrastructure and the hybrid situation has perhaps been slightly overlooked.

Microsoft's partners will get a chance to rectify that situation with the vendor issuing the first technical preview of the Azure Stack at the end of this week.

"We know many enterprises still have business concerns around moving fully to the public cloud, such as data sovereignty or regulatory considerations. This leaves them in a complicated position, with one foot in the public cloud and one on-premises," stated Mike Neil, corporate vice president, Enterprise Cloud, Microsoft in a blog post.

"To manage this complexity, Microsoft believes enterprises have to approach cloud as a model – not a place. This model cuts across infrastructure, applications and people, and requires a hybrid cloud approach that provides consistency across private, hosted, and public clouds. To translate this model into reality, customers need a consistent cloud platform that spans hybrid environments," he added.

"Azure Stack helps organizations deliver Azure services from their own datacenter. With Azure Stack, Microsoft is bringing proven innovation – including IaaS and higher level PaaS services – from hyper-scale datacenters to on-premises, enterprise-scale environments to meet customers’ business requirements," stated Neil.

As well as giving partners the chance to extend user functionality out of the existing data centre Microsoft is also highlighting the advantages for developers.

The vendor is appealing to those application developers that like the idea of being able to deploy their software across both Azure and the Stack, because the APIs are identical on both.

The technical preview will be followed up with more activities around the Azure Stack in the next few weeks as Microsoft looks to get the message out to partners and customers.

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