Azure Stack: State of the Union

The second day of Ignite 2016 was a very interesting one and quite diverse. I had selected several sessions on Azure Stack but also Software Defined Networking and Windows Server 2016 Hyper-V.

I started with Explore Microsoft Azure Stack “State of the Union” – Foundation 1 by Natalia Mackevicius and ‘actors’ Rupi Sureshkumar and Shriram Natarajan.

Natalia started with a flashback to the history of IT, showing how each IT transition brought more speed, greater scalability and better economics. We are now seeing solutions we couldn’t even think of before.


According to IDC, 82% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy, up from 74% a year ago. Reasons for hybrid when workloads require:

  • Regulation
  • Sensitive data
  • Customization
  • Latency
  • Legacy support

We think that cloud is a model, not a place and combining public, private and hosted cloud is an enabler for application development, services and new technologies.


Shri showed how easy it is to populate the Azure Pack marketplace with images from the Azure marketplace. Select an image such as SQL Server 2016 and just click download and wait for it to show up in the Azure Stack market place. You can then deploy that image with the exact same settings and methods as in Azure.

Monitoring with OMS

Of course you could install an OMS agent using an ARM template. Even better, make sure the OMS agent is already part of the template. Then use Operations Management Suite to monitor the VMs deployed in Azure Stack.

Azure Stack

Microsoft Azure Stack brings the power of Azure to your datacenter and offers hybrid capabilities with consistency between different locations: public, private and hosted cloud. Azure services are deployable using the portal, PowerShell and via DevOp tools such as Visual Studio.


Azure Resource Manager

Azure Resource Manager is the management plane and API of both Azure and Azure Stack. As long as ARM in both of these clouds are kept identical, VMs, applications and services can be equally deployed to either of them.


ARM Tooling

You can start your development for Azure Stack in Azure and use the following two new tools:

  • Available today: Azure Resource Manager Template Validator for Azure Stack
  • Available later: Azure Resource Manager Policy for Azure Stack, providing guardrails to check your ARM template for resource dependencies that may not be in Azure Stack. This tool can conveniently be used offline

Azure Stack Roadmap

This shows the timeline for both the 1-node proof of concept version of Azure Stack, as well as the multi-node integrated systems version that are being based (for now) on HPE, Dell and Lenovo hardware.


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