Pay for what you use
In the virtualization days I used to pad all my requests for virtual machines (VM) to get the largest size possible. Since decisions and requests took time, I would ask for more than I required just so I wouldn’t have delays if I needed more capacity. This resulted in a lot of waste and a term I heard often–VM sprawl.
The behavior is different with Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) VMs in the cloud. A fundamental quality of a cloud is that it provides an elastic pool for your resource to use when needed. Since you only pay for what you use, you don’t need to over provision. Instead, you can optimize capacity based on demand. Let me show you some of the ways you can do this for your IaaS VMs running in Azure and Azure Stack.
It’s hard to know exactly how big your VM should be. There are so many dimensions to consider, such as CPU, memory, disks, and network. Instead of trying to predict what your VM needs for the next year or even month, why not take a guess, let it run, and then adjust the size once you have some historical
Customers who are taking a hybrid cloud approach are seeing real business value – I see this in organizations across the globe. The ability for customers to embrace both public cloud and local datacenter, plus edge capability, is enabling customers to improve their IT agility and maximize efficiency. The benefit of a hybrid approach is also what continues to bring customers to Azure, the one cloud that has been uniquely built for hybrid. We haven’t slowed our investment in enabling a hybrid strategy, particularly as this evolves into the new application pattern of using intelligent cloud and intelligent edge.
Before I dive into what’s new, I want to take a moment to share why Microsoft is so passionate about enabling a hybrid approach. It stems from a deep understanding of our customers and their businesses over the past several decades. We want every organization on the planet to benefit from cloud innovation. Fundamentally, hybrid enables every organization to participate in this technology transformation. Beyond this, we see the leading experiences enabled by tapping into both the intelligent cloud and intelligent edge, creating optimized experiences for literally every use case.
Today, I’m pleased to share some new products and updates to
Protect your stuff
In this post, we’ll cover the concepts and best practices to protect your IaaS virtual machines (VMs) on Azure Stack. This post is part of the Azure Stack Considerations for Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery white paper.
Protecting your IaaS virtual machine based applications
Azure Stack is an extension of Azure that lets you deliver IaaS Azure services from your organization’s datacenter. Consuming IaaS services from Azure Stack requires a modern approach to business continuity and disaster recovery (BC/DR). If you’re just starting your journey with Azure and Azure Stack, make sure to work through a comprehensive BC/DR strategy so your organization understands the immediate and long-term impact of modernizing applications in the context of cloud. If you already have Azure Stack, keep in mind that each application must have a well-articulated BC/DR plan calling out the resiliency, reliability, and availability requirements that meet the business needs of your organization.
What Azure Stack is and what it isn’t
Since launching Azure Stack at Ignite 2017, we’ve received feedback from many customers on the challenges they face within their organization evangelizing Azure Stack to their end customers. The main concerns are the stark differences from traditional virtualization. In
This blog post was co-authored by David Armour Principal PM Manager, Azure Stack and Tiberiu Radu, Senior Program Manager, Azure Stack.
Foundation of Azure Stack IaaS
Remember back in the virtualization days when you had to pick a host for your virtual machine? Some of my business units could tell by the naming convention the make and manufacturer of the hardware. Using this knowledge, they’d fill up the better gear first, leaving the teams that didn’t know better with the oldest hosts.
Clouds take a different approach. Instead of hosts, VMs are placed into a pool of capacity. The physical infrastructure is abstract. The compute, storage, and networking resources consumed by the VM are defined through software.
Azure Stack is an instance of the Azure cloud that you can run in your own datacenter. Microsoft has taken the experience and technology from running one of the largest clouds in the world to design a solution you can host in your facility. This forms the foundation of Azure Stack’s infrastructure-as-service (IaaS).
Let’s explore some of the characteristics of the Azure Stack infrastructure that allows you to run cloud-native VMs directly in your facility.
Cloud inspired hardware
Microsoft employees can’t just purchase
This blog post was co-authored by David Armour, Principal Program Manager, Azure Stack.
Start with what you already have
Every organization has a unique journey to the cloud. This journey is based on the organization’s history, business specifics, culture, and maybe most importantly, their starting point. While it can be hard for some to say goodbye to their current virtualization environment and way of doing things, the journey to the cloud provides many options, features, functionalities, and opportunities to improve existing governance, operations, and implement new ones. The journey to the cloud can also provide the opportunity to redesign applications and take advantage of the cloud architecture. Additionally, Microsoft Azure gives you the option to host your virtual machines (VMs) in the public cloud or in your own facility with Azure Stack.
In most cases, this journey starts with a lift and shift of the existing servers, either virtual machines or physical servers. Because Azure Stack at its core is an infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) platform, the right way to think about this first phase of the journey is as a lift and optimize process. Moving the servers should be the first step towards enabling modern operations across your workloads. That could
This blog post was co-authored by Daniel Savage, Principal Program Manager, Azure Stack and Tiberiu Radu, Senior Program Manager, Azure Stack.
Azure Stack at its core is an Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) platform
When we discuss Azure Stack with our customers, they see the value in Azure Stack providing cloud-native capabilities to their datacenters. They see the opportunity to modernize their apps and address the unique solutions Azure Stack can deliver, but they often pause as they ponder where to begin. They wonder how to get value from the investments they have in apps currently running on virtual machines (VM). They wonder, “Does Azure Stack help me here? What if I am not quite ready for Platform-as-a-Service?” These questions are difficult, but the answers become more clear when they understand that Azure Stack at its core is an IaaS platform.
Azure Stack allows customers to run their own instance of Azure in their datacenter. Organizations pick Azure Stack as part of their cloud strategy because it helps them handle situations when the public cloud won’t work for them. The three most common reasons use Azure Stack are because of poor network connectivity to the public cloud, regulatory or contractual requirements, or backend
A network virtual appliance (NVA) is a virtual appliance primarily focused on network functions virtualization. A typical network virtual appliance involves various layers four to seven functions like firewall, WAN optimizer, application delivery controllers, routers, load balancers, IDS/IPS, proxies, SD-WAN edge, and more. While the public cloud may provide some of these functionalities natively, it is quite common to see customers deploying network virtual appliances from independent software vendors (ISV). These capabilities in the public cloud enable hybrid solutions and are generally available through the Azure Marketplace.
What exactly is the network virtual appliance in the cloud?
A network virtual appliance is often a full Linux virtual machine (VM) image consisting of a Linux kernel and includes user level applications and services. When a VM is created, it first boots the Linux kernel to initialize the system and then starts up any application or management services needed to make the network virtual appliance functional. The cloud provider is responsible for the compute resources, while the ISV provides the image that represents the software stack of the virtual appliance.
Similar to a standard Linux distribution, the Linux kernel is integral to the NVA’s image and is provided by the ISV often
As 2018 comes to an end, I look at the technology landscape. I look at the kinds of hybrid scenarios our customers are developing. for example, we see Airbus transforming aerospace with Microsoft Azure Stack and I realize that this year has been amazing for developers that design, develop, and maintain cloud-based apps. Azure Stack has improved support for DevOps practices. You can use Kubernetes containers. You can use API Profiles with Azure Resource Manager and the code of your choice. You can review walkthroughs and tutorials on getting up and running with a development practice using a continuous integration pipeline. With Azure Stack, your apps can be developed in the cloud. You can code once and deploy to environments in Azure or in your local data center.
We are now seeing some of your favorite services from Azure arrive on Azure Stack. The Azure Stack team is also excited to come together with other members of the Azure Edge family, which include Data Box Edge, IoT Edge, and Azure Sphere. If you didn’t get a chance to attend Ignite 2018’s session on the Intellgent Edge check out the “Delivering Intelligent Edge and Microsoft Azure Stack and Data Box” session.
The healthcare industry has started to embrace mobile apps and cloud technologies, and not just to optimize internal operations. Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center wants to make visits to hospitals and doctors’ offices easier for patients and families. Cincinnati Children’s serves a diverse population, but people typically have one thing in common—they’re stressed out. Parents are worried about their children, and children can be scared and overwhelmed by all the hustle and bustle around them. So the hospital came up with the idea of a mobile digital concierge who could provide basic information and also answer specific questions about a family’s appointments and the child’s procedures.
The Cincinnati Children’s development team didn’t have expertise building mobile apps, but they did have lots of experience developing in .NET. The team also knew it needed a cloud deployment platform that would support the functionality they had in mind and would also grow with them as they expand and scale the app. Cincinnati Children’s was already using Azure DevOps, so it went with Microsoft Visual Studio Tools for Xamarin for cross-platform app development and chose Azure as its cloud platform. Azure offered a wide variety of services they could use without purchasing third-party
Over the past week, I visited customers and partners in Europe who want to bring cloud services to datacenters and edge locations to deliver new hybrid cloud solutions. Whether it’s due to latency, regulatory compliance or legacy data and systems, these customers can’t use the public cloud for several scenarios. They look for a true hybrid cloud solution to deliver a consistent experience across their entire digital estate. It was really great to listen and observe how some of these companies are already using Azure Stack and thinking of innovative ways to drive digital transformation using Microsoft’s intelligent cloud and intelligent edge approach.
It’s humbling to see customers across government, manufacturing, financial services, and healthcare industries in nearly 60 countries around the world use Azure Stack to unlock new scenarios that were not possible before. And this is just the beginning. We are committed to meeting customer needs and continuously delivering new updates and innovation on Azure Stack.
Consistent hybrid cloud
We have designed and engineered Azure Stack to be truly consistent with Azure. Azure Stack brings the agility and innovation of cloud computing to on-premises and edge, so organizations can build modern apps across their full environment with the