In recent weeks, we’ve been talking about the many reasons why Windows Server and SQL Server customers choose Azure. Security is a major concern when moving to the cloud, and Azure gives you the tools and resources you need to address those concerns. Innovation in data can open new doors as you move to the cloud, and Azure offers the easiest cloud transition, especially for customers running on SQL Server 2008 or 2008 R2 with concerns about end of support. Today we’re going to look at another critical decision point for customers as they move to the cloud. How easy is it to combine new cloud resources with what you already have on-premises? Many Windows Server and SQL Server customers choose Azure for its industry leading hybrid capabilities.
Microsoft is committed to enabling a hybrid approach to cloud adoption. Our commitment and passion stems from a deep understanding of our customers and their businesses over the past several decades. We understand that customers have business imperatives to keep certain workloads and data on premises, and our goal is to meet them where they are and prepare them for the future by providing the right technologies for every step along the
As customers adopt Azure and the cloud, they need fast, private, and secure connectivity across regions and Azure Virtual Networks (VNets). Based on the type of workload, customer needs vary. For example, if you want to ensure data replication across geographies you need a high bandwidth, low latency connection. Azure offers connectivity options for VNet that cater to varying customer needs, and you can connect VNets via VNet peering or VPN gateways.
It is not surprising that VNet is the fundamental building block for any customer network. VNet lets you create your own private space in Azure, or as I call it your own network bubble. VNets are crucial to your cloud network as they offer isolation, segmentation, and other key benefits. Read more about VNet’s key benefits in our documentation “What is Azure Virtual Network?”
VNet peering enables you to seamlessly connect Azure virtual networks. Once peered, the VNets appear as one, for connectivity purposes. The traffic between virtual machines in the peered virtual networks is routed through the Microsoft backbone infrastructure, much like traffic is routed between virtual machines in the same VNet, through private IP addresses only. No public internet is involved. You can peer
We continue to expand our ecosystem by partnering with independent software vendors (ISV) around the globe to deliver prepackaged software solutions to Azure Stack customers. As we are getting closer to our two-year anniversary, we are humbled by the trust and confidence bestowed by our partners in the Azure Stack platform. We would like to highlight some of the partnerships that we built during this journey.
Thales now offers their CipherTrust Cloud Key Manager solution through the Azure Stack Marketplace that works with Azure and Azure Stack “Bring Your Own Key” (BYOK) APIs to enable such key control. CipherTrust Cloud Key Manager creates Azure-compatible keys from the Vormetric Data Security Manager that can offer up to FIPS 140-2 Level 3 protection. Customers can upload, manage, and revoke keys, as needed, to and from Azure Key Vaults running in Azure Stack or Azure, all from a single pane of glass.
Every organization has a unique journey to the cloud based on its history, business specifics, culture, and maybe most importantly their starting point. The journey to the cloud provides many options, features, functionalities, as well as opportunities to improve existing governance, operations, implement new ones, and even redesign the
We are always looking for ways to improve the customer experience and allow our partners to complement our offerings. In support of these efforts we are sharing the Azure Networking Managed Service Provider (MSP) program along with partners that deliver value added managed cloud network services to help enterprise customers connect, operationalize, and scale their mission critical applications running in Azure.
Azure Networking MSP Partner Program enables partners such as networking focused MSPs, network carriers, and systems integrators (SIs) to use their rich networking experience to offer cloud and hybrid networking services around Azure’s growing portfolio of Azure Networking products and services.
Azure’s Networking services are fundamental building blocks critical to cloud migration, optimal connectivity, and security of applications. New networking services such as Virtual WAN, ExpressRoute, Azure Firewall, and Azure Front Door further enrich this portfolio allowing customers to deploy richer applications in the cloud. The Networking MSP partners can help customers deploy and manage Azure Networking services.
Azure Networking MSPs
Azure MSPs play a critical role in enterprise cloud transformation by bringing their deep knowledge and real-world experience to help enterprise customers migrate to Azure. Azure MSPs and the Azure Expert MSP program make it easy for customers
Scaling and optimizing hybrid network-attached storage (NAS) performance gets a boost today with the general availability of the Microsoft Azure FXT Edge Filer, a caching appliance that integrates on-premises network-attached storage and Azure Blob Storage. The Azure FXT Edge Filer creates a performance tier between compute and file storage and provides high-throughput and low-latency network file system (NFS) to high-performance computing (HPC) applications running on Linux compute farms, as well as the ability to tier storage data to Azure Blob Storage.
Fast performance tier for hybrid storage architectures
The availability of Azure FXT Edge Filer today further integrates the highly performant and efficient technology that Avere Systems pioneered to the Azure ecosystem. The Azure FXT Edge Filer is a purpose-built evolution of the popular Avere FXT Edge Filer, in use globally to optimize storage performance in read-heavy workloads.
The new hardware model goes beyond top-line integration with substantial updates. It is now being manufactured by Dell and has been upgraded with twice as much memory and 33 percent more SSD. Two models with varying specifications are available today. With the new 6600 model, customers will see about a 40 percent improvement in read performance over the Avere FXT 5850. The
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