Azure Stack , first impressions

Yesterday Microsoft introduced the first technical preview of AzureStack. It’s just Azure on premise. I went to a presentation of YourHosting in Zwolle to look at it and I am already blown away by the possibilities. Why should I do that as a hard core developer?

Until now you could have Azure on premise already. No problem, but you have to bring your own 1000 blades.

MSFT managed to put Azure on just one machine, of course still a very big one, and calls it AzureStack. And in a few months you will be able to split your local Azure over multiple machines. By the end of the year 2016 it will be complete. Then there is not a single difference between Azure and AzureStack, except for the location.

Now, there are some things you will have to keep in mind: this is still a technical preview number one. So there will be things missing in AzureStack for now.

Yes, it has the same portal as it’s bigger brother. It’s running 10 VM’s, each with it’s own purpose and there are also special admin capabilities, because now you are the owner.

But for now it’s mostly Iaas; Paas (eg webapps) will arrive in a few weeks. There is storage blobs, but no storage queue. The meetering is not completely up and running, but you will need that as the base for billing. There is no Azure Automation and no Gen2 VM support, etc.

You can upvote your own needs, Microsoft is listening. Really!

It is unlike that the real hyper scale solutions will end up, on premise. So eg. machine learning and IoT Hubs will not directly be available on premise. Or you will have to reboot those 1000 blades in the back of your data center.

You can decide which services will end up in your AzureStack galery. Are you going to sell Ubuntu for example?

Why should I care as a developer?

Now we can develop and test in the Azure cloud in PAAS solutions because we can roll them out in CERT and PROD on premise. There is not a single difference between them so no conversion has to be made. At this moment we can only develop using IAAS or containers if we want to host on premise afterwards. Mixing and matching Azure and AzureStack will make a hybride cloud the real thing!

And a hosting comapny can start to sell Azure, based on AzureStack, in East Europe, Russia, South Europe, etc. So users at all positions on the map with a high latency towards the MSFT datacenters could benefit.