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Microsoft Azure Pack and Stack…what’s the difference?

WhitneyGarcia on ‎09-09-2016 07:54 AM ‎03-02-2017 06:06 PM Chris Purcell


For many years now, the growing collection of wildly popular Microsoft Azure public cloud services—analytics, computing, database, mobile, networking, storage and web—has allowed customers to move faster and achieve more. Yet in order to thrive in today’s environment, many enterprises and service providers are turning to a hybrid bigstock-Thinking-Man-With-Thinking-Bub-112876961.jpgcloud solution that includes not only public cloud services, but also private cloud solutions.

To attempt to offer hybrid cloud solutions, Microsoft released Windows Azure Pack in 2013. Designed as a hybrid-cloud add-on for Windows Server, Windows Azure Pack provides Azure-consistent experiences and services within a company’s own datacenter. Positioned as a path-to-cloud for small to medium businesses, mid-market, and enterprise customers, the Windows Azure Pack allows for an enhanced Windows environment with connections to Azure for backup, disaster recovery, and instrumentation. 

Yet Windows Azure Pack isn’t completely compatible with Azure cloud services. This can mean challenges when trying to shift between an on-premise Azure Pack deployment and Microsoft Azure. So although Azure Pack is helpful, it isn’t the solution many are looking for.  Which brings us to Microsoft’s announcement earlier this year of Azure Stack.

What’s the difference between Pack and Stack?

Microsoft Azure Stack is 100 percent compatible with Azure public cloud services. You read that right…using Microsoft Azure Stack running in your datacenter you can now realize the best of both worlds--the speed, agility and simplicity of a public cloud combined with the cost-effective and secure environment of a powerful, on-premises private cloud.

With Azure Stack, it will be possible to quickly provision and scale services with the same self-service experience as Azure public cloud. Application developers can maximize their productivity using a ‘write once, deploy to Azure or Azure Stack’ approach. Using APIs that are identical to Microsoft Azure, you can create applications based on open source or .NET technology that can easily run on-premises or in the public cloud.

Along with added simplicity and flexibility, Azure Stack can help you reduce costs. Public cloud service costs are notoriously unstable—expenses can quickly jump up or down as demand fluctuates. License fees, high switching costs with SaaS, and the absence of pricing options make many businesses question the cost savings promised by public cloud providers. A hybrid cloud combined with an on-premises private cloud provides more flexibility to make better choices that can save you money.

And because implementation is so quick and easy, you become productive immediately. And you stay productive; updates from the firmware all the way to the Azure services at the top of the stack are validated and implemented iIgnite.PNGn an orchestrated way, ensuring your workloads won’t go down.

Join us at Microsoft Ignite 2016

To see the new Microsoft Azure Stack powered by HPE integrated systems solution up-close and personal and learn which approach is right for your needs, come by and see us in Booth #1501 at Microsoft Ignite 2016, September 26 -30 in Atlanta, GA. At the event, we will have demos and in-booth sessions that highlight the latest innovations out of the HPE and Microsoft partnership.

More details here.

Stay tuned for more details coming soon.


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Dennis Faucher
on ‎09-17-2016 04:07 AM

Whitney, my customers are also looking forward to AzureStack. Isn't the general release about ten months away though?

on ‎09-20-2016 06:50 AM

Hi Dennis! Yes, you’re correct, the formal release is still months away. But Microsoft is already working with hundreds of customers on Proof of Concepts. Because moving to a private cloud is a journey, we are trying to help customers prepare for that transition. Check out the latest article on Azure Stack: Pulling back the curtain: the magic behind the new Microsoft Azure Stack

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