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Top 5 Q&A on the HPE | Microsoft Azure Stack solution


Recently, I posted a blog on the benefits of getting the power of Azure in your datacenter with the HPE | Microsoft Azure Stack solution. Within the blog, I briefly mentioned the joint announcement at Ignite and how it generated “interest in the press, social world, customers and channel partner community.” Customers are showing lots of interest in this solution that transforms their on premises datacenter resources by:

  • Maximizing IT agility
  • Simplifying IT implementation and management
  • Reducing cost

Today, I want to focus on what customers have been asking since learning that the HPE | Microsoft Azure Stack solution will be available mid-2017.


Can I just buy any server and run Azure Stack software on it?

No. Microsoft is currently only working with 3 select partners, including HPE. Customers want faster time to value and more Azure functionality quicker—with the least amount of risk. This led HPE and Microsoft to deliver the HPE | Microsoft Azure Stack solution, a result of co-engineering work between Microsoft and HPE.  The co-engineering effort makes sure that customers have a reliable solution that performs consistently throughout its life-cycle and takes care of critical operational aspects such as patching, updates, and support.  This integration is extremely difficult to do because disparate pieces of hardware are put together requiring a person to think about the integration functionality all the way up.


I’m interested in Azure Stack. Is there any way I can see it or experience it?

Absolutely! Today, you can buy an HPE ProLiant DL380 and download Azure Stack Technical Preview 2 bits from Microsoft to feel experience on a single node configurations. Alternatively, you can visit any of the HPE and Microsoft Innovation Center to experience a multi-node Azure Stack configuration by contacting your local sales representative.


Can customers have heterogeneous nodes?

No, not at the initial launch of the product. Yet in the future, heterogeneous node support will be considered as part of the roadmap. Currently, the HPE | Microsoft Azure Stack solution will support HPE ProLiant Gen9 DL380 nodes only. HPE is working with Microsoft for a mixed Gen9/Gen10 node support when Gen10 becomes available.


How is Azure Pack different from Azure Stack, and how will they work together.

As Microsoft explains, Windows Azure Pack is a collection of Microsoft Azure technologies that integrates with Windows Server, System Center, and SQL Server to offer a self-service portal and cloud services. Azure Stack is a new hybrid cloud platform product that enables organizations to deliver Azure services from their own datacenter in a way that is consistent with Azure. You can read Whitney Garcia’s blog to learn the difference between Azure Pack vs Azure Stack. Regarding the second part of the question, the two products will co-exist when the HPE | Microsoft Azure Stack solution becomes generally available. The good news is that you’ll be able to access Windows Azure Pack resources running on the HPE Hyper Converged 250 for Microsoft CPS Standard through the Azure Stack portal using the Windows Azure Pack (WAP) Connector.


Is the HPE | Microsoft Azure Stack solution different from the other vendor offerings?

Yes. HPE is helping customers make this transformation with the “Right Mix” strategy that enables customers to deploy the right mix of private, public and traditional IT on an open platform. HPE is the only vendor that offers this solution with:

  • HPE ProLiant DL380 the world’s best-selling server,
  • Analytics-driven, autonomous operations management solution through a single pane of glass for Azure public cloud, Azure Stack hybrid cloud and traditional IT
  • Data-centric security protection for data traveling into and throughout the Azure, Azure Stack and traditional IT
  • Unified security information and event management for Azure, Azure Stack and traditional IT with a single security management tool suite
  • Pay as you go pricing with unified billing for Azure and Azure Stack services


For now, read the HPE | Microsoft Azure Stack solution brief to learn more.


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