Azure Stack – invest in hybrid cloud, not a hardware platform

  • Posted on September 13, 2017
  • Estimated reading time 4 minutes
Azure Stack hybrid cloud

The following blog post was written by Jason Hardy.

I’ve called Azure Stack “a game changer in hybrid cloud” and now I’m going to take that statement a step further. The Avanade Solution for Microsoft Azure Stack takes this “game changer” platform and creates a “new game” by providing a true turnkey hybrid cloud solution. The key word there is turnkey. If you look at the vendors providing this solution, one stands out as different - Avanade. To be successful with Azure Stack you need to think about all aspects of the solution including hardware, software, cloud transformation services and the ongoing management of the solution. The investment you are making is in a hybrid cloud solution and you need to partner with a vendor that will deliver on all aspects of this strategy.

Hardware: “The Box” - don’t get hung up on it
Microsoft designed Azure Stack for optimizing performance and delivering an Azure consistent solution to your data center. Through a rigorous certification program, Microsoft has certified all vendor hardware platforms to ensure they deliver on these design principles.  While hardware may be the foundation upon which your hybrid cloud solution is built, Microsoft has taken the work of vendor evaluation out of the equation so you can focus on the end result, hybrid cloud. When you deploy Azure technology in your data center, you want it to be like public Azure in that your focus is on building applications that differentiate your business, not managing hardware. Don’t get hung up on the name on the box, think about the end game and who will handle the day to day management of your cloud infrastructure allowing you to focus on creating business value.

Software: “Inside the box” the playing field is level
In previous blogs, we have referenced Azure Stack as “a game changer” and in this case, that isn’t just marketing hype. What Microsoft has delivered is true hybrid cloud capability. Microsoft has taken the Azure platform and developed an Azure consistent experience that can be deployed in a private cloud environment. It means you have the same deployment process, same tools, processes, and skills needed to manage regardless of where they are deployed.   An in-depth knowledge of the configuration and setup of Azure Stack software should be assumed. However, look beyond Azure Stack and examine the level of experience your vendor of choice has with utilizing Azure and delivering cloud transformation to the enterprise. As a global systems integrator, Avanade stands out in the crowd with an unmatched breadth and depth of knowledge of the entire Microsoft cloud ecosystem. 

Cloud Transformation Services: Creating and realizing value “outside the box”
Your hybrid cloud environment will be built on a Microsoft certified hardware platform and it will leverage Microsoft Azure Stack software but it’s the services on top of those components that will make or break your hybrid cloud strategy. These services are what separate the Avanade Solution for Microsoft Azure Stack from the rest. Avanade/Accenture are the Microsoft Worldwide Consulting and SI Azure Alliance Partner of the year for 2017. This means we do cloud, we do a lot of cloud and we do cloud really well. We bring a broad and deep skill set that enables us to take multiple solutions from various providers and make them work with Azure Stack to unlock new and different solutions. These cloud transformation services, delivered via a single contract by the same vendor that brings you the hardware and software, transforms Azure Stack “the game changer” into “a new game” in hybrid cloud.

Managed Services: Allowing you to focus on your business
Once your Azure Stack solution is deployed and applications are migrated to the new environment, it’s time for you to take advantage of the cloud to become more efficient, agile and innovative. You want to consume private cloud services in the same manner you would consume public cloud services. This means that you focus on creating applications that differentiate your organization, not managing infrastructure. This might seem like an obvious and simple concept but you need to think about it from the beginning. Make sure you ask the questions up front and contract with an Azure Stack service provider that offers a turnkey solution. Partnering with someone that only provides part of the solution means contracting with another entity for managed services or worse finding yourself back in the management seat. Avanade has a long history with Azure and a long history of successfully delivering managed services. This combined experience along with their expertise in Azure Stack allows you to forget about the infrastructure and focus on building and delivering solutions to support your core business.

If you would like to learn more, visit our Azure Stack website and see how we can help you achieve true hybrid cloud.

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