Microsoft has announced the availability of Azure Stack Technical Preview 3 (TP3). Microsoft Azure Stack is a hybrid-cloud solution that enables customers to run Azure cloud in on-premise environments with pay-as-you-use pricing. It is an extension of Microsoft Azure, bringing the agility and fast-paced innovation of cloud computing on premise. As with Azure, there are no upfront licensing fees for using Azure services in Azure Stack and customers only pay when they use the services. Services are transacted in the same way as they are in Azure, with the same invoices and subscriptions. Services will be typically metered on the same units as Azure, but prices will be lower, since customers operate their own hardware and facilities.
More and more businesses are looking at hybrid cloud strategies or to augment their existing cloud strategy with Azure Stack, especially customers who have factory floor automation, remote use needs like cruise ships and mines, or requirements for isolation, like government systems. All of them can adopt modern designs, develop in the cloud and deploy in their locations.
Azure Stack enables three unique hybrid cloud scenarios:
Consistent hybrid application development: People, processes, and applications are transferable between Azure and Azure Stack. This means that organizations can draw from a worldwide pool of talent that can be productive on day one, easily moving from one project to another.
Azure services available on-premises: IaaS and PaaS services on-premises empowers organizations to adopt hybrid cloud computing based on their business and technical requirements. They have the flexibility to choose the right combination of public, service provider, and on-premises deployment models.
Purpose-built systems for operational excellence: Organizations can focus on work that drives their business. Azure Stack is delivered through integrated systems that are designed to continuously incorporate Azure innovation in a predictable, non-disruptive manner.
Shortly after TP3, Azure Functions will be available to run on TP3, followed by Blockchain, Cloud Foundry, and Mesos templates. Continuous innovation will be delivered to Azure Stack. TP3 is the final planned major Technical Preview before Azure Stack integrated systems will be available for order in mid-CY17.
Azure and the Azure Stack integrated systems enable businesses to focus on investing energy and talent on turning their application portfolio into a strategic differentiator for their business. This approach enables customer choice and flexibility of deploying and operating their application where it best meets their business needs. IT can deliver far greater value by empowering development teams with self-service provisioning and cloud services while collaborating with them to establish DevOps workflows that meet business policies and requirements.