Mike Neil, the corporate VP of Enterprise Cloud for Microsoft said in a post from early this year, "[M]any enterprises still have business concerns around moving fully to the public cloud, such as data sovereignty or regulatory considerations. This leaves them in a complicated position, with one foot in the public cloud and one on-premises."

Microsoft heard and responded to this concern. In January, they announced their technical preview for Azure Stack, as part of the company's overall hybrid cloud strategy. Azure Stack allows businesses to deliver Azure services, but from their own data centers. So Azure runs in the business data center and is managed by the business, not by Microsoft.

Why would some businesses find that helpful?

Because it delivers the power of cloud but still allows the business to keep control of their own data center.

It also delivers a unified platform for app development. A line of business app that would handle business sensitive data can still be developed and tested in Azure with sanitized data. Once the App is ready for primetime the code can be deployed with minimal changes in the code and management experience in the on premise data center. This eliminates the wait for infrastructure resources for development and test without sacrificing control of environment it is ultimately deployed on.

Microsoft is now in the middle of Technical Preview 2 for Azure Stack. This preview is open now to early adopters only, but Microsoft has plans to roll it out publicly later this year. They have plans to use input from the small group of early adopters to provide more tweaks and refining before the more public rollout.

During technical preview, the technology has generated a lot of questions from users and early adopters. Some of those questions have been answered in this 11-minute video from Microsoft.

Another important thing to note is Microsoft's interest in helping customers protect their previous investments in cloud structure and strategy, such as Cloud Platform System (CPS) from Dell, HPE, and Nutanix. The Azure blog notes that "We are working on side-by-side integration between CPS/WAP and Azure Stack, which will allow users to seamlessly manage Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) resources, created in WAP, from within the Azure Stack portal. In this way, customers can use these Azure-consistent cloud solutions now, and leverage those resources in Azure Stack deployments in the future."

What does your cloud strategy look like? Do you want the benefits of cloud while still retaining more control of your data center? Give us a call at Magenium. We can help you make plans to incorporate Azure and Azure Stack into your business. Please contact us or call +1 (630) 786-5900.