Gabriel is a lead developer for Halo Corp. Halo follows an agile development cycle, and thus he was notified that the business had given the OK and that he should now begin preparing development for v6 of the company's upcoming software release. Traditionally, Gabriel would make a service request for a new round of development virtual machines. Unfortunately, the service level agreement (SLA) for IT to respond to this request is 14 days. Gabriel made a quick decision: He created a Microsoft Azure subscription and was able to spin up the entire development environment in an afternoon!
This situation is becoming more common, and it's quite unfortunate: IT cannot respond in a timely fashion, and developers are secretly performing work off-premises just to meet strict project deadlines. Senior IT management at Halo simply cannot justify, and in turn is extremely reluctant and nervous about, moving any on-premises data out to a public cloud provider. What if IT could provide the look, smell and feel of the Azure experience on-premises?
Back at Microsoft Ignite in May 2015, Microsoft made many big announcements--one being the introduction of Azure Stack. Azure Stack allows on-premises IT departments to mimic the hyper-scale Azure model within their own data centers. Built on the exact GUI and Azure Resource Manager (ARM) as the off-prem Azure, Azure Stack makes it fast and easy to integrate existing APIs, PowerShell and development tools like Visual Studio.
Cloud-based Azure and on-premises Azure Stack provide great benefits for both IT professionals and developers. And when IT and development work well, the entire organization ultimately succeeds and benefits.
Developers now will have the opportunity to write code once and deploy it twice. Azure Stack uses the same APIs as Microsoft Azure--regardless of whether your development team writes .NET or open source, or where the resource is provisioned. Azure Stack, through the course of several technical previews leading up to general availability, will continue to be improved and built on. Microsoft also plans to add more applications and components to Github as services become available, allowing developers quick and easy access to these resources.
IT infrastructure professionals will expand their infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) and platform-as-a-service (PaaS) offerings while maintaining visibility, management and insight into the tools that manage and operate Azure today. The ultimate goal is to provide value to the business by responding to needs in an agile fashion, while maintaining environmental consistency between on- and off-premises Azure environments.
Microsoft has recently released the initial Technical Preview of Azure Stack. I strongly encourage anyone interested in learning more about the Azure Stack experience to download Azure Stack and begin to learn and experiment with the platform. Microsoft has defined the exact steps and hardware requirements to get this proof of concept rolling, so what are you waiting for?
With the introduction of Azure Stack into the environment, Gabriel will no longer have to cheat on his friends in the on-premises data center by secretly taking development off-prem. This makes senior management extremely happy--it just so happens that v6 of Halo's flagship product shipped earlier than expected!
Clint Wyckoff is an Evangelist at Veeam with a focus on all things Microsoft. He is an avid technologist and virtualization fanatic with more than a decade of enterprise data center architecture experience. Clint is an energetic and engaging speaker, and places a large emphasis on solving the real-world challenges IT professionals face. Additionally, he is a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) for Cloud and Datacenter Management, as well as a VMware vExpert for 2015. Clint is also a Veeam Certified Engineer (VCME) and Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP). You can follow Clint on Twitter @ClintWyckoff or @Veeam.
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