Microsoft’s hybrid cloud effort pushed forward today, with the company announcing at its Inspire partner conference that customers can now order machines that run Azure Stack. The hardware, which has been produced in a partnership between Microsoft and server manufacturers, will essentially let customers run private instances of Microsoft Azure in their own data centers.
The system is designed for customers who want to maintain parity between their on-premises and public cloud deployments so that developers can get access to the same services that they’re used to in the public cloud while staying behind the firewall.
After a year of technical previews, Microsoft has now delivered the first release version of Azure Stack to its hardware partners so that they can finish their certification process. As Microsoft announced at its Inspire conference today, partners like Dell EMC, HPE and Lenovo will start shipping their integrated systems with Azure Stack in September. Other partners, including Huawei and Cisco, will launch their systems at some point in the near future.
“One of the key things we truly believe is that hybrid is a key differentiator for us and a steady state for our customers,” Said Mike Neil, Microsoft’s corporate vice president for Azure Infrastructure and Management,
The exact pricing for Azure Stack hardware, including support contracts, will be up to each individual manufacturer. Microsoft is working with Dell EMC, Lenovo, HPE, Cisco, and Huawei to make the hardware available, and the first machines should be available in September.
The company has also made it easier for partners to integrate Microsoft services into their products, with an ISV Cloud Embed offering that lets partners use parts of Dynamics 365, Power BI, and other services within their applications