Claiming that most customers don’t want to fiddle with installing Azure Stack, Microsoft announced today that the hybrid cloud platform will be offered in turnkey fashion, preloaded on servers from Dell, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), and Lenovo.
For now, Azure Stack is still available in preview form and can be loaded onto a server of your choice. The turnkey products will arrive when Azure Stack reaches general availability — which, by the way, has been pushed to mid-2017. When Azure Stack emerged in January, Microsoft was predicting general availability by year’s end.
Azure Stack runs a subset of the Microsoft Azure public cloud. Customers are meant to run it on their own premises — inside a data center or private cloud, or, what the heck, even on a desktop machine.
The idea is that applications developed on Azure Stack will automatically be suitable to run on the full Azure cloud. This could eliminate some hassles related to converting enterprise applications to run on the infrastructure of the public cloud.
The vision was for Azure Stack to run on pretty much any Windows machine. But in his blog, Neil claims customers are looking for a prefab product that they won’t have to touch and, maybe more important, won’t have to worry about upgrading.
“They are willing to trade off customization at the infrastructure layer to gain a faster time-to-value,” Neil writes.
For customers that don’t want to just dabble and want to deploy a full Azure-like private cloud, Microsoft already offers a cloud-in-a-box product combination of hardware and software, called the Cloud Platform Solution, offered by Dell, HPE, and Nutanix. Microsoft is encouraging customers to continue using CPS, as they will be able to manage it via Azure Stack.