Microsoft Azure Stack HCI is aimed at customers who aren’t ready to commit to full cloud infrastructure.
Azure Stack HCI feature the same Hyper-V based software-defined compute, storage, and networking technologies as Azure Stack.
Kind of, sort of, maybe a cloud service?
Microsoft already sells Azure Stack, a halfway-house between a self-managed data center and a full-on Azure cloud service. But it seems Azure Stack HCI looks to bridge that gap even further by letting customers who run applications designed for virtualized infrastructure to use Azure for backup or monitoring.
This HCI version of Azure could be appealing to customers who are worried about any regulatory issues to do with public cloud, and want to be able to pick and choose which applications they run on-premises or on public cloud.
Arpan Shah, General Manager of Microsoft Azure wrote in a blog post this morning: “Many Microsoft customers have complex IT environments and our goal is to provide solutions that meet them where they are with the right technology for the right business need.
“Azure Stack HCI is an evolution of Windows Server Software-Defined (WSSD) solutions previously available from our hardware partners. We brought it into the Azure Stack family because we have started to offer new options to connect seamlessly with Azure for infrastructure management services.”
Azure Stack HCI is available today from 15 Microsoft partners including Asus, Axellio, bluechip, DataON, Dell EMC, Fujitsu, HPE, Hitachi, Huawei, Lenovo, NEC, primeLine Solutions, QCT, SecureGUARD, and Supermicro.
Customers will not be able to upgrade from Azure Stack HCI to Azure Stack, but will be able to migrate their workloads if they desire.