skip to main content
Close Icon We use cookies to improve your website experience.  To learn about our use of cookies and how you can manage your cookie settings, please see our Cookie Policy.  By continuing to use the website, you consent to our use of cookies.
Global Search Configuration

Ovum view

Summary

Microsoft has announced Azure Stack. Described as an "extension" to Azure, it will give enterprise customers the option to keep Azure workloads and data on-premises. Targeting enterprise customers, Azure Stack is also aimed at service providers and SIs that want to deliver hosted private clouds that are fully interoperable with Microsoft's cloud.

Service providers need to get on board with Azure Stack to hone their delivery skills

It has been a long time since Microsoft first previewed Azure Stack, its on-premises version of the Azure cloud. Microsoft wanted to bring the dynamic services of Azure to enterprise customers that need to keep workloads and data in their own data centers or on-premises facilities for whatever reason – sometimes compliance and regulatory reasons, but often because they simply feel more comfortable knowing they can "see" where their workloads and data are located. As Ovum has often repeated, the vast majority of enterprise customers not only have a hybrid cloud strategy today but expect to have one for years to come.

While Azure Stack is primarily presented as an on-premises private cloud stack for enterprise customers, it will also be adopted by service providers, managed service providers (MSPs), and systems integrators (SIs) that want to deliver their own fully compatible and interoperable Azure services. This should ultimately save them both time and money in the deployment and delivery of Azure-compatible services to their customers. It will be supported through the Azure Cloud Solution Partner program.

Microsoft has worked with hardware OEMs to develop fully integrated hardware/cloud platforms, which will initially be available from Dell EMC, HPE, and Lenovo in September 2017, with Cisco and Huawei to follow. Microsoft considers the integrated delivery with the OEMs as essential if customers are to deploy a truly dynamic cloud. Too often private cloud deployments have failed to deliver the same experience as public clouds, because customers (including MSPs and SIs) have failed to update and upgrade components of their cloud infrastructure in sync to ensure that the "integrated experience" of dynamic cloud is maintained.

Azure Stack won't support all the services of the Azure public cloud, and the subset of PaaS and IaaS services is inevitably limited. Service providers aren't going to be able to build out massively scalable clouds to compete with the public Azure on the back of Azure Stack. However, where they need to deliver edge-of-the-network, IoT-ready, on-premises, or "disconnected" private clouds (e.g., on ships, planes, or factory floors), Azure Stack should reduce deployment times and help deliver the dynamic cloud experience customers are looking for. The "gotcha" is that the onus will be on the service providers to plan capacity and keep the Azure Stack infrastructure up to date. We believe it will take a few iterations of the update cycle for some of them to get up to speed and to hone the "infrastructure-as-code" skills they'll need to deliver a truly dynamic cloud experience to their private cloud customers.

Appendix

Further reading

Ovum Cloud Service Provider Update: Microsoft Azure, TE0005-000921 (March 2017)

SWOT Assessment: Microsoft Azure, IT0022-000942 (May 2017)

Author

Ian Brown, Senior Analyst, Networks and Cloud Services

ian.brown@ovum.com

Recommended Articles

  • Service Provider Markets, Consumer & Entertainment Services,...

    MWC 2018 Highlights

    By Ronan De Renesse 27 Feb 2018

    Over 20 of our senior Ovum analysts and consultants attended this year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona at the end of February. In between meetings, briefings and presentations, our analyst team were blogging and tweeting about key developments, trends and rumors. Have a look through our daily MWC 2018 Highlights to find out what happened.

    Topics 5G AI IoT Cloud Payments SDN/NFV Smart home

  • Internet of Things

    IoT Viewpoints 2018

    IoT Viewpoints explore the IoT opportunity in 2018 and beyond. Download our latest e-book to get our newest collection of thought leadership articles on the emerging IoT trends, technologies and opportunities.

    Topics IoT

  • Consumer & Entertainment Services

    US pay TV: Is it facing an existential threat?

    By Adam Thomas 28 Mar 2018

    With US pay TV having endured the worst year in its history, thoughts have inevitably turned to the future. The likelihood remains that the immediate future will remain highly uncomfortable for everyone except the scaled multinational digital platforms.

;

Have any questions? Speak to a Specialist

Europe, Middle East & Africa team - +44 (0) 207 017 7700


Asia-Pacific team - +61 (0)3 960 16700

US team - +1 646 957 8878

+44 (0) 207 551 9047 - Operational from 09.00 - 17.00 UK time

You can also contact your named/allocated Client Services Executive using their direct dial.
PR enquiries - Call us at +44 788 597 5160 or email us at pr@ovum.com

Contact marketing - 
marketingdepartment@ovum.com

Already an Ovum client? Login to the Knowledge Center now