TechTalk Tuesday Logo

Microsoft Office 365 is now the most widely used cloud service, with an estimate that one out of every five corporate employees uses it. Despite the popularity of free Google Docs, Microsoft continues to dominate the office space. Microsoft’s success only continued with the addition of Microsoft Azure, their ever-expanding set of cloud services. Now, there’s another addition to the Microsoft suite that will only help maintain their dominance – Microsoft Azure Stack.

microsoft-azure-locations-with-firstlightWhat Is Microsoft Azure Stack?

Azure was designed to build, manage, and deploy applications on a global scale. However, as a public cloud platform, it did not mesh with private or third party data centers. Azure Stack is a hybrid cloud platform that allows organizations to deploy Azure workloads from a private data center.

The benefits of the Azure Stack hybrid cloud approach are many, including speed and agility, flexibility, scalability, reliability, and the ability to separate workloads. Additionally, applications can be  balanced seamlessly between Azure stack and Azure’s public cloud.

However, there are 5 benefits of leveraging Azure Stack when delivered by a hosting partner such as FirstLight:

1:   Latency & Performance

Milliseconds matter when it comes to application performance.  Moving applications closer to the end users can go a long way toward improving performance and productivity.  When coupled with the right network management and low-latency fiber network, applications can perform in a cloud environment as if they were on-premises.

2: Seamless Integration

Azure Stack eliminates the need for an organization to create its own private cloud to connect to the public cloud. As Azure Stack brings these two environments into the same ecosystem, it also means the elimination of the headaches involved with integrating software stacks. The company can now build and deploy a single application for both the public and private cloud.

3: Security

As Azure Stack can be seen as a hybrid cloud environment, organizations can store sensitive data within a more familiar data center without sacrificing the ability to use public cloud applications. Additionally, security updates for Azure Stack software and applications happen automatically upon the update’s release. For Azure Stack infrastructure, updates such as firmware and drivers are regularly scheduled at set time intervals.

4: Data Locality

It can be a challenge for some industries to leverage the public cloud because their data may be moved around without their control.  Azure Stack, hosted by a provider such as FirstLight, can guarantee the location of data while companies can still leverage Azure as a platform.

5: True Azure Disaster Recovery

Azure Stack may be nearly identical to Azure, but the physical infrastructure is located outside of Azure’s public cloud, and thus has the advantage of being an excellent choice as a DR target for Azure workloads.  Even better, system admins don’t have to learn multiple platforms, and can instead work seamlessly regardless of whether the primary or secondary site is the public or Azure Stack location.

microsoft-azure-services-with-firstlightReady to Experience the Benefits of Azure Stack?

FirstLight recently announced that a new Azure Stack service will be ready for sale in the first quarter of 2020.  This means that organizations in the Northeast will have an option for standing up Azure workloads in a data center that is closer to them, and on a network that is unrivaled in it’s performance.

Contact us now to learn more about FirstLight’s plans for Azure Stack.