Azure Stack Preview 3 is available

Azure Stack is a hybrid cloud platform that lets you deliver Azure services from your organization’s datacenter. Microsoft Azure Stack Technical Preview 3 is being made available as a Proof of Concept (POC). The POC is an ideal environment for learning and demonstrating Azure Stack features.

Microsoft is also announced that Azure Stack will be available via Enterprise Agreement (EA) and Cloud Solution Provider Program (CSP) 

azure-stack-architecture

In addition to bug fixes and other improvements, here’s the list of new features:

  • Active Directory Federation Services (AD FS) support provides identity options for scenarios where network connectivity is limited or intermittent.
  • You can use Azure Virtual Machine Scale Sets to provide managed scale out of workloads.
  • Use Azure D-Series VM sizes for increased performance and consistency.
  • Deploy and create templates with Temp Disks that are consistent with Azure.
  • Marketplace Syndication allows you to use content from the Azure Marketplace and make available in Azure Stack.
  • Isolated administrator and user portals and APIs provide enhanced security.
    Use enhanced infrastructure management functionality, such as improved alerting.
  • Using the Windows Azure Pack connector, you can view and manage IaaS virtual machines that are hosted on a Cloud Platform System (CPS) stamp. For this preview release, you can try this only with a CPS environment and additional configuration is required.

Windows Azure Pack Roadmap and Future Support

Microsoft has recently published their vision and plans for the future of Windows Azure Pack. This document called as “Windows Azure Pack Roadmap and Future Support” and must be taken into consideration by any service providers who has datacenters based on WAP and related components (SC, Windows Server).

You can download the full version of roadmap here.

Here I’m just citing the most important quotations:

Product support for WAP and the current version of System Center will continue to be available until the end of 2022. Table 1 summarizes the product support lifecycle for the main components in a WAP cloud deployment.

windows azure pack support

Microsoft Azure Stack brings Azure to service provider datacenters so that they can accelerate time to market and expand the addressable market for their services portfolio. Application developers can maximize their productivity using a ‘write once, deploy to Azure or Azure Stack’ approach. Microsoft Azure Stack will be launching in the fourth quarter of calendar year 2016

Service Providers should continue to use Windows Server Hyper-V for highly virtualized environments (for example, virtualizing their most demanding workloads) along with Windows Azure Pack and System Center for management. More importantly, they should sell and support what is available today that end customers understand and ask for, and then prepare for future evolution of technologies.

Related Links