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

Azure Stack: Hardware Requirements

In this year’s Ignite Conference Mark Russinovich, Jeffrey Snover and Jeremy Winter spoke about how to bring Azure to your datacenter and discussed platform vision and strategy . I’d recommend to watch entire video on the channel9 .

Microsoft has been working hard since that conference and yesterday Jeffrey Snover shared hardware requirements for Azure Stack Preview (check out the video and tables below).

azure_stack_hardware_requirements

Storage considerations

Data disk drive configuration: All data drives must be of the same type (SAS or SATA) and capacity.  If SAS disk drives are used, the disk drives must be attached via a single path (no MPIO, multi-path support is provided)
HBA configuration options:

  1.  (Preferred) Simple HBA
  2. RAID HBA – Adapter must be configured in “pass through” mode
  3. RAID HBA – Disks should be configured as Single-Disk, RAID-0
Supported bus and media type combinations

  • SATA HDD
  • SAS HDD
  • RAID HDD
  • RAID SSD (If the media type is unspecified/unknown*)
  • SATA SSD + SATA HDD**
  • SAS SSD + SAS HDD**

* RAID controllers without pass-through capability can’t recognize the media type. Such controllers will mark both HDD and SSD as Unspecified. In that case, the SSD will be used as persistent storage instead of caching devices. Therefore, you can deploy the Microsoft Azure Stack POC on those SSDs.

** For tiered storage, you must have at least 3 HDDs.

Example HBAs: LSI 9207-8i, LSI-9300-8i, or LSI-9265-8i in pass-through mode

Recommended SKUs : Dell PE R630 and HPE  DL360 G9

Links:

Azure Stack review on Microsoft site

Microsoft brings the Next Generation of Hybrid Cloud – Azure to Your Datacenter

Announcing the Microsoft Azure Stack