Organizations are being challenged to modernize and digitally transform. Pressures to deliver new services, the rising demand for digital engagement, cost reductions, and the need to ensure the security of data and critical systems are driving adoption. Few technologies match the ability of cloud computing to aid in developing and deploying new competencies quickly and at scale. Cloud computing has revolutionized the modern enterprise by enabling organizations to reinvent the ways they operate, leading organizations to bring the many cloud capabilities of Microsoft Azure to on-premises data centers. This paved the way for a hybrid approach that merges the two using both public and private per the needs of the application, cost, and security requirements.
Microsoft Azure Stack is a fully integrated solution that is meticulously engineered and validated. It provides the data governance, security, and data proximity businesses need, while simultaneously enabling cloud resource reselling and sharing.
Initial hybrid cloud solutions attracted early adopters and delivered on some of the promised benefits, but fell short due to limitations in their architecture, inconsistency between clouds, or complexity of operation. Microsoft Azure Stack Hub was introduced in 2016 and was designed to solve many of the shortcomings of traditional cloud solutions. As the first truly consistent cloud service based on Azure source code, the hybrid cloud design enables an organization to consume the Microsoft Azure cloud services inside their data centers in the same way they consume Azure cloud services in the public cloud with absolute parity. Microsoft Azure Stack Hub provides businesses with the same infrastructure and services available with Azure, like Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), virtualization, software defined networking (SDN), software defined storage (SDS); all of which are deployed in an automated way using modern DevOps methods and tools.
Traditional IT infrastructure and legacy private cloud solutions required that each application installation be built and tested separately for each environment. Even if DevOps tools worked within the environment, there was little assurance that code written for the development environment would work for production or between production environments. Microsoft Azure Stack Hub provides a consistent environment between all Azure Clouds, public or private: the same services, across both, with absolute parity. Applications can run on multiple clouds with reliability in function and performance and without the need for different tools and pipelines for each cloud environment. And because it’s a single solution that you install, you don’t need to create your own system. You simply deploy. In other words, it’s the most consistent hybrid-cloud approach, all the way from identity to DevOps.
Businesses operate in complex environments with increasingly more requirements for data governance and compliance. As data is the fuel that powers digital transformation, it must be governed appropriately. The Azure Stack Hub on-premises, private cloud solution enables control of where data resides ensuring it is within the boundaries set by governing agencies. The ability to intelligently manage data management decisions and authority is critical to infrastructure solutions in certain environments. Microsoft Azure tools and services allow for tight control in subscriptions, defining hierarchies, managing permissions, role-based access control (RBAC), and more easing the burden of cobbling together a solution with traditional IT infrastructure.
Microsoft Azure Stack Hub security is based on an Assume Breach and Hardened by default methodology. By assuming breach, the infrastructure is organized in such a way that internal trust is virtually eliminated; therefore, a failure of security in any area will not affect another. This provides a sealed environment that reduces the effective radius of a possible security breach and allows response teams to rapidly restore normal operation without the need to address a larger cascading failure. Even the administrator cannot maliciously attack the stack as they are never granted administrative rights to the system.
Hardened by default ensures that no additional configurations are needed post-installation. Upon delivery, the Microsoft Azure Stack Hub is ready to use and locked down preconfigured to use security-enhancing features.
In many applications, certain situations require that data resides in close proximity to where it is being processed. Common use cases are industrial automation, sensor networks, and remotely deployed resources. The fact is that data is sometimes generated at the edge and needs to be processed very quickly for actionable results. In these cases, close proximity means that low latency and high bandwidth are necessary. The alternative is to send data back to the public cloud resulting in increased latency, bandwidth, and/or costs. Any of which may present an untenable situation for the application.
Microsoft Azure Stack Hub allows for cloud applications to reside within a specific proximity boundary, while maintaining all of the benefits of the public cloud. The application developers do not have to rewrite the application to deploy it to the cloud within the proximity boundary and they do not need to learn any new tools or methodologies. The same agility, speed, and reliability of the public cloud becomes available in the location it is needed.
Some data cannot be stored in the cloud due to its sensitive nature or because it must remain within a certain geographical or geopolitical boundary. In other scenarios, an application must be forward deployed at the edge where latency and performance are critical factors. In these situations, many public cloud solutions or traditional on-premises IT infrastructure or legacy private and hybrid cloud solutions are not a fit. They have numerous shortcomings that include a potential loss of many of the most desired cloud computing benefits.
Microsoft Azure Stack Hub was carefully designed to offer truly consistent cloud services where and when you need them—whether that is an air-gapped or remote location. Microsoft Azure Stack Hub can be configured to operate connected to the internet or completely disconnected, providing maximum flexibility in the use of the platform. This also allows for unique use cases that may not have been foreseen. It is the only cloud computing platform to offer this flexibility of use while maintaining application and operational consistency with the public cloud.
Discover how Azure Stack Hub enables the public sector to rapidly develop and deploy new capabilities while delivering on governance, compliance, security, and proximity requirements.
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