If, as an SP, you think about higher efficiency and better performance of your infrastructure, you soon think of the public cloud. Quite logically, nothing beats the cloud when it comes to performance, economies of scale and flexibility. Just try to match that as an individual company. But what if you are still serving plenty of customers from your own data centre? And still have to deal with investments you have to recoup? How can you then optimise performance and efficiencies?
The trade-off is a difficult one. On the one hand, your customers expect fast service, flexibility and scalability, as in the public cloud. On the other hand, cloud migration costs time and money, and not all workloads and services are suitable for the cloud. Consider security, compliancy or legislation, but also technology issues, because data, for example, must always be available quickly and without latency.
Most SPs have therefore found a middle ground and have embraced hybrid cloud, where they have some workloads and processes in the public cloud and others in a private cloud in their own on-premise data centre. You are probably one of them. This means that you are still investing in local development, configuration, and maintenance for your data centres, with all the time and write-offs associated with this. How can you do this in a smart and efficient way? Well, for example with Azure Stack, Microsoft's hybrid cloud solution.
In short, Azure Stack is a portfolio of products that provides Azure services and capabilities in the on-premise data centre. Azure Stack consists of three components: Azure Stack Edge, Azure Stack HCI (Hyper Converged Infrastructure) and Azure Stack Hub and connects a variety of features of Azure public cloud to your own environment. All at once you have services like Azure PaaS and IaaS and Azure Functions at your fingertips in your own data centre. Plus an array of other services like Azure Arc, Azure Backup, Azure Monitor, Azure Active Directory, and many more.
Now that you have access to so many additional features with Azure Stack, a lot of doors are opening to modernise your existing infrastructure, increase your performance efficiency, and develop new services, with manageable costs.
Why keep expensive backup in your own data centre and not move it to the cloud? Or build and deploy two different applications for both the public and private cloud, when you can have one application for both? And why not immediately benefit from simplified operations, flexible deployment, containerised apps with Kubernetes and much more? If you don't do it, your competitors will!
The great advantage of Azure Stack for service providers is that it brings the benefits of Azure public cloud to your own data centre. By adopting Azure Stack, you build a solid bridge between two worlds, as it were. Moreover, Microsoft has developed Azure Stack from the data centre environment, so from the context that you as a service provider know like the back of your hand.
Azure stack HCI, for example, gives you the same user interface for managing both Azure and your on-premises Azure stack. Think one graphical interface, one learning path, a common way to perform tasks and use the same services at both ends. You can also use Azure Stack HCI in conjunction with Windows Admin Center, a tool that many MSPs (you?) use today for their on-premises solutions.
Conclusion? With Azure Stack you take a big step forward in improving efficiency for your own company and for your customers. At the same time, you can modernise your architecture and follow your own migration strategy.
Time is money. Are you looking for a way to work more efficiently and improve the performance of your on-premise infrastructure in a hybrid environment? Then there is Azure Stack. The possibilities you bring to the table ensure standardisation, greater flexibility and less time pressure on your IT people. Valuable time, especially in a tight labour market, because where do you find people? But also valuable time that you can spend on innovation, new services for other markets or on applications with promising innovative technologies such as IoT or AI. Why wait?
Recently, Forrester Consulting conducted a study for IBM on the importance of hybrid cloud in the digital transformation with growing and increasingly complex application workloads. The study showed that respondents see hybrid cloud as an end state rather than a milestone. This means that a hybrid cloud infrastructure and therefore the on-premise IT environment will continue to exist for the time being. In this context, performance efficiency is certainly a must.
Are you interested in what Azure and Azure Stack can offer your business? We at Insight have been working with partners like you across Europe for many years. We help them to find ways to optimise efficiency, reduce costs and maximise revenue by providing valuable time, knowledge and support in many (hybrid) cloud scenarios.
Contact one of our cloud specialists to find out how we can support you in optimizing your cloud ambitions in line with your business goals, whether you are designing your first workloads in the cloud or work entirely cloud-based.