Microsoft Azure Stack HCI
Azure Stack HCI is a product that is a member of the Azure Stack family that exists on the Microsoft side. Microsoft Azure Stack HCI provides us with a flexible and comprehensive infrastructure. Before you go into detail, you need to know the journey from private Cloud and hybrid to hybrid builds or Azure Stack HCI. So it is fair to say that Azure Stack HCI is a product that dates back quite a bit until the product came out, and then came out of its envelope with serious experience so far.
When we take a look at the Azure Stack journey, Windows Azure Pack was the product that it released to provide private Cloud service with self-service and multi tenant support. The most important step that excited us when the first journey began was to introduce the concept of software Define Networking using the NVGRE protocol. As you can see in the above image over time, Microsoft has released Azure Stack with Windows Server 2016. Azure Stack is very consistent after the past Azure Pack experience, but by switching to VXLAN technology instead of NVGRE protocol, a fairly consistent software Define Networking has also come up with Software Define Storage. In fact, he continued to move towards the whole of a Hyper-Converged structure. Microsoft Azure Stack appeared as a pre-configured and packaged Microsoft product, just as it had the Windows Core operating system. Microsoft Azure workloads and experience gained here that we require the development of serious side and again we couldn’t get out of the cloud due to regulations attached to them as our workload accordingly and keep in a hybrid structure allows it to work in our own data center.
After remembering Microsoft’s journey to Azure Stack HCI;
What is Azure Stack HCI?
Azure Stack HCI is a member of the Azure Stack product family as mentioned earlier. Members of the family include three different products: Azure Stack Edge, Azure Stack Hub, and Azure Stack HCI, which we will mention in this article. For detailed information about the Azure Stack product family, please visit the address below.
Azure Stack Edge: our IOT solutions are hardware that we can use to transfer data over Machine Learning and Network.
Azure Stack HUB: our own environments also allow us to expand our data center and Microsoft Azure environments, allowing us to modernize our own applications using Azure services. It’s part of Azure Stack that we can’t get into the cloud because of obstacles such as existing regulation, but that allows us to modernize the App. You can see all of the Microsoft Azure Marketplace applications that we can use with the Azure Stack Hub at the address I mentioned below.
So, our Azure Stack HCI product is a structure that modernizes the way VMs work in our own data centers in Windows and our Hyper-V server configured to take part in the hybrid cloud. Azure Stack HCI can run on different workloads, although we only mention the modernization of virtual machines here. We will address these in the following sections.
Azure Stack HCI is a Hyper-Convergence structure and is fully Microsoft software.
What ‘s the meaning of the structure of Azure Stack HCI Hyper-Convergence?
With a traditional approach, we know that we need infrastructure components that we will host in our data centers and run our workloads. In order to have a healthy, redundant structure, we can simply sort these workloads as servers, i.e., hypervisior, network and storage layers. For these layers, each brings a separate operational workload, while the height of investment costs also arises. Hyper-Convergence structures are now emerging as an inevitable technology for us when we look at all these layers by revealing the total cost of ownership, the challenges that arise on the management and backup side, and disaster scenarios like this.
Azure Stack HCI has a customized Azure Stack HCI operating system that holds all this together, but Software Define solutions are completely integrated.
Azure Stack HCI provides fully hybrid services that we will position in our data centers. In fact, we are talking about a hardware that exists entirely in our own data center, as well as an integrated structure with a service that can be expanded with Microsoft Azure. For reasons such as performance and workloads or regulation, we can run on the workloads we need to host in our own data center, while we can still run integrated with Microsoft Azure with an extended and hybrid structure with Azure. As mentioned above, native integration of Azure Arc service can be done and managed, while Azure Monitoring, Azure Site Recovery, Azure Backup, Azure File Sync, such as constantly evolving and added services, we can directly take advantage of platform as a service.
To own Azure Stack HCI, you can install new hardware from an ecosystem of Microsoft partners, or hardware that I own in our data centers. As mentioned, Azure Stack HCI, a brand new operating system, provides the Azure Hybrid service for us, but comes installed and ready when you have hardware provided by Microsoft partners. This means that when the manufacturer in the ecosystem provides us with hardware, we also get Software define Storage and Software Define Networking structures ready. You can see the list of manufacturers in the Microsoft Azure Stack HCI ecosystem at the address below.
We said that we can perform an installation on existing hardware that we have. For this purpose, we must make the installations.
We mentioned that Azure Stack HCI is located in our own data center and brings Azure Hybrid service. In addition, we can position our remote site data centers with Stretched Cluster support. In Stretched cluster structures, it supports both active-active and Active-Passive work.
In addition, the Software Define storage layer stands out with the high IOPS values it provides, and again, thanks to the high IOPS values it provides on the storage side, it provides high availability of our data with both synchronous and asynchronous replications between disks.
We mentioned that Azure Stack HCI hybrid provides the service to us. It provides us with the hybrid service by registering between the hardware we position in our data center and Microsoft Azure with the Azure Stack Resource Provider provided by Microsoft and application registration under Azure Active Directory.
Just as we can provide Azure Stack HCI cluster management through Windows Admin Center, hybrid services allow us to use it through Windows Admin Center. We can see the components related to which Azure services we can expand through the visual we shared above.
Hybrid solutions powered by Azure Stack HCI are growing and developing day by day. Having ready – made Azure SQL Manage Instance support allows NVMe support and RDMA persistent memory to be defined on the SQL side, which provides serious performance gains with very low latency values.
AKS on Azure Stack HCI
Azure Stack HCI provides the Hyper-Converged structure on the Azure Kubernetes side as well as the Hybrid services it brings to us on the infrastructure side we mentioned in detail. In this way, we can use the Azure Kubernetes Service in our own data centers, that is to say, in our companies and institutions, and use the hybrid service with Azure.
Azure Stack HCI Licensing
If we already have an Azure subscription that we have with Azure Stack HCI, or if we don’t, we can easily use it by getting an Azure subscription. Azure subscriptions are supported for Azure Stack HCI, whether they are in the progressive Cloud Solution Provider (CSP), Enterprise aggregation(EA), or Online model for any Azure subscription model.
In this way, we do not have to get the software and licenses we need before our traditional methods with Azure Stack HCI. We can host servers and applications that are important to us and have critical workloads on Azure Stack HCI and pay our licensing costs monthly accordingly.
We’ve talked about many of the advantages of Azure Stack HCI, but this now moves us to another side and means that we can now use our front license costs more predictable and paying less.
As for ownership costs for Azure Stack HCI. It costs$10 per Core per month for Azure Stack HCI and the cost of hardware we will purchase from ecosystem supported manufacturers. As you will see on the visual, if we have 24 Core hardware, the monthly cost for us will be$ 240.
What do we need a license for applications or operating systems running on Azure Stack HCI then? If a Linux (open Source) operating system or application is running on the environment, it means that there will be no cost by Microsoft here. If our environment is also a server environment this time we have a few Windows Server 2019 Standard Edition license, the licensing Windows Server 2019 datacenter costs by adding our environment if we have much more costs will arise.