Microsoft's Azure Stack hybrid cloud enters technical preview

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Microsoft's Azure Stack hybrid cloud enters technical preview

Feature-limited first version to land on Saturday.

Microsoft will release its hybrid cloud Azure Stack platform as an early technical preview to registered users this Saturday, the company said.

Azure Stack was first revealed in May last year, and a preview was at the time scheduled for later in 2015.

The infrastructure and platform as a service (IaaS/PaaS) Azure Stack connects customer data centres with the Azure Cloud through identical application programming interfaces.

Microsoft said the hybrid model allows customers to address business and technical considerations such as regulations, data sovereignty, customisation, and network latency, allowing them to place workloads locally, or in the cloud, independently of the technology deployed.

Applications for Azure Stack can be created with open source tools or the .NET development framework, Microsoft said.

The company told TechCrunch the technical preview would initially be feature-limited, and would only support a single machine - not an entire data centre.

However, the technical preview of Azure Stack will contain the Azure portal, PowerShell command line and Visual Studio integrated development environment integration. It will also support the Azure software development kit, and Resource Manager as the cloud application model.

On the IaaS side, Azure Stack in technical preview form will have virtual machines, and extensions such as containers. Blobs and tables storage are supported, along with virtual networks, load balancers and virtual private network gateways.

The PaaS App Service in the technical preview includes Web, Logic, API and Mobile Apps, plus the Service Fabric for micro-service rapid application development.

Azure Active Directory integration, Role-based Access Control (RBAC), subscriptions, gallery and metering are also included in the technical preview.

There will several technical previews of Azure Stack released throughout 2016, a Microsoft spokesperson told iTnews. No release date was given however, nor any indication of pricing.

Microsoft also said it would focus on core components such as compute, storage and networks in early versions of Azure Stack, rather than make available the full suite of Azure services on premises.

System requirements to run Azure Stack are yet to be detailed by Microsoft.

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