Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, 2014

What (Hardware) You Need to Build an Azure Cloud in Your Data Center

Microsoft releases hardware specs for Azure Stack in anticipation of preview release

Hoping to exploit the edge over VMware in the enterprise data center it has due to the massive scale of its public cloud, Microsoft is preparing to launch the first preview release of Azure Stack – a private Azure cloud environment a company can stand up in its own data center that will look exactly like the public version of Azure to users and be seamlessly integrated with the public cloud.

This is a similar angle on hybrid cloud VMware has been pursuing since 2013, when it announced its vCloud Hybrid Service that was later rebranded into vCloud Air. VMware promised a virtual extension of a customer’s on-premise VMware environment into the cloud.

The public cloud portion of VMware’s hybrid cloud is hosted in fewer data centers than Azure, relying on smaller footprint in colocation facilities, while Microsoft spends billions of dollars on massive data centers around the world, in some cases building on its own and in other cases leasing large facilities wholesale.

While it is working with hardware vendors to bring to market pre-integrated hardware-software packages for quick setup of private Azure clouds, Microsoft has released hardware specs for those who want to try the preview version of the Azure Stack software it expects to launch next quarter.

Here’s what you need to have in your data center if you want to build your own private Azure cloud, described by Microsoft’s technical fellow Jeffrey Snover:

You can find the specs in list form on the Microsoft Server and Cloud Blog.

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