Peak Hybrid: The Top Four Use Cases for Azure Stack

As organizations continue to expand into both public and private clouds, using each for specific workloads, it is critical that these hybrid cloud solutions work seamlessly together.

Because while public and private cloud growth continues, much of today’s momentum is behind these hybrid models. Consider these recent stats from RightScale:

  • 50 percent of enterprise IT teams say hybrid cloud is a priority, compared to roughly half that for either public or private clouds alone.
  • 74 percent of enterprises say hybrid cloud enables business growth.
  • 85 percent adopted a hybrid strategy last year.
  • 91 percent of IT pros think hybrid will remain a priority in 2023

Yet in today’s cloud landscape, only one hybrid environment is truly consistent across public and private clouds: Microsoft Azure Stack.

To create Azure Stack, Microsoft leveraged the code base, portal, APIs and service architecture of its public cloud, Azure. That means both platforms are fully compatible. You can share apps, data and workloads across both environments, with Azure Stack giving you the on-premises control and security of a private cloud, while Azure offers the near-infinite resources of public cloud.

It’s not a trivial breakthrough. Forrester thinks Azure Stack will “spark a jump in hybrid cloud computing” this year, and Morningstar expects Azure to grow at more than 30 percent over the next decade while capturing a large share of the multi-billion-dollar Infrastructure-as-a-service and platform-as-a-service markets.

Here are four use cases where Azure Stack can have the greatest impact.

Consistent application development

Because Azure and Azure Stack use nearly the same code base, developers and IT staff can build applications once and deploy them on-premises or in a public cloud — one technology, one portal, no re-architecting. That means firms can seamlessly shift, distribute and migrate workloads across public and private clouds. And Azure Resource Manager enables developers to create reusable templates for both on-premises and cloud-native apps, which paves the way for DevOps implementation across hybrid environments, reducing costs and time to market.

Real-world examples: 

  • Banking: a New Zealand bank with a mobile customer base leverages Azure Stack to modernize apps and services across hybrid environments.
  • Industry: a Japanese conglomerate looking to modernize business-critical apps uses Azure Stack to standardize development skill sets for on-premises and cloud-based apps.

Security, data sovereignty and compliance

Azure Stack allows companies to develop and run apps in Azure and then, if necessary, deploy them in Azure Stack to meet regulatory requirements. Also, if you need to keep data in a country without an Azure data center, you can securely store it on-premises with Azure Stack.

Real world examples: 

  • Finance: a prominent South African financial services institution uses Azure Stack to flexibly deploy apps to a cloud that meets rigorous regulatory requirements.
  • Banking: a Danish bank leverages Azure Stack to seamlessly deploy and manage its online trading platform in a fully compliant cloud.

On-demand resources

Azure Stack enables you to rapidly provision and deploy compute, storage and other resources while preserving the secure data isolation of an on-premises environment. It provides private cloud security combined with public cloud flexibility.

Real world examples: 

  • Healthcare: a healthcare provider uses a private cloud for personal data but switches other data, apps and workloads to its public cloud for flexibility and performance.
  • Technology: software teams working with sensitive data and apps use a secure dev-and-test environment, with Azure Stack providing access to cloud-based resources for rapid scaling. 

Data gravity

“Data gravity” refers to processing large amounts of raw data in a remote or live environment. Bandwidth fees make it expensive to transmit that kind of “heavy” data to a public cloud for analysis, and connectivity issues may make it impossible. Azure Stack allows you to analyze data where it originates and then transmit the final results to a public cloud.

Real world examples:

Journalism: a multimedia company uploads raw videos to Azure, where the footage is enhanced with AI before being rendered at remote newsrooms on Azure Stack.

Industry: an aircraft manufacturer generating terabytes of data per hour uses an on-site Azure Stack cloud for real-time analysis instead of transmitting the data to a public cloud. 

Rackspace knows Azure Stack

If you’re looking to integrate public and private cloud technology, Azure Stack can be transformative. But if you suspect you’ll need some help deploying and managing it, you’re not alone. Nearly half of hybrid cloud users enlist the help of a service provider, according to 451 Research, and this number will likely grow as more organizations adopt the technology.

Rackspace is perfectly positioned to help you architect, deploy, manage and optimize Azure Stack. We’ve been closely involved with Azure Stack since Microsoft’s first technical preview, and we operate one of the largest Azure managed services practices in the world. We’ve helped thousands of companies with their journey to a Microsoft cloud, and we’re ready to support your Azure Stack transition.

Learn more about Rackspace Private Cloud Powered by Microsoft Azure Stack.

Brooke Jackson is a product marketing manager for Rackspace Private Cloud solutions, including Microsoft Azure Stack, Hyper-V and Pivotal Cloud Foundry. She has been a Racker since 2009 and has more than 15 years of experience in product management and marketing. Brooke earned her BS and MBA from Virginia Tech, and lives in Blacksburg, VA with her family. You can find Brooke on LinkedIn.

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