Last week, a virtual edition of Microsoft Ignite 2020 took place in the ether. This three-day event features interesting sessions on different products and solutions with the best speakers from all over the world. In this blog, we summarize the most important developments concerning Microsoft solutions, with a focus on topics related to Azure Stack HCISo, if you didn’t have the time to attend all the keynotes: we got you covered! In a few minutes you will be up to date. Here we go!
Keynote Microsoft Ignite – Satya Nedella, CEO at Microsoft
In his keynote, Satya Nadella, Microsoft's CEO, talks about today's challenges and technological solutions. In 60 minutes, he provides plenty of examples from areas in everyday life that could benefit from some sort of technological solution. Microsoft is active in many areas, as visualized in the image below. Our technical staff, Joost and Martijn, have highlighted 2 topics from the keynote that appeal to them most, both on a personal and a professional level.
Azure Arc is the tool to manage the different Azure components from a single interface. This single pane of glass can manage the physical servers, as well as all cloud-related Azure components. In the GA version it's already possible to manage On-Premise Arc-enabled servers. For example: Windows and Linux servers, Role-Based Operation and security features. A number of components of Azure Data Services have now been released in a public preview. Components include support for disconnected mode and managing your own SQL server via Arc.
Azure Mixed Reality
Within Microsoft, sharing knowledge is key. Especially with the Covid-19 pandemic, which meant that certain products had to be produced very quickly and people had to deal with the fact that there was not enough technical knowledge during the implementation. Among other things, this was solved by using the hololens and mixed reality , so that the executing staff knew exactly what to do. This method was already used at a number of companies and increased the productivity and safety of employees. Microsoft’s goal is to make the technology invisible and provide solutions that just work.
Azure Kubernetes Services on the new Azure Stack HCI
The biggest announcement on Ignite this week was that Azure Kubernetes Services (AKS) can also run on the new Azure Stack HCI. The preview is now available for download. AKS is very easy to deploy from Windows Admin Center using templates created by Microsoft. Also, this Kubernetes and container environment is automatically updated from Azure and Windows Admin Center.
Why run Azure Kubernetes Services on Azure Stack HCI?
AKS is very popular and made available for customers to run on-premise; delivering Azure consistency, a familiar Azure experience, ease of use and high security for their containerized applications. This means that you can deploy and manage containerized apps on Azure Stack HCI. In addition, you can use AKS to develop applications on AKS and deploy them unchanged on-premise, run Arc-enabled Data Services on a resilient platform and modernize Windows Server and Linux applications. In conclusion, an industry-leading experience for modern application development and deployment in a hybrid cloud era.
Hybrid Hyper-Converged integration
In the session Hybrid-Converged integration speaker Carsten Rachfahl explained how you can integrate a hybrid hyper-converged infrastructure solution into your environment.
Azure Stack HCI is a solution for both small and large installations, where scaling between 2 to 16 nodes is possible. The new purpose-built OS for HCI will include shorter update cycles than you are used to with Windows Server 2019. Another important addition is that Stretched Cluster is possible with 4 to 16 nodes (with synchronous replication enabling transparent failover), which is not the case with S2D. In Azure it is possible to run legacy OSs. This feature will also be available in the new Azure Stack HCI OS. Thus, a lot of thought was given to missing and existing solutions that were not yet available for Azure Stack HCI. Additional new features are listed below:
- Faster repair times for Azure Stack HCI.
- Patching nodes made easier for faster rebuild times.
- Use your existing licenses and move them to Azure.
- Pay per CPU core, smaller licenses are available.
- AKS for Azure Stack HCI.
- Azure Services makes remote management possible.
- Azure Stack HCI comes with a specialized support team.
Please read our blog about the differences between Windows Server 2019 and the new Azure Stack HCI OS. If you want to know more about the differences, we recommend you to read it.