Yesterday, the Azure Stack HCI team shared some great news; the new Azure Stack HCI is now generally available. Azure Stack HCI is a new hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) operating system delivered as an Azure service that provides the latest security, performance, and feature updates. You can deploy and run Windows and Linux virtual machines (VMs) in your datacenter or at the edge using your existing tools, processes, and skillsets. It extends your datacenter to the cloud with hybrid cloud services like Azure Backup, Azure Monitor, and Azure Security Center. It also allows you to take advantage of the extended security updates offering for Windows Server and SQL Server 2008/2008 R2. Let’s have a look at where you can get and download Azure Stack HCI.
Azure Stack HCI offers a great hyper-converged infrastructure stack with Azure hybrid services built-in:
- Hyper-converged Infrastructure (HCI) – Hyper-converged infrastructure stack for secure, efficient virtualization of Windows and Linux guests. Offers from small two-node systems for edge deployments in branch offices, factories, and retail stores, to large scale and high-performance clusters for your enterprise virtualization environment.
- Flexible hardware offerings – You can choose the deployment scenario and hardware offering, which works best for your environment. Azure Stack HCI offers more than 20 hardware partners with over 200 solutions.
- Hybrid Cloud built-in – You can extend your datacenter with Azure Hybrid Cloud services to make your on-premises environment even better. Azure Stack HCI has Azure Arc built-in. You can seamlessly connect to Azure services such as Azure Backup, Azure Security Center, Azure Update Management, Azure Site Recovery, Azure Monitor, and many more. It also offers a tightly-integrated Kubernetes service with Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) on Azure Stack HCI. This allows you to deploy and manage containerized apps with Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) on-premises, and you can take advantage of AKS consistent experience, extend to Azure with hybrid capabilities, run apps with confidence with built-in security, and use familiar tools to modernize Windows apps.
- Familiar management and operations – You can use your existing skillsets to manage and operate your Azure Stack HCI infrastructure. You can use the built-in deployment GUI and familiar Windows Server and Hyper-V skills to build your hyper-converged infrastructure. And you can use the cross-platform PowerShell framework to automate your environment.
Obviously, there is much, much more. If you want to learn more about the new Azure Stack HCI offering, check out my blog post: Azure Stack HCI version 20H2 – everything you need to know!
Get and Download Azure Stack HCI
You can download Azure Stack HCI directly from Azure.com with a free 30-day trial period. If you want to learn more about the pricing, check out the official Azure Stack HCI pricing page. To pick the right hardware for your scenario, check out the Azure Stack HCI hardware catalog.
You can also find more information on how to install an Azure Stack HCI host on my blog.
In this blog, Cosmos Darwin (Senior PM Lead on the Azure Edge & Platform team at Microsoft) also shares a sneak peek of the Azure Stack HCI roadmap. Not only can you look forward to new supported regions, new partners, new solutions, but also some exciting new features.
- Restart in seconds with kernel soft reboot – A new feature developed for our Azure datacenters to minimize the disruptiveness of software updates.
- Manage from the cloud with Azure Arc – Manage your nodes from the cloud using Azure Arc with features like Azure Policy and Azure Monitoring.
- Intent-driven host networking – Another feature that was inspired by our own Azure datacenters called Network ATC to simplify and automate host networking configuration for Azure Stack HCI.
- GPU management – In Azure, we use partitioning technology built on SR-IOV to securely deliver GPU acceleration to virtual desktops and other virtual machines. Over the next several feature updates, these innovative GPU technologies are coming to Azure Stack HCI.
You can find more information and videos on these new features on his official blog post.
I hope this post provides you with a quick overview and the rights links to get and download Azure Stack HCI. If you want to learn more about the Azure Stack Portfolio, check out my blog post. I also recommend that you have a look at the official product and documentation page. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment.Tags: AKS, Azure, Azure Kubernetes Service, Azure Stack, Azure Stack HCI, download, Get, HCI, Hybrid, Hybrid Cloud, Hyper-Converged, Hyper-V, Kubernetes, Linux, Microsoft, Roadmap, Virtualization, Windows Server Last modified: December 11, 2020