Microsoft offers its own HCI solutions between HCI and the public cloud.

Microsoft offers its own HCI solutions between HCI and the public cloud.

Microsoft HCI

Microsoft uses Hyper-Converged Infrastructure (HCI) applications, while at the same time benefiting from public cloud services, in this case, Azure. For this, the tech giant has now launched Azure Stack HCI Solutions.

According to the tech giant, the now launched Azure Stack HCI Solutions are an expansion of already available Windows Server Software-Defined (WSSD) solutions that were previously available from various partners.

Also, it is an extension of the Azure Stack solutions presented in 2017, allowing end-users to use cloud-based applications based on iPaaS and PaaS services in both unconnected edge locations, on-premise data centers or in the Azure public cloud.
On-premise and cloud connection simultaneously.

Specifically, the newly launched solutions from Azure Stack HCI Solutions mean that companies and organizations can now also run virtualized applications on-premise in an HCI environment and at the same time have access to cloud-based services.

The Azure Stack HCI solutions use the same software-defined compute, storage and network software as in Azure Stack. Also, it seamlessly integrates with Azure for hybrid solutions, such as cloud-based backup, site recovery, and monitoring services.


The hardware is highly tested and validated to make sure customers get the best performance and resiliency. In terms of software, Azure Stack HCI is based on Windows Server 2019, using the Software-Defined Datacenter features and roles like Hyper-V, Storage Spaces Direct, Failover Clustering, and more. Azure Stack HCI uses the same underlying infrastructure as the original Azure Stack integrated system.

Below are a few conditions and hardware combinations
To be able to run the Azure Stack HCI Solutions, end-users must have the Windows Server 2019 Datacentre Edition and Windows Admin Center solutions.
It is also not possible to upgrade from Azure Stack HCI Solutions to Azure Stack at a later stage. The end-users of the now presented HCI solutions can, however, migrate their workloads to Azure Stack. Or to the Azure cloud.

The Azure Stack HCI Solutions are already available in combination with the hardware from 15 different suppliers, including those from ASUS, Axellio, bluechip, DataON, Dell EMC, Fujitsu, HPE, Hitachi, Huawei, Lenovo, NEC, primeLine Solutions, QCT, SecureGUARD, and Supermicro.

Reasons to implement

There are some advantages to use the Azure Stack HCI solutions in your datacenter.

  • Consolidate existing server and storage workloads and reduce space.
  • Replace aging server and storage infrastructure with Azure-inspired hyper-converged solutions on Microsoft-validated hardware.
  • Achieve industry-leading virtual machine performance with Hyper-V and Storage Spaces Direct technology with built-in support for non-volatile memory express (NVMe), persistent memory, and remote direct memory access (RDMA) networking
  • Connect virtualized applications to Azure for cloud management and security services.

By Cobus Smit – 13 Sept 2019

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