What Is Azure Stack HCI?

Discover more about the Azure Stack HCI and how it benefits organizations across the United States.

What Is Azure Stack HCI and How Can it Benefit Your Business?

There’s a lot of discussion in business about Azure Stack HCI, a new hyperconverged infrastructure operating system that’s being delivered under Microsoft’s Azure service. It provides the latest, most up-to-date security, performance enhancements, and features updates. Able to be deployed and run as both Linux and Windows virtual machines within your data center, you also have the option to leave it at the edge, leveraging your company’s existing tools, skillsets, and processes to the maximum possible. It adds cloud capabilities, backups, and monitoring in addition to security. Here’s an in-depth look at how Azure Stack HCI integrates with Azure to deliver new capabilities for your existing on-site HCI technology.

azure stack HCI

What Is an HCI and How Can it Benefit Your Business?

With the transition of many companies through digital transformation, many businesses are considering how they can move more of their operations to digital assets while improving overall systemwide functionality. One aspect of this process is adding public cloud computing, but many businesses have workloads that are required to stay on-premises, whether due to high IO requirements, data sovereignty issues or latency problems. Many businesses facing this situation are finding that they can improve performance, data availability, and operations while lowering their costs through the implementation of a hyperconverged infrastructure, also known as an HCI, to best meet these issues. It’s part of the reason why the market for HCIs has increased by 19.3% year-over-year recently.

But what is an HCI? Essentially, it’s a single cluster that takes the place of a server rack or racks with a wide range of hardware. At the beginning of the public internet in the 1990s, the concept of combining servers, storage, networking, and, later on, virtualization, was a game-changer for the industry. All of your components were installed into a rack, and if one went down, you could replace it without a major disruption of your company’s network or data storage. However, the changes that digital transformation has brought about are increasingly making legacy systems such as these obsolete.

The HCI cluster can include a wide range of capabilities, including different types of storage, processors, and memory to allow you to fully realize true efficiency in your digital workflow. It’s more cost-efficient with the option to maximize your ROI, virtually impossible with legacy systems, while at the same time having a lower cost of acquisition. It’s completely software-based, allowing you to use a wide range of different hardware solutions without having to worry about compatibility. However, for ease of use, you may want to consider Microsoft’s solution, the Azure Stack HCI.

Microsoft’s Solution to HCI: Azure Stack HCI

Microsoft’s specific solution to this issue is to introduce Azure Stack HCI. Provided as one of Microsoft’s Azure services, it’s able to integrate fully with your on-premises operations, meeting both your need for on-premises data as well as the familiar, worldwide capabilities of Azure, allowing you to make the most of your on-premises resources whether you’re in Munich or Seattle. Wherever you go, as long as you have a data signal, WiFi, or network, you can manage your business’ Azure Stack HCI. For either Windows or Linux users, Azure Stack HCI provides a secure virtualization platform environment, including a wide range of options to help your people keep producing at their peak, whether they’re in the office or around the world.

But what kind of capability and benefits can Azure Stack HCI deliver for your business? It includes built-in enterprise storage virtualization as well as disaster recovery through stretch cluster, so you know that this robust stack is ready for every workload you can throw at it. The Azure Stack HCI architecture is designed for easy connection to Azure, so that you can quickly and easily use the services you are accustomed to using, such as automated backups, monitoring and security. At the same time, it’s easy to integrate the system into your current IT environment.

Azure Stack HCI’s capabilities allow you to manage and monitor your cluster from a single central location, while its delivery as an Azure service means that you don’t have to wait for product updates to come out, but you can simply deploy the new feature on your cluster the moment it’s available. The flexibility of the available hardware options means you can continue using your preferred vendors, allowing you to sidestep the need for working out a new purchasing contract. Because flexibility in your enterprise is key to keeping your business operational through digital transformation, you’ll be able to integrate systems, repurpose hardware and modernize your current data center without a huge investment by providing an easy option for refreshing your aging virtualization hosts.

Designed with a low acquisition price point, Microsoft’s Azure Stack HCI provides you with affordable options for deploying switch lists to your node clusters for multiple remote locations. This provides you with both high levels of availability as well as resiliency in storage as you manage all of your distributed clusters from a single device. The proven industry performance for SQL server databases and the ability for running virtual desktop infrastructure allows you to have desktops on premises that have low latency and data sovereignty, providing a solid convergence of hybrid computing and hyperconvergence. The scaling available within Azure Stack HCI provides a great option from small businesses to large multinationals.

Azure Stack HCI delivers exceptional performance combined with ease of configuration with Microsoft’s Azure enterprise systems. This allows you to create a true strategy for real digitization within your company, without all of the drama that the process seems to often entail. If you need help to determine whether Azure Stack HCI is the right solution for your company’s needs, LaScala IT Solutions is here to help. Our experienced team of IT professionals is ready to help you find the right solutions for your company’s needs.

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WRITTEN BY
Greg LaScala