Last month, Microsoft pushed back Azure Stack support until mid-2017. They also announced that support would only come to HPE, Lenovo, and Dell at launch, which caused some outcry. The company has now tried to justify the changes in a blog post.
Microsoft Principal Group Manager Vijay Tewari responded to the user feedback yesterday.
The blog post also revealed that Azure Stack Technical Preview 2 started rolling out to early adopters this week.
Why the Hardware Strategy?
The explanation came in an 11-minute video which also featured Chris Van Wesep, Marketing Director for Enterprise Cloud. The main point was that limiting the product to a small set of hardware will lead to a more useful product at launch.
“We have to start with systems that are well-engineered, that are fully validated between us and our partners, so that we can really provide that robust experience so customers can be successful with Azure Stack as we go out the door,” said Tewari in the interview.
Focusing on just a few systems will let the Azure Stack team deploy updates more rapidly, rather than having to build them to support hardware they haven't encountered. Pre-defined hardware means that changing Azure Stack is simpler.
Tewari also talked a little about how it makes it easier for companies. Having the software already on a system makes deployment easier and means enterprises can start using the system and applications immediately.
The Future of Azure Stack
Microsoft knows that customers “want to protect their investment in the turnkey Cloud Platform System (CPS) from Dell, HPE, and Nutanix.” As such, they have revealed that they're working on side-by-side integration between CPS/WAP and Azure Stack.
This will allow users to manage Virtual Machine Manager resources created in WAP from the Azure Stack portal. They will be able to use the Azure-consistent cloud solutions now, and utilize them with Stack in the future.
Despite the set systems at launch, users may be able to build their own systems in the future. However, they would likely have strict hardware limitations, and Microsoft has not gone into detail on the subject.