Thoughts from Microsoft Ignite: Azure Stack is the Game-Changer

I attended my first Microsoft Ignite earlier this month. Well, technically it was everyone's first Ignite, as it was previously called TechEd. There was a tangible excitement and difference around this conference compared to its predecessor, widely known as a techie conference. This one kicked off with a Satya Nadella keynote and some pretty powerful announcements.

The Power is with the Partner

Mixed in with vNext product announcement was one that could be a real game-changer: Azure Stack. I've long said that Microsoft can win the hyperscale cloud battle by leveraging the power of their ecosystem. Microsoft has been a partner-first company for quite some time, and a continued, deepening engagement with partners will accelerate the company's already growing influence in the hyperscale public cloud arena.  

Azure Stack represents Microsoft’s commitment to – and reliance on – a successful partner ecosystem. It effectively adds the ability for IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS providers to deploy Azure software in their own datacenters. The software is the same, but partners will deploy in a wide array of architectures – some built for commodity scale, others for performance and availability; you name it.

The Rising Class of Partners

Most importantly, I think Azure Stack shows the importance of a rising class of partners: the hosters and the virtual private cloud (VPC) providers. Differentiated offerings based on industry and mission criticality will be found here. We jumped into this space five years ago in its infancy, and it's exciting to watch it mature.

As partners add their own IP and enhancements on top of it, I believe there will be a logical and fundamental shift to a hybrid deployment model: VPC providers offering environments for systems of record tied into hyperscale public cloud for systems of engagement. The opportunities for new advancements and growth are endless.

Ready to learn more? Watch our on-demand webinar, Sky's the Limit: Microsoft Azure and the Channel Are Prime for Take-Off.