Microsoft has moved swiftly to add more features to the Azure Stack cloud platform, providing enterprise customers with early previews of platform-as-a-service (PaaS) and DevOps tools that can be deployed onto it to deliver Azure-like services from their own data centre.
Azure Stack was itself released as a Technical Preview at the end of January for IT departments to begin testing. It is intended to offer the same capabilities as Microsoft's Azure public cloud but delivered from a customer's own infrastructure.
The thinking behind this is that greater consistency between the private and public cloud platforms will make it easier for enterprises to adopt a hybrid cloud strategy.
Microsoft has now made extra capabilities available that organisations can download and deploy onto the Azure Stack Technical Preview, including an updated Azure SDK, a Web Apps capability in the Azure App Service, SQL and MySQL database resource providers, and Visual Studio support.
Microsoft said that this update represents just the first instalment of a continuous innovation process planned for Azure Stack, which will eventually lead to enterprise customers being able to fully deliver Azure services from their own data centres.
However, Microsoft said that the three PaaS resource providers it has now delivered, for Web Apps SQL and MySQL, are still only at the early preview stage.
"We're making them available early to solicit community and early adopter feedback to help simplify the installation and configuration experience. We will then incorporate the feedback and release another public preview for these services before we release the next Technical Preview of Azure Stack," the firm said in a posting on the Azure blog.
Meanwhile, adding Azure Stack support into the Visual Studio suite will help organisations move towards a DevOps strategy, enabling them to build and deploy cloud-like services from their own data centre.
"Enterprises today must manage hyper-scale web applications and complex requirements such as ensuring regulatory compliance and data sovereignty," said Microsoft's senior programme manager for Azure Tools, Jason Shaver.
"To meet these needs, Microsoft lets enterprises approach the cloud as a model rather than a place: Azure and Azure Stack share a standardised architecture, portal and application model, allowing developers to write once and deploy to public, private or hosted cloud environments without code changes."
V3's sister site Computing is hosting a DevOps Summit event in London on 5 July 2016. Follow the link for more details.
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