Azure Stack provides cloud computing to your on-premises environment allowing many Azure services to run from your own data centre.  With a portal consistent to Azure, and with many of the same Azure services available, Azure Stack not only allows for running applications on premises, but can also act as a gateway to moving to cloud computing.

The key use case scenarios for Azure Stack are:

  1. Disconnected and Edge environments
  2. Data sovereignty (Different regulations)
  3. On-premises application model

Azure Stack Development Kit allows you to start getting familiar with Azure/Azure Stack at a very low cost, and has the following additional use cases:

  1. Determine the impact of IT service delivery
  2. Become familiar with new cloud capabilities
  3. Prepare IT for managing, using and deploying to the cloud

If you happen to have hardware lying around, then you can use this to deploy the Dev Kit; there is no need to purchase specific equipment from set manufacturers.  With the Azure Stack Development Kit, you can install a single node setup of Azure Stack on your own equipment, providing it meets the minimum requirements defined by Microsoft.  This development kit provides the same IaaS and PaaS functionality and features of multi-node Azure Stack and Azure, allowing the running of fully managed PaaS, serverless computing, container management and distributed microservices.

 

The image below (taken from MS) provides the architecture for the single node Azure Stack.  As you can see, all roles are on the one server, and all networking internally is through a NAT device, therefore only one physical NIC is required.

AzureStackArchitecture

For more information on Azure Stack requirements and architecture, follow this link, https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/azure-stack/azure-stack-architecture.

I would also like to point here that editing the installation scripts for Azure Stack is not supported.  Some of you may be tempted, for example, to reduce the amount of RAM required to perform the install.  Please do not so this though, as not only is it not supported, but it is unlikely you’ll get a fully performant and functional installation, which defeats the point of deploying the stack.

Once up and running you are ready to start developing, deploying and testing applications ready for a production rollout!

For all of the advantages of the Dev Kit, there are some things it is not, which is by design….

  1. It is not highly available.  It is deployed and isolated on a single server.
  2. It is not scalable.  It can be expanded to multiple nodes.
  3. It is not to be used in a production environment.  Azure and Azure Stack is for that!

I really like this Dev Kit as it allows you to get started with Azure Stack straight away, with a very low cost, and with very little impact to your IT estate.  It is a great way to start skilling up with administering Azure, and for developed solutions to be tested against Azure services.  Whether you are yet to start your journey to Azure, or have already started, the Dev Kit will be a great tool in assisting you in getting all the business apps and services to the cloud.

 

If you’re interested, download the Azure Stack Dev kit at https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/overview/azure-stack/development-kit/

Get deploying Azure Stack Development Kit 🙂

David