Hitting closer to home
Microsoft's idea for an Azure hybrid cloud is similar to plans promulgated by those building on platforms like OpenStack: Use the same code to build both the in-house and remote instances of a cloud.
However, Microsoft breaks from the OpenStack model in two ways: One, Azure is proprietary and governed by a single vendor, rather than an industrywide open source effort. Microsoft hopes to make it easy to deploy Azure Stack on OEM-packaged hardware (see the Cloud Platform System), and the overall experience is not meant to be nearly as sprawling as OpenStack.
Two, Azure is meant to directly leverage Microsoft's presence in enterprises. Microsoft now includes in its stack many of the open standards that matter to cloud environments -- such as application delivery by way of containers -- so there is less need to defect from Microsoft's platform.
Neil also expects that local solutions-and-service providers will offer Azure Stack to their customers as a managed option. Many of them, he pointed out, are already providing value-adds like compliance with regional government regulations.
Even if they effectively compete with the public Azure, Microsoft remains the driving force.
"There are lots of airlines out there," said Neil, "but only one Boeing."
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