Microsoft is most likely in the process of redesigning Azure Stack, the company’s hybrid cloud service. The redesign should change the infrastructure on which Azure Stack runs into a container-based infrastructure.
The project to reorganize the underlying infrastructure for Azure Stack is codenamed ‘Project Saturn’ according to sources from ZDNet. The overall goal of the project is to simplify the infrastructure of Azure Stack. Azure Stack is, in a few words, an extension of Azure that enables users to run Azure services in local data centers.
The migration to container-based infrastructure is an attempt to make Azure’s services usable anywhere. The move also means that separate modules of Azure can be used, without differences is infrastructure playing a role. This was Microsoft’s original plan with Azure. In the end, however, users were limited to hardware from Cisco, Dell, HPE and Lenovo.
Earlier this year, Microsoft launched Azure Stack HCI Solutions, for running Azure Stack on hyper-converged infrastructure. It allows virtualized applications to run on local infrastructure, albeit only for HCI hardware from fifteen different vendors. In short, container-based Azure Stack would be a third option for users. This is in addition to fully cloud-based, or Azure Stack on HCI.
Microsoft has not officially stated anything about the planned redesign. In response to questions from ZDNet about Azure’s sales figures and about the planned refurbishment of Azure Stack, the company only said that they had “nothing to share”. The marketing of what Microsoft calls “Intelligent Edge” products has certainly increased in recent times. Azure Stack, as well as Azure Data Box, Azure Data Box Edge and Azure Sphere, among others, are part of this portfolio. It remains to be seen whether the increase in marketing has anything to do with the rumours about container-based infrastructure for Azure Stack.