The use cases for Azure Stack Hub have been widely presented on and talked about so I won’t go in to huge detail here. I’m covering them briefly as it’s still a question I’m asked, still a topic which can cause confusion, especially when comparing with other products and solutions. So I thought I would lay out some key points for considerations around the use cases when deciding whether Azure Stack Hub is right for you.
First and foremost Azure Stack Hub is an extension of Azure and it’s important to keep this at the forefront of your mind.
Hub is for organisations who have bought in to the Azure model. They’ve decided that they want to use Azure IaaS and PaaS services. They’ve got the skills in Azure or they plan to invest and build Azure skills.
Now for these customers, the right process should be:
“Azure first, if not, why? Then, is this an issue solved by Azure Stack Hub!?”
Why Azure first? Let’s not beat around the bush, Azure (when comparing to Hub) is the platform which is updated the most, which has the most services and the scalability. So if your workload can run in Azure, then it probably should.
But what if your workload can’t run in Azure? Then it’s time to consider the Hub use cases and see if they are a fit!
So let’s take a look at them:
What if you operate in a location where you experience latency issues when connecting to the nearest public Azure?
How about you have a ton of data that you want to use with cloud native PaaS services to enrich and enhance that data, however the time and cost of passing that data to public Azure or pulling it back out prohibits you from doing so?
Hub extends Azure to your data centre.
Azure services within a closer proximity to your data. Boom 💥
What if you cannot maintain an internet connection to public Azure? This might be because of latency restrictions, or you need your infrastructure to run in a ‘hostile’ environment.
It might be because you don’t want to ever connect to Azure, think of the Defence industry for example.
Think cruise ships, oil rigs & military situations.
Hub can operate in a disconnected mode. Yup. You read that correctly *mind blown* 🤯
You can get Azure IaaS and PaaS services even when you cannot connect to public Azure.
Ok, so your regulations and compliance certificates don’t allow you to run certain workloads in public Azure. Azure actually has a ton of certifications which can be found HERE and it’s likely that a lot of these certifications will eventually catch up with the times and allow more workloads to run in public platforms.
However until that time, there is Hub. The Azure Stack Hub infrastructure also comes with a bunch of certifications out of the box. Meaning the HW is taken care of, you just need to layer the processes for the workloads on top.
Don’t be held back by regulatory and compliance, begin to take advantage of cloud native services and modernise your workloads on premises.
Azure Application Model On Prem
Finally, say you want to begin to modernise your applications on prem. You might have some heritage applications which for whatever reason can’t move to Azure or which you can’t EOL or modernise for some time. You have other applications which you could modernise but they have a latency dependency on the heritage apps that can’t move meaning you need to keep them in the same data centre.
Or you want to enhance and integrate some of the heritage applications using PaaS services. Maybe you just want to use the Azure Application Model on prem!
Ta- Da Hub! 🥳
Now, we’ve mentioned applications and workloads numerous times. That might have you thinking so Hub is just focused on developers? Nope!
Azure Stack Hub is a wonderful play for the IT pro. Department charge back? Sorted! Giving your developers the services they desire but still managing the governance & security around the infrastructure it’s running on? Boom!
Enhance the way you operate and manage your virtual machines saving you time and giving you more agility? Say no more!
The value of IaaS services are wildly under played. I may try and cover this in another blog but I couldn’t do better than the Microsoft team have done in this awesome series HERE. Maybe I’ll try and summarise it in a later blog.
Thanks for reading. Let me know if you have any questions and I’ll do my best to find the answers for you!