Microsoft's Azure Stack, delayed until 2017, gets a second technical preview

Last year at Ignite, Microsoft unveiled a new hybrid cloud product called Azure Stack. The idea for hybrid clouds is that sometimes companies want to utilize cloud computing, like Azure, but need to keep some or all of their data stored on their premises in their data centers.

Azure Stack lets companies run Azure in their own data centers but have the flexibility to be fully compatible with Microsoft's data centers. This would be ideal for companies which want to be able to tap into public clouds like Azure when things get busy, or they want to test new code, or quickly expand their capacity without buying more server racks.

Azure Stack entered technical preview earlier this year, but as we reported over the summer, the program hit a snag and won't generally available until sometime mid next year.

While companies will have to wait until next year for the real thing, Microsoft announced today a second technical preview of Azure Stack. The second technical preview will come with new Azure services like Azure Queue storage, Azure Key Vault, and App Service.

The second technical preview will focus on "one-node, proof-of-concept, deployment configuration" as Microsoft Technical Fellow Jeffrey Snover says it "remains the most expeditious way to experience Azure Stack." The single server deployment will come with new infrastructure management technologies which Microsoft says will be enhanced in subsequent technical previews and after the general release.

Is your company thinking about using Azure Stack to build a hybrid cloud solution for your own data centers? What are you concerns with the technical preview so far, let us know in the comments section below.

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