Windows Azure Pack lifecycle was extended to 2027

Good news! Windows Azure Pack lifecycle was updated.

Azure Pack lifecycleIt means that:

  1. Azure Pack is not dead, and it's far from being dead.
  2. Azure Pack will continue to evolve until 2022 (6 years from now) and will be supported until 2027 (11 years from now).

Azure Pack already supports new features of Windows Server 2016 like Shielded VMs and some features of SDNv2. We'll see new Windows Server 2016 capabilities in Azure Pack in the nearest future.

Remember that Microsoft Azure Stack is not the new version of Windows Azure Pack (WAP). Azure Stack release in 2017 won't kill WAP - they will co-exist together for a long time. Azure Stack and WAP have a different purpose - WAP is a great solution to build IaaS, and Azure Stack is a great platform to run Azure services in your datacenter. They are totally different inside and very different from the outside - WAP looks like a simplified old Azure Portal, while Azure Stack looks exactly like new Azure Portal. WAP is built on top of Windows Server and System Center and can run on a vast varieties of hardware, supported by Windows Server 2012R2/2016. Azure Stack architecture is inspired by Azure, uses Azure Resource Manager model and can run only on a specific supported hardware.

It's great that Microsoft supports both approaches. Service providers can use WAP to build a great IaaS solution, using the hardware they like or already have. They will be able to use Azure Stack in 2017 to build a "little Azure" in their DCs. Customers can choose WAP offerings if they need to run their VMs in the external DC, and later they will be able to choose among many Azure Stack offerings if they need Azure capabilities from the local service provider.

Next steps for service providers:

  1. If you use Azure Pack on top of Windows Server 2012 R2 - migrate to Windows Server 2016 and System Center 2016 today.
  2. If you provide IaaS on Hyper-V without Azure Pack and wait for the Azure Stack - don't wait, deploy Azure Pack on top of Windows Server 2016 today.
  3. If you are excited with Azure Stack idea, don't wait - deploy Azure Stack TP2 today.