By Michael Richtberg, Portfolio Strategic Planning, Open HCI

Welcome! Great to see you’re joining the hybrid cloud wave. If you’ve come to Azure Stack looking for a unified experience that helps bring the Azure public cloud experience to your on-premise data center or to outfit your managed service offering, Dell EMC has a great solution set for you! By bringing together the purpose-built Azure Stack Dell EMC VxRack AS and Dell EMC Isilon, we enable you to increase the value of your investment through capacity and application support extensibility.

Hybrid cloud computing tackles a fundamental need to bring the infrastructure in proximity to the user and being able to address the location sensitive data sovereignty requirements many regions or vertical industries need. By taking advantage of the Microsoft Azure cloud platform, Azure Stack delivers an excellent unified platform experience.


Microsoft Azure offers an excellent option for enabling companies to power their digital transformation initiatives. Leveraging the same infrastructure as a service (IaaS) management tools found on the public cloud version of Azure, users can administer their local instances based on a Dell EMC VxRack AS solution. By using the same Azure management tools, compute, storage, and networking resources get provisioned to host a wide variety of workloads. Leveraging the syndicated application catalog from Microsoft, Azure Stack deployments can consume software through an Azure Marketplace inventory oriented towards Azure Stack.


When it comes to using your own applications, you may find that they too need a digital transformation. Azure Stack provides several types of storage to address modern application designs. These may suit new or updated applications quite well, but for existing applications that still work perfectly fine in servicing an existing business need you may not financially benefit from re-engineering those applications to use a new storage protocol. If leveraging your existing applications on Azure Stack provides more enterprise agility, then we have a great solution for enabling that migration without costly re-engineering projects.


Azure Stack natively provides object storage (Azure Blob), Tables (for structured data) or Queue storage. These work well in servicing newer applications built and designed for Azure but may not help with hosting existing Windows or Linux applications that use file services storage (NAS) protocols like NFS and SMB. This is where Dell EMC can help! By leveraging the Dell EMC Isilon market leading scale-out NAS storage system with Azure Stack, your available deployment options become much more flexible by leveraging existing investments in your Windows and Linux applications. Without the costly process of re-engineering those applications, Dell EMC Isilon provides a means to host your application virtual machines on Azure Stack while using standard NAS protocols to host the data services.


This table illustrates how Dell EMC Isilon complements the Azure Stack storage protocols to provide a complete capability to host applications of virtually any type.

Azure Stack Storage Protocols

Dell EMC Isilon Adds these Storage Protocols

Object storage (Azure Blob)

Table storage (structured)

Queue Storage





Azure Stack provides excellent extensibility that grows as your deployments increase. By adding nodes to a Dell EMC VxRack AS cluster, your infrastructure grows non-disruptively as demands increase. Dell EMC Isilon complements this scaling capability to agily address storage capacities to over 30 petabytes. As your file storage needs increase, Isilon provides a simple means to add more capacity. Isilon’s OneFS is a single file system/single volume architecture, which makes it extremely easy to manage, regardless of the number of nodes in the storage cluster. Isilon storage systems scale from a minimum of four nodes up to 144 nodes, all connected via a backend Ethernet communications layer for high performance results.

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Connecting Isilon to Azure Stack is straightforward. Simply use ARM (Azure Resource Management) Templates, PowerShell scripts or the Azure CLI (Command Line Interface) to provision Isilon shares along with any other resources in a single shot. Our VConnect plug-in unifies system administration controls for Isilon from within the Azure Stack console for an integrated continuity of experience. For multi-tenant environments, this vastly simplifies the lifecycle management process and even provides a means for the tenants to administer their own storage services. You can read more details about how VConnect works and how to configure it in the Microsoft Azure Stack Administration console in our blog “Dell EMC Azure Stack Storage-as-a-Service with Isilon


While you’re thinking about modernizing your hybrid cloud deployment, don’t forget about ensuring you keep the advanced data services you’ve come to expect from an enterprise-class storage system. Isilon keeps your data safe, protected, and easily managed with these key capabilities to make your Azure Stack solution complete.

Data protection & efficiency

Data management


Fast, efficient data backup and recovery


Fast and flexible asynchronous replication for DR


Policy-based client failover with load balancing


Policy-based compliance and WORM data protection


Data deduplication to reduce storage costs


Get STIG & FIPS compliant AES  256-bit protection


Policy-based automated tiering


Quota management and thin provisioning


Performance monitoring and reporting


Cloud-scale capacity


Optimize for performance and cost


In summary, Dell provides a complete end to end solution to enable broader deployment use cases for Azure Stack. By combining the unified VxRack AS ingredients to power your Azure Stack solution with the outstanding extensibility of Isilon file storage services you get a world class experience allowing you to leverage your investments in existing applications. Plus, get excellent capacity expansion that grows as your needs change to align with your cluster expansion of Azure Stack.

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As you consider the benefits of using the Azure Stack cloud infrastructure with the benefits of local compute and storage for excellent performance, Dell provides you with a complete solution that ensures your data is secure, compliant and highly performant.        


Whether you are a service provider or an enterprise customer, you now have the ability to offer Storage-as-a-Service to your customers with enterprise class storage features such as high availability and data protection, security and more with Azure Stack and Isilon.

How to order

This solution is currently available for purchase through our solution partner CloudAssert. You can reach out to your Dell EMC Azure Stack sales specialist to buy this.

For inquiries, questions and comments, please reach out to Dell EMC Azure Stack product manager Karthik Angamuthu at  

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