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When it comes to building modern applications and adopting a cloud operating model, Azure Stack is an extension of Azure. While the primary focus is the ability to develop and run Azure services in a Hybrid Environment, Microsoft has also brought the Azure economic model to Azure Stack with usage-based billing. At Dell EMC, our goal is to complete that experience by providing a metered usage consumption offering for the Dell EMC Cloud on Microsoft Azure Stack. Now with the recent introduction of Flex on Demand from Dell Financial Services (DFS), you have the option to pay for your Azure Stack Infrastructure based on the usage data from your Azure Stack Usage API Endpoint.

 

Capacity Planning and Flex capacity

An important consideration for many of our Hybrid Cloud customers is the ability to scale applications and services rapidly. This could apply to the ability to accommodate bursty workloads as well as scenarios where you see rapid growth yet keep some buffer capacity to cushion the impact of that growth. Our goal at Dell EMC is to provide you with the business model that accommodates both options softening the impact of time related to capacity planning.

 

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Usage based billing consistent with Cloud Economics

Most of target personas for Hybrid cloud are focused on the application developer or the IT operator. As Hybrid Cloud adoption grows, a company’s finance, accounting along with procurement stakeholders are realizing the benefits of cloud economics. Eliminating the need to manage un-planned capital expenses, while benefiting from procurement of equipment as a service enables you to simplify accounting, free up cash flow and make procurement of new services more streamlined.

  With Flex on Demand from DFS, consistent with Azure, your infrastructure charges are tied to usage and aligns with the OPEX type consumption models that customers desire. You pay Dell EMC for the services you consume plus a pre-negotiated fixed cost monthly. This covers the usage costs associated with the Hardware, Lifecycle Management SW and Maintenance while you continue to pay your subscription costs to Microsoft for the Azure Services running on Azure Stack.


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Meters consistent with Azure

While metered service is a key tenet of Cloud computing, picking the right resources and meters is equally important. In discussing options with our customers, the consistency with Azure and the Cost transparency were highlighted as key goals. In keeping with the notion that Azure Stack is an extension of Azure, we applied a similar approach to the usage measurements and billing of the Azure Stack Infrastructure.

To do this, we extract and report back the per-subscription resources leveraging the usage API endpoints from Azure Stack Provider Resource API. Consistent with Azure Stack, we measure the VM Hours and capture the VM Type. From this data, we compute the resource consumption. Based on the Scale Unit Type (Balanced/All Flash), we then assign a rate and a bill is generated.

Whether you are looking for a financial model consistent with Azure or looking to keep some buffer capacity to accommodate growth, working with Dell Financial Services, we are delighted to bring this Measured Service capability to the full stack and in a way completing the final piece of the Hybrid cloud puzzle. For more information you can go to Flex On Demand form DFS .

Preetham Mukhatira

Azure in a box

Posted by Preetham Mukhatira Oct 18, 2017

Looking to start operating your own instance of Azure or a fail fast and fail cheap environment to accelerate innovation, whatever your goals are, Azure Stack Development kit is a great way to accelerate your adoption of Azure in your data center.

 

We started with a single node reference configuration since TP2 to enable you to get started learning about the Azure Stack Tenant and Operator experience on a set of core IaaS services with minimal capital investment. Since TP3, Microsoft has added more Azure Services targeting PaaS and Developers. At the same time we also heard from our early evaluator customers that the minimum specs published by Microsoft would not cut it for certain use cases. Now with the dev kit coming out, a single configuration does not fit all use cases

 

  Based on the Azure Stack Dev Kit and what we have learnt from TP2 and TP3, we have 3 configurations targeting the 3 use cases as shown below.

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With the Starter Edition, we carried over a version for customers to try the Azure Stack Operator and tenant experience to deliver Self Service IaaS. Customers loved our sub- $10K entry price. At a low entry cost, you can offer your customers (internal or external) their own instance of Azure on-prem while also building expertise on how to operate your own instance of Azure.

Manage your Azure Stack instance

Offer Services from you on-prem instance of Azure

 

As Microsoft delivered more PaaS services since TP3, we created a PaaS edition for customers evaluating these services for App modernization. Based on the TP3 experience, as you started to deploy resource providers, the Starter editions quickly ran out of juice. For customers looking to extend their use cases to include services that are part of the Azure AppService or looking to experiment with the SQL RP, the PaaS edition gives you a good balance of price and performance. The PaaS edition also makes it easy to explore Dev Ops practices, delivering rapid deployment time and leveraging Infrastructure as Code capabilities with ARM templates.

 

As Microsoft delivered the Azure Stack Dev Kit, customers have started to not just evaluate PaaS services, they have started to prototype applications leveraging multiple IaaS and PaaS services. In addition, our work with the Pivotal Cloud Foundry (PCF) team has surfaced the need to make a more capable edition available that can not only run the PCF framework, but also lets you get started developing applications with PCF on Azure Stack. With the Developer Edition, you not only start to develop your applications, you can also operationalize DevOps practices with Visual Studio. Any application you develop on single node will run on multi-node Azure Stack and even on Azure. You can also leverage tools like Visual Studio and the Developer Edition of Azure stack to use ARM templates to deploy and provision the resources your application needs.

 

A final note: this is a developer node and is not supported to be run in production. Dell EMC will only offer Hardware Support. Since this is an evaluation environment, Microsoft Customer Support Services will not support the Developer kit. Use the Microsoft forums for answers to your questions or raise issues.

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