Working on Azure Resource Manager Templates over the weekend and started looking at Azure Stack.
If you’ve never worked with Resource Templates before, they’re a way of defining and provisioning an entire network–databases, products, users, security, websites, data, etc. This gives you the ability to define X number of networks comprised of very specific hardware and software in a human-readable Resource Template. If you need single-proc Windows 7 machines with old versions of SQL server to test a customer setup, just set values in a Resource Template and feed it to Azure. Wait a few minutes and your custom network is ready. If you don’t have a use for it, talk to your QA people. I promise you they will; test network configurations become a file in a directory. Building that network from the ground up becomes a button click.
Video from Microsoft Mechanics.
Combine that ability with the 2016 release of Azure Stack. Azure Stack is a version of the data center automation system Microsoft uses for Azure. The difference being you can buy Azure Stack and use it to manage your own hardware. Configure your network to be managed with Azure Stack and your network becomes, as far as a Resource Template is concerned, just another Azure data center.