Microsoft Azure Stack Changes the Game in Hybrid Cloud Computing - Page 2

Other partners that are set to ship systems are Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Lenovo. Cisco, which displayed the hardware pictured above, will come later, as will systems from Chinese technology giant Huawei and Germany's Wortmann AG.

Dell EMC’s Armughan Ahmad, Senior Vice President for Solutions and Alliances, cites other important reasons for customers to upgrade to Azure Stack and give the cloud a try—the imminent end of life for Windows Server 2008 and older versions of SQL Server. "IT organizations can't keep up with that,” Ahmad said, "but they will have to, if they want to drive digital transformation." 

Roads to digital transformation

Sometimes the fastest route to digital transformation is a straight line. This week at the conference, Accenture announced a customer transformation in which it worked with insurance intermediary Towergate, based in London, to complete a mass migration directly to Azure.

The company's environment consisted of 96 sites that had absorbed the IT infrastructures of more than 300 acquisitions. According to Towergate CIO Gordon Walters, "It was a big mess with large technical debt," he said in an interview.

Towergate didn't consider Azure Stack or any private cloud platform in its transformation. Rather than go slowly, they went for the "big bang" and ran everything in parallel. The entire migration was completed in 12 months and Towergate expects 30 percent in cost savings as a result, Walters said.

Businesses will take many roads to find digital transformation nirvana. Jeffrey Snover, Technical Fellow at Microsoft who spoke with Russinovich, told attendees what digital transformation is really all about—maximizing focus on the mission-critical parts of the business and putting fewer resources on mundane IT operations.

"Private clouds—most of them fail. For the ones that succeed, how many engineers do they have working on it?" Snover asked. "Hundreds of engineers working on something doesn't differentiate at all. How is that going to put more people on an airplane? How does that sell more shoes?"

Scot Petersen is a technology analyst at Ziff Brothers Investments, a private investment firm. He has an extensive background in the technology field. Prior to joining Ziff Brothers, Scot was the editorial director, Business Applications & Architecture, at TechTarget. Before that, he was the director, Editorial Operations, at Ziff Davis Enterprise. While at Ziff Davis Media, he was a writer and editor at eWEEK. No investment advice is offered in his blog. All duties are disclaimed. Scot works for a private investment firm, which may at any time invest in companies whose products are discussed in this blog, and no disclosure of securities transactions will be made.

Scot Petersen

Scot Petersen

Scot Petersen is a technology analyst at Ziff Brothers Investments, a private investment firm. Prior to joining Ziff Brothers, Scot was the editorial director, Business Applications & Architecture,...