Flexible hyperconverged infrastructure delivered as an Azure hybrid service
Azure Stack HCI is a hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) cluster solution that hosts virtualized Windows and Linux workloads and their storage in a hybrid environment combining local infrastructure with cloud Azure services.
Because Azure Stack HCI is designed as a virtualisation host, most applications and server roles must run in virtual machines. Exceptions include Hyper-V, the domain controller and other components required for Software Defined Networking (SDN) or for the management and integrity of hosted virtual machines.
Azure Stack HCI is delivered as an Azure service and billed on an Azure subscription. Azure Hybrid Services enhance the cluster with features such as cloud based monitoring, Site Recovery and virtual machine backups as well as a centralized view of all your Azure Stack HCI deployments in the Azure portal. You can manage the cluster with your existing tools, namely Windows Admin Center and PowerShell.
Azure Stack HCI features and architecture
Azure Stack HCI is a high-end integrated virtualisation stack built on proven technologies that have already been deployed at scale, including Hyper-V, direct storage and Azure-inspired SDN. It is part of the Azure Stack family and uses the same software-defined compute, storage and networking software asAzure Stack Hub.
Each Azure Stack HCI cluster consists of 2 to 16 validated physical servers. Clustered servers share a common configuration and resources by leveraging the Windows failover clustering feature Server.
Azure Stack HCI combines the following elements:
- Azure Stack HCI operating system
- Validated hardware from an OEM partner
- Azure Hybrid Services
- Windows Admin Center
- Hyper-V based computing resources
- Virtualised storage based on direct storage spaces
- SDN-based virtualised network using a network controller (optional)