In recent years, the major cloud service providers—Amazon, Google, and Microsoft—have made substantial investments as more organizations make the move to hybrid cloud. Many organizations have moved to hybrid-cloud environments. And others are in the process of making the move.

Along the way, many have discovered that several factors come into play when deciding whether or not to run workloads in a hybrid-cloud architecture, including:

  • Costs
  • Data sovereignty
  • Performance
  • Network connectivity

Microsoft Azure Stack is the only solution that can run in both a hybrid or fully disconnected deployment. This makes Azure Stack Hub an attractive option for companies and government agencies that have a cloud strategy but run environments that aren’t connected to the internet.

Source: Microsoft

Azure Stack Hub offers a limited subset of features and services that you will find in the Azure cloud hosted by Microsoft. From an infrastructure-as-a-service perspective, Azure Stack Hub provides the full capabilities to run Azure VMs, Azure Networks, Azure Load Balancers, and Azure Storage accounts. Azure Stack Hub also offers several platform-as-a-service (PaaS) offerings: Azure Kubernetes Service, Azure Key Vault, Azure SQL and MySQL, Azure Web Apps, and Azure Functions. Several more are in preview.

Source: Microsoft

Pure Storage® FlashBlade® Integration with Azure Stack

Azure Stack Hub offers storage for block and page blob, table, and queue only through Azure Stack Storage accounts. Pure saw an opportunity to integrate the FlashBlade unified fast file and object (UFFO) platform with Azure Stack Hub to provide NFS, SMB, and S3 object storage. You can deploy and manage FlashBlade file systems and S3 object accounts directly from the Azure Stack Hub portal as well as through the Azure Resource Manager.

A Closer Look at the Integration

Microsoft uses the concept of a resource provider to handle the logic for provisioning a resource on the user’s behalf. The core resource providers in Azure Stack Hub are Compute, Network, and Storage. They provide the instructions to deploy VMs, networks, NICs, load balancers, and storage accounts. Microsoft also has a few optional resource providers (or add-on providers) for App Services, SQL, and MySQL. They enable the PaaS capabilities of Azure Web Apps, Azure Functions, SQL as a service, and MySQL as a service.

In addition, Microsoft has allowed two companies to deploy a third-party resource provider into an Azure Stack Hub. Gridpro Software is one of those companies. Pure partnered with Gridpro to add integration into its existing EvOps resource provider for Azure Stack Hub. As a result, you can integrate one or many FlashBlade namespaces directly into the Azure Stack Hub portal via a third-party resource-provider deployment model. This integration enables native provisioning and management of FlashBlade file systems and object accounts directly from the Azure Stack Hub portal, CLI, and ARM interface. It extends all the benefits of the FlashBlade high-performance file and object data hub directly to Azure Stack Hub.

Source: Microsoft

Logical Architecture

Source: Microsoft

The installation of the Gridpro resource provider is straightforward. Once enabled, you have the option to deploy Pure File and Object accounts from within the Azure Stack Hub portal (Figure 3).

The integration of Pure FlashBlade into Azure Stack Hub delivers a fast file and S3 object storage solution for your cloud strategy.