Why does Windows Azure Pack matter? (WAP)

Author by Nathan Lasnoski

Windows Azure Pack is Microsoft's solution to delivering its public cloud self-service landscape to companies wishing to be service providers, or enterprises wishing to function as service providers, or anyone wishing to introduce scarcity management into their virtual machine or application provisioning process.  This is not just a virtual machine provisioning solution.  It is the self-service interface for requesting any kind of service from a service provider like entity.  This includes applications (deployments containing multiple virtual machines), websites, databases, and yes, template-based virtual machines.   Are you a service provider, enterprise, or medium business?  Here are some examples of where this can help you.  I'll be writing blogs on each of these scenarios over the next several weeks:
  • You want to sell services (applications, virtual machines, etc.) to external customers
  • You want to charge-back or show-back internal service consumption in an enterprise
  • You want to give application teams (such as developers, the SharePoint admins, etc.) access to manage their own virtual machine resources
  • You want to give developers the opportunity to spin up and spin down dev / test environment
  • You want to deploy application services you sell to external customers quickly
  • You want to control automation and PowerShell based workflow execution
  • You want to build a custom consumption interface inside a framework
  • You want your consumption processes to tie into IT Service Management processes
  Windows Azure Pack has two principal experiences (or frameworks), being the administrator experience and the tenant experience.   The Windows Azure Pack Administrator Experience: The administrator experience facilitates the creation of services to deliver to your customers, whether they are external, internal, or a combination of both.  In order to deliver a service to your customers you connect to resource providers (such as a VMM server, or SQL).  The services are tied to plans which can then be sold to your customers through subscriptions.  The subscriptions are associated with users who could consume the service.  All of these components can be configured and managed through the administrator experience.  The administrator experience does NOT let you configure the fabric itself, which is performed through components like System Center Virtual Machine Manager or System Center Service Manager.  You also have access to Microsoft's new PowerShell based automation platform, Service Management Automation (SMA).   Here is an example of the administrator experience.  1 WAP Admin Here is a shot of the Service Management Automation access: 3. Access to SMA Here is the SMA authoring platform: 4. Editing Interface for Runbooks The Windows Azure Pack Tenant Experience The tenant experience allows a user to consume services from you through their subscription.  The consumption and billing of the service is tied to exactly what you're selling. In a similar way to how Azure allows consumption and billing (per CPU, per GB, bandwidth, etc.) you can do the same with your service.  This can facilitate direct billing, show-back, or simply facilitate limited consumption.  The resources you allow a user to consume can be specific to their subscription where one customer might be able to spin up websites, whereas another might create a development environment.   Here is a shot of the out-of-box login, such facilitates claims-based authentication: 5. Login Here is a tenant experience for a typical virtual machine consumer: 6. WAP Tenant Stay tuned in future weeks while we work through where Windows Azure Pack can help your organization.  We'll talk about WAP implementations in service providers, enterprises, medium businesses, and development groups.   Nathan Lasnoski

Nathan Lasnoski

Chief Technology Officer