First look: Microsoft Azure Stack hits the ground running

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Technical preview of Microsoft's hybrid cloud platform drives just like Azure, drawing on the same APIs, tools, and templates

Microsoft's latest attempt to square the circle of on-premises IT and cloud services, Azure Stack brings what Microsoft describes as a "cloud consistent" platform into the data center. "Cloud consistent" means that Azure Stack offers the same portal, management, and devops tooling as the Azure cloud service -- although it's not built on the same underlying software, but instead extends Windows Server 2016.

Consistency makes all the difference when delivering a hybrid cloud platform, which by definition should allow the seamless migration of applications from on premises to the cloud and back again. Azure Stack has the same APIs as Azure, and it offers the same self-service IaaS and many of the same PaaS features. You'll be able to write code once, and deploy it to either on-premises servers or the Azure cloud simply by changing the deployment target in Visual Studio. Similarly, you can use the same PowerShell management scripts on both platforms, as well as the familiar Azure portal.

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