Bringing the Microsoft Azure Cloud into the Data Center

Atomic by Azure Stack

This month, Atomic Data will bring its brand new, state of the art Atomic Cloud powered by Azure online. We are very excited about this offering, and our clients are too. This Azure Stack technology brings Atomic Data and clients a private Microsoft Azure Cloud solution located in our data center rather than having their applications, data, or resources living in Microsoft’s public cloud, Azure. The Azure Stack also allows for a highly efficient hybrid cloud solution for organizations already utilizing Microsoft Azure.

The Azure Stack will bring Azure Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) into the Atomic Cloud. This will bring a large set of Microsoft virtual computing resources, like: rapidly deployed virtual machines, utilization of the world’s leading software containerization platform with Docker for Linux and Windows Server containers, virtual networks, load balancers and VPN gateways, and object storage with Azure Blob. And, on the development side, Azure Stack will provide Azure platform-as-a-service (PaaS) managed platforms, especially for clients that desire increased security, efficiency, and modern DevOps practices across the Azure cloud spectrum.

Atomic Data’s Azure Stack runs on a brand new dedicated rack in our flagship data center. It is a Cisco Integrated System specifically built to deploy Azure Stack—running premium Cisco UCS and Nexus hardware including 12 Cisco UCS C240-M4L rack servers—our Azure Stack is built to scale with a perfect balance between performance and cost. The new Stack is in our SOC 3 attested facilities, monitored and occupied 24x7x365 by Network Operations Center Technicians and on-deck/on-call Network and Systems Engineers.

Why Azure Stack?

Make no mistake, Azure Stack is Microsoft Azure, bones and all, but it lives in our data center. Microsoft Azure is a public cloud environment. Azure Stack is an official instance of Azure running privately as the Atomic Cloud. Any organization looking for a Microsoft cloud solution that also has regulations or compliance standards to uphold should take a serious look at our Azure Stack. Or, if you’re developing for an Azure environment, you can run development and testing to Azure Stack for consistent programming without the need to make code changes in order to move to Azure.

“Many companies want to move into the cloud,” says Warren Paul, Director of Enterprise Architecture and Professional Services at Atomic Data, “however, many companies can’t make the move because of compliance concerns. There’s security concerns in a data center they cannot control. There’s no real relationship with the provider, and you cannot know what is actually going on with the infrastructure. They can only migrate their data and hope for the best, or remain on premises and deal with all that goes along with it.”

“Going with our Azure Stack—we built it. It’s in our data center, it is SOC attested, has redundancy, infrastructure is maintained by our engineers. We’re optimized for a private Azure environment.”

Compliance with Azure Stack

Many businesses and non-profits want to move to the cloud for a variety of reasons. Cost, time, ease of access, mobile workforces, etc. But for regulatory, security, and compliance reasons, many organizations don’t feel that a move to the public cloud is right for them. Azure Stack was built with an “assume breach” approach to security. The focus not only precludes prevention measures, but also focuses on detection and containment—hoping for the best, and preparing for the worst at all times.

Since the administrator role is very highly targeted, Microsoft built the admin role so that, if compromised, an attacker cannot gain access to every component of the infrastructure. Rather, if the credential is compromised, an attacker can only complete actions for which the system is designed. Azure Stack also offers granular, role-based access control, allowing you to have total control of capabilities available to every role.

Azure Stack comes with a number of security features like: encryption at rest and encryption in transit with TLS 1.2 for infrastructure network, Kerberos-based authentication of infrastructure components, and military-level OS security baseline (based on the DISA STIG). Additionally, there are several Windows Server 2016 security features like Credential Guard (credential protection against Pass-the-Hash attacks), Device Guard (software whitelisting), and Windows Defender (antimalware).

Microsoft made Azure Stack with your compliance concerns in mind, and as such, had the Azure Stack infrastructure audited by Coalfire (a Qualified Security Assessor). They audited against controls of PCI-DSS and CSA Cloud Control Matrix and were deemed satisfactory. So, on top of the SOC 3 attestation from Atomic Data, the Azure Stack’s infrastructure meets technical controls for very important compliance standards. Of course, compliance is ultimately up to you, but Atomic Data’s Azure Stack sets your organization up for success.

"Going with our Azure Stack - we built it. It's in our data center, it is SOC attested, has redundancy, infrastructure is maintained by our engineers. We're optimized for a private Azure environment."

Whether it’s PCI, HIPAA, or any other industry specific regulation, you can store data, or develop/test/implement applications on our Azure Stack backed by our logical, physical, and human security measures. And, with our world-class connectivity and monitoring, data remains available and incidents are quelled quickly by the 24x7x365 NOC Technicians.

DevOps with Azure Stack

Azure Stack, combined with Azure is a perfect hybrid cloud solution. The transition between the two is seamless because they share interfaces, APIs, and resources in software like the Azure Portal, Resource Manager, Marketplace Content, Services, and Operational Management. Building to one environment saves time, money, and thus maximizes efficiency. There’s no need for separate developers for cloud and on-premises applications. Then, you can decide what’s private and what’s public—giving you flexibility through consistency. The key to this Azure cloud model is the Azure Resource Manager (ARM). In both Azure and Azure Stack, Azure Resource Manager plays two important roles. ARM provides a single-entry point for users to manage their resources running in the cloud, and focuses on enabling teams to create, organize and control their cloud application lifecycle.

With the Atomic Cloud powered by Azure, you can use modern app building methodologies like DevOps, and reorder the lifecycle of app development to keep up with the times. Azure Stack in a hybrid cloud with Azure can help you remove the barrier between developers and IT operations. Go from the outdated model of Dev > Test > Maintain (hand off to Ops and move on) Build > Stabilize > Deploy to a model of constant support while combining develop and build, test and stabilize, and maintain and deploy. This model unifies team effort around the customer experience and creates visibility on each side of DevOps. With an Azure Stack and Azure Cloud hybrid model, you gain the efficiency of utilizing the same skillset across the clouds, automated testing to ensure an app will work in both cloud environments, and flexible deployment options.

The Atomic Cloud powered by Azure enables you to have a true, best of both worlds hybrid cloud. Same tools, modern methods, public or private. Interested? Click the link below to talk to us about utilizing our Azure Stack.

Contact Us Today!