Today at Microsoft Build, we are announcing Azure Stack HCI support for single-node clusters. Today’s announcement makes Azure Stack HCI even more affordable for enterprises. Single-node clusters provide cost and space benefits while helping modernize your infrastructure and bringing Azure hybrid computing to locations that can tolerate the resiliency of a single server.
Azure Stack HCI and Azure Arc
Azure Stack HCI, as the first-party Azure Arc-enabled infrastructure, is an important part of the promise of innovating anywhere with Azure. Customers from around the world and within various industries, including food, healthcare, finance, and retail, use Azure Stack HCI to modernize their infrastructure with cost-effective deployments as small as two-node clusters. We are hearing customers want to deploy Azure Stack HCI in even smaller, lower cost options, in their locations that can tolerate a lower level of resiliency.
With Azure Arc and Azure Stack HCI, our goal is to simplify the complexity you face when building the applications and services you use to run your business across cloud and edge. We do this by standardizing the way applications are built, deployed, and managed, with a common set of tools, experiences, and Azure services. We are working with the ecosystem to ensure that customers have a choice of both existing and new Azure Arc-enabled infrastructure that can be a great place to run Azure services anywhere.
Single-Node Clusters in Azure Stack HCI
Azure Stack HCI running on a single-node cluster behaves very similarly to Azure Stack HCI on a multi-node cluster: it brings native Azure Arc integration, you can add servers to scale out the cluster, and it includes the same Azure benefits. It also supports the same workloads, such as Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD) and Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) on Azure Stack HCI, and lastly it is supported and billed the same way. To learn more, see Using Azure Stack HCI on a single server.
Azure Stack HCI single-node clusters are resilient to some failures such as a failed disk, but unlike multi-node clusters, they can’t tolerate an entire server failing. Because of this more limited resiliency, single-node clusters can contain only a single drive type (either NVMe or SSD). Using solid-state drives also provides better performance and tolerance of environmental factors that can be present outside of datacenters, such as dust and grease.
Single-node clusters are available on Azure Stack HCI only—you cannot run single-node clusters with Storage Spaces Direct on Windows Server. For more info on the differences, see Compare Azure Stack HCI to Windows Server.
At launch, our hardware solution builders include Acuutech, DataON, Dell Technologies, Lenovo, NEC, and Thomas-Krenn, with 39 platforms and 144 configurations supporting single-node Azure Stack HCI clusters. These numbers are rapidly increasing. To see the systems, visit the HCI catalog. To help you size single-node clusters, we are planning to update the Azure Stack HCI solution sizer soon.