Azure Stack integrated systems connection models

If you're interested in purchasing an Azure Stack integrated system, you need to understand several datacenter integration considerations for Azure Stack deployment to determine how the system will fit into your datacenter. In addition, you need to decide how you'll integrate Azure Stack into your hybrid cloud environment. This article provides an overview of these major decisions including Azure connection models, identity store options, and billing model options.

If you decide to purchase an integrated system, your original equipment manufacturer (OEM) hardware vendor will help guide you through the planning process in more detail. The OEM hardware vendor also performs the actual deployment.

Choose an Azure Stack deployment connection model

You can choose to deploy Azure Stack either connected to the internet (and to Azure) or disconnected. Deploy connected to Azure to get the most benefit from Azure Stack, including hybrid scenarios between Azure Stack and Azure. This choice defines which options are available for your identity store (Azure Active Directory or Active Directory Federation Services) and billing model (pay as you use-based billing or capacity-based billing) as summarized in the following diagram and table:

Azure Stack deployment and billing scenarios


This is a key decision point! Choosing Active Directory Federation Services (AD FS) or Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) is a one-time decision that you must make at deployment time. You can't change this later without re-deploying the entire system.

Options Connected to Azure Disconnected from Azure
Azure AD Supported
AD FS Supported Supported
Consumption-based billing Supported
Capacity-based billing Supported Supported
Licensing Enterprise Agreement or Cloud Solution Provider Enterprise Agreement
Patch and update Update package can be downloaded directly from the Internet to Azure Stack Required

Also requires removable media
and a separate connected device
Registration Automated Required

Also requires removable media
and a separate connected device

After you've decided on the Azure connection model to be used for your Azure Stack deployment, additional connection-dependent decisions must be made for the identity store and billing method.

Next steps

Azure connected Azure Stack deployment decisions

Azure disconnected Azure Stack deployment decisions