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Introduction to Azure Arc

At the Microsoft Ignite 2019, which is the biggest technology event of the year, Microsoft announced the public preview of Azure Arc, a set of technologies that extends the control panel of azure to manage on-premises, multi-cloud environments, and edge.  This is a real game-changer where you can unify on-prem, hybrid, and facilitate to have multi-cloud environments. From this post, lets discuss what is Azure Arc and its architecture.

Why Azure Arc
Over the past couple of years, IT infrastructure of organizations has become increasingly complex with infrastructures and applications running in on-premise, cloud, hybrid, and edge environments. The most organization doesn’t want to stick to one vendor, they are having a mix of technologies and this has increased when moving to cloud. Without thinking multi-cloud, you cannot archive the real value of the cloud.  Companies should be flexible and ready to shift their workloads to the cheapest, secured and optimized vendor at that moment. But how to mitigate this complexity? how to have a single view of your entire environment? This is where Azure Arc comes to the picture.

Azure arc can further explain by its capabilities

 

 

Run Azure data service anywhere
This is where you can run Azure data services in any Kubernetes environment which provide always up to date patched environment with a cloud billing model where you can scale up at any time.

Extending Azure management across your environments
Azure Resource Manager is the control panel in azure to manage and govern Azure portal, API, Azure Cloud shell and role-based access control for all azure resources. Azure Arc extends Azure Resource manager to manage windows and Linux servers, Kubernetes clusters and other resources in On-premise, edge and multi-cloud environments such as AWS, Azure or Oracle.

Adopt cloud practices On-premises
When developers using Kubernetes or virtual machines for their innovations, Arc will help to put the governance and policies to the infrastructure. It will balance the speed with control, so you can get that agility with control throughout your infrastructure.

Implement Azure Security anywhere
If you are familiar with Azure, you have experienced Azure Security features such as Role-Based Access controls, Azure threat protection and other compliance policies. With Arc, you can extend and use these security features beyond azure. So, you have a common security practice anywhere.

 

Azure Arc can deploy its governance across multiple environments.

The azure arc can help organizations manage, govern and meet compliance requirements that have extensive server-based IT systems and Kubernetes clusters deployed in data centers, private, and public clouds. It can provide further provide the following benefits

  • Universal governance of customer resources through Azure Policy
  • It will provide a unified view of your assets and inventory of Windows and Linux Servers, Kubernetes clusters and Azure services in Azure portal and API
  • Azure role-based access control (RBAC) can be extended across systems and different types of resources
  • Application owners can have single compliance requirement across all workloads and help to measure and remediate compliance at scale and down to the individual application, server, or cluster

Extend cloud practice to On-premises

With Azure Arc, Developers can use Azure cloud DevOps and cloud-native configurations management on any infrastructure across on-premises, multi-cloud, and edge environments. Cloud practices are optimized for developers that need immediate and programmatic access to resources to create new cloud-native applications. It will help developers to build containerized apps with the tools of their likes and IT teams can use configuration as code to ensure that the apps are deployed, configured, and governed consistently using GitOps-based configuration management across on-premises, multi-cloud, and edge.

Additionally, development teams can benefit from Azure Arc in the following ways

  • At scale configuration and deployment based on Azure subscriptions, resource groups, and tags
  • GitOps-based model for deploying configuration-as-code to one or many clusters
  • Application deployment and update at scale
  • Source control based safe deployment practices when rolling out new applications and configurations
  • Freedom for developers to use the tools they are familiar with

Azure Data Services Anywhere

Azure Arc provides you the ability to run Azure data services on-premises, Multi-cloud and edge environments, using Kubernetes on the infrastructure of your choice. Arc enables you to have the latest Azure innovations, elastic scale and unified management with a reliable cloud billing model.

  • Always current
    Access the latest features and capabilities from Azure for on-premises data workloads. Choose a variety of data services, including Azure-only capabilities like Azure SQL Database which provides evergreen SQL and Azure Database for PostgreSQL Hyperscale. Get the latest build from Azure Arc automatically and control the roll-out based on your policy.
  • Elastic scale
    Have the flexibility to have either scale up or scale out of instances in seconds. It will optimize performance of data workloads with cloud automation and elastic scale in your datacenter.
  • Unified Management
    Single view for on-prem and multi cloud environments using familiar tool such as Azure portal, Azure data studio or CLI. Also Arc Provides consistent management experience across database engines such as Postgres and SQL databases and provides a consistent unified view of your data services and underline infrastructure.
  • Unmatched security
    Protect your data workloads with Azure Security Center in your environment, using Advanced Threat Protection and Vulnerability Assessment for unmatched security. Set security policies, resource boundaries and role-based access control for various data workloads seamlessly across your hybrid infrastructure.
  • Cloud billing
    Customers can extend the current cloud billing model that available in Azure to on-premises environments. This will increase the cost efficiency and the right cost can be measured and compared across environments.

 

Get Started with the public preview

As of today, Azure Arc is in public preview, you can use and experience the Azure Arc for servers to manage windows and Linux servers. Other Arc services are still not in public preview you can complete a form to sign up to get notified about Azure Arc for server and Kubernetes management, and Azure data services anywhere.

Log in to the Azure Portal and Search for Azure Arc

You can see only the Manage servers are available, from next post I will discuss how to enable and use Azure Arc for servers.

Hope this post is useful

Cheers

Asitha De Silva

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