You can now use Azure to manage your entire infrastructure - both Windows and Linux servers - whether on Azure, AWS, Google Cloud, in a private cloud or on-premise. And you can start using Azure Data Services anywhere. The solution that makes that possible is called Azure Arc and was introduced by Microsoft at Microsoft Ignite 2019.
 
Azure Arc builds on Microsoft's earlier steps in the hybrid cloud story, such as Azure Stack, Azure Update Management, and Azure File Sync. With Azure Arc, Microsoft is now making Azure a very attractive platform for organizations operating in a hybrid or multi-cloud environment. The new technology literally forms an arc (“an arc”) across all platforms and applications.
 
(Keep in mind that currently only a limited part of the things we describe below are already available in public preview. The rest are currently being tested in private preview. The ambition is to have everything available as soon as possible in 2020. to the public).
 

How does Azure Arc work?

The illustration that Microsoft published of their hybrid model shows how Microsoft Azure Arc fits into a hybrid or multicloud environment.
 
Azure Arc
Azure Arc ensures that the Azure Resource Manager (ARM), the layer between Azure resources and the control panel, can now also be used outside of Azure. From now on you can also see virtual machines (VMs) in the control panel that run on VMware vSphere, Amazon EC2 and Google Compute Engine.
 

What are the benefits of Azure Arc?

1. Easier management of your entire infrastructure

Azure Arc brings management and services from the Azure cloud to your hybrid infrastructure. Specifically: you can easily add on-premise data centers, virtual servers at other cloud providers or edge locations to Azure Arc and then manage them from one dashboard as if they were Azure resources. You get a consistent and unified approach to managing your different environments using robust and secure applications such as Azure Resource Manager, Azure Cloud Shell, Azure Portal, API Management and Azure Policy.
 

2. Uniform cloud security approach

Azure Arc makes it easier to implement and enforce cloud security across multiple platforms. In addition, you can use Azure security tools across your environment. So with Azure Arc, system administrators get a unified way to handle auditing, compliance, and role-based access management in a variety of environments.
 

3. Centrally manage Kubernetes apps

Deploying and managing Kubernetes apps with GitHub and Azure Policy is now possible regardless of the platform they (should) run on. Azure Arc allows developers to develop their Kubernetes apps with their preferred tools and then easily deploy, configure and manage them on different platforms.
 

4. Azure data services everywhere

You can also roll out Azure data services on other platforms via Azure Arc. In fact, that should be as easy as on Azure infrastructure in a Microsoft data center. At the launch, the number of available services was still limited, but in the (short) term many Azure services would be added. In addition, Microsoft also promises that you can deploy data services from Azure Arc across your entire environment, without complex management or downtime. The only requirement is of course that you must also have the necessary resources available for this on the platform in question.
 

What do we think about Azure Arc?

Arxus stands for an Azure First approach, with an eye for the precise needs of customers. In reality, this often means (first) a hybrid model, where we then look together at which elements we can / want to migrate to Azure. Azure Arc fits that story perfectly because it allows us to more easily manage the hybrid environments while showing customers the benefits and capabilities of Azure.
 
Azure Arc also offers many possibilities in terms of governance: it allows us to extend our Azure Governance best practices across the entire hybrid environment.
 
Would you like to know more about a migration to Azure, our managed services or our experience with hybrid cloud environments? Just contact us at blog@arxus.eu. We are happy to tell you more!

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