Category Archives : Cloud Strategy

31

Mar

Deploy key design principles with enterprise-scale architecture

Tailwind Traders1 is a retail company that is looking to adopt Azure as part of its IT strategy. The IT team is familiar with deploying infrastructure on premises and is now researching what they need to do in order to run their workloads within Azure. They’ve been doing some research and have found the Microsoft Cloud Adoption Framework for Azure and Azure landing zones.

When embarking on any project or new implementation, there are always key design and decision points to be discussed and fully understood. Deploying an enterprise-scale landing zone and subsequent resources to the cloud is no different. The enterprise-scale architecture prescribed in this guidance is based on the design principles that serve as a compass for subsequent design decisions across critical technical domains.

The Tailwind Traders IT team is sitting down to discuss the critical design areas as laid out within the enterprise-scale landing zone documentation. There are several areas that they need to discuss:

Enterprise Agreement (EA) enrolment and Azure Active Directory tenants Identity and access management Management group and subscription organization Network topology and connectivity Management and monitoring Business continuity and disaster recovery Security, governance, and compliance Platform automation and DevOps Subscriptions

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30

Mar

Microsoft named a Leader in Forrester Wave: Function-as-a-Service Platforms

Forrester has named Microsoft as a leader in The Forrester Wave™: Function-As-A-Service Platforms, Q1 2021 based on their evaluation of Azure Functions with recognition for upping its developer experience game and stateful capabilities.

Development experience

Azure Functions is fully integrated with other Azure services and development tools. Its end-to-end development experience allows you to build and debug your functions locally on any major platform (Windows, macOS, and Linux), as well as deploy and monitor them in the cloud. You can build functions using multitude of programming languages: C#, Node.js, Python, JavaScript, Java, and PowerShell.

In their report, Forrester recognized Azure Functions investments in “onboarding, developer tools support, and support for the development and debugging on local machines.”

Stateful workloads in a serverless compute environment

There are some use cases of serverless that need to be stateful—such as long-running workflows, human approved processes, and e-commerce shopping cart applications. Durable Functions, an extension to the Azure Functions runtime that brings stateful and orchestration capabilities to serverless functions. Durable Functions stands alone in the serverless space, providing stateful functions and a way to define serverless workflows programmatically.

Forrester mentioned specifically in the report that “Durable Functions provides stateful capabilities and bindings for

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25

Mar

Scale cloud adoption with modular designs for enterprise-scale landing zones

This post was co-authored by Sarah Lean, Senior Content Engineer, Azure

Tailwind Traders1 is a retail company that is looking to adopt Azure as part of its IT strategy. The IT team is familiar with deploying infrastructure on-premises and is now researching what they need to do in order to run their workloads on Azure. In this blog post, we will walk you through Tailwind Traders’ experience to run its workloads on Azure using Cloud Adoption Framework and Azure landing zones guidance.

What are enterprise-scale landing zones?

In a previous blog post, we followed Tailwind Traders and their cloud adoption journey, where we learned about the Cloud Adoption Framework and Azure landing zones. After researching the different landing zone options—start small and expand, enterprise-scale, and partner landing zones—Tailwind Traders has decided to start with the enterprise-scale architecture.

Tailwind Traders requires an initial implementation of landing zones with fully integrated governance, security, and operations from the start. The enterprise-scale architecture provides prescriptive guidance coupled with Azure best practices, developed largely by Microsoft architects and the broader Cloud Solutions Unit technical community. It follows design principles across the critical design areas for an organization’s Azure environment, like enterprise enrollment, identity, network topology,

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17

Mar

Our commitment to expand Azure Availability Zones to more regions

The cloud continues to play a critical role in our everyday lives. Our customers range from classrooms and small businesses to critical life and safety services and Fortune 500 companies. Microsoft’s cloud infrastructure—the largest in the world—is the backbone for many of these experiences which have been essential to connecting people, businesses, and governments and running mission-critical applications. We believe that a trusted cloud is one that is secure, reliable, and supports regulatory compliance. We continue to build Azure to support customer needs for low-latency, high-availability cloud services and with the ability to both store and process data within a country or geography.

In 2020, Microsoft announced development of new Azure datacenter regions that will bring local low-latency, data-resident cloud solutions to 14 new countries and expanding global availability. Already in 2021, we’ve continued our plans to expand our datacenter regions to new markets like Indonesia and grow in existing markets in the United States and China. As we continue to bring local cloud services to more countries, we are doing so with resilience and high availability in mind.

Key takeways By end of 2021, every country in which we operate a datacenter region will deliver Azure Availability

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17

Mar

Accelerate your cloud adoption with the start small and expand landing zone

This post was co-authored by Thomas Maurer, Senior Cloud Avocate, Azure

Tailwind Traders1 is a retail company that is looking to adopt Azure as part of its IT strategy. The IT team is familiar with deploying infrastructure on-premises and are now researching what they need to do in order to run their workloads within Azure. In this blog post, we will walk you through Tailwind Traders’ experience running workloads on Azure using Cloud Adoption Framework and Azure landing zones.

Start small and expand

Tailwind Traders has been researching Azure landing zones and have become familiar with the options available: Start small and expand, enterprise-scale, and partner landing zones.

As Tailwind Traders is just starting their cloud adoption journey and are looking to learn and grow on this journey, they have decided to use the start small and expand landing zone. One thing that Tailwind Traders has learned over the years is that IT is always changing, and there are many benefits and innovations that come with the changes. They understand that as their journey matures, their requirements and needs may change, and, as cloud providers add new features and products to their range, new opportunities will arise. Tailwind Traders has decided this is the

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15

Mar

Azure and AMD announce landmark in confidential computing evolution

The pandemic has accelerated digital transformation globally and the scalability and security advantages offered by Microsoft Azure have helped many customers move forward. One key tenet we have in Azure is that your data is your data.   

In Azure, we take your data security seriously and have built numerous controls around data at rest and data at flight. As a founding member of the Confidential Computing Consortium, we are also an innovator in confidential computing which extends those protections to data running on the processor itself. For more than 3 years financial services, governments, health care providers, and even messaging companies have been using Azure confidential computing to unlock new scenarios like multi-party machine learning and move their more sensitive applications to the cloud.

Today, I am announcing that we are further broadening the confidential computing options available to Azure customers through our technology partnership with AMD, specifically by being the first major cloud provider to offer confidential virtual machines on the new AMD EPYC™ 7003 series processors. This new approach complements existing Azure confidential computing solutions such as confidential containers for Azure Kubernetes Service and opens the possibility to create new confidential applications without requiring code modifications which in turn substantially simplifies the process of creating confidential applications. 

Key technology enablers to the AMD-centered solution include the advanced security feature called Secure Encrypted Virtualization-Secure Nested Paging, or SEV-SNP. SEV-SNP enables protection of virtual machines by creating a trusted execution environment and has been substantially enhanced in the 3rd Gen AMD EPYC processor. 

These AMD EPYC-CPU powered Azure VMs are fully encrypted at runtime, fulfilling the promise of confidential

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08

Mar

Choose the landing zone for your cloud adoption journey

This post is co-authored by Thomas Maurer, Senior Cloud Advocate, Azure. 

Tailwind Traders1 is a retail company that is looking to adopt Azure as part of their IT strategy. The IT team is familiar with deploying infrastructure on-premises and is now researching what they need to do in order to run their workloads on Azure. In this blog post, we will walk you through Tailwind Traders’ experience to run its workloads on Azure using Cloud Adoption Framework and Azure landing zones guidance.

What are landing zones?

Regardless of where you are hosting your workloads, there are certain components you need to support those workloads. If you think of the on-premises world, when you start a new datacenter, you need to ensure you have things like electricity, cooling, networking, and physical security before you can start to really install any of your servers or workloads. When you are hosting your workloads in the cloud, there are certain things you need to start installing on your servers or workloads like networking, monitoring, identity and access management, and subscription and tenant creation. When putting workloads in the cloud, you should also think about things like compliance and security needs, as well as your disaster and backup plans.

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25

Feb

Demystifying cloud economics
Demystifying cloud economics

Migrating to the cloud is an evolution, and it’s important to think differently about how you consume resources. As you’re building a business case in your organization, it’s critical to step back and understand the cloud’s key constructs and transform your mindset. It starts by having a conversation about today versus tomorrow and what is possible in the cloud, as with this migration, you will get instant access to innovative technologies and several new options that do not exist on-premises.

Azure is here to help you start your cloud journey strong with key financial and technical guidance as well as best practices from customers who charted a successful cloud journey. With this intention, we recently launched a new initiative to help our customers understand and demystify cloud economics. We will provide a rich set of digital content highlighting key technical and financial tips from Azure experts and share lesser-known tips through this initiative. In this blog, we’ll discuss a set of key considerations that will save you time, budget, and resources as you chart your cloud journey.

How does cloud pricing work?

Cloud billing is tied to compute and storage that includes the underlying software licensing fees. Costs accrue via a pay-for-what-you-consume model versus the

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17

Feb

Customers unify hybrid and multicloud IT operations with Azure Arc

Businesses today are building and running applications across a variety of ecosystems on-premises, in multiple clouds, and on edge. To maintain agility and ensure compliance, it’s critical to an organization’s success to effectively manage servers, applications, and data at scale—regardless of where they are located.

Microsoft Azure Arc is a set of technologies that unlocks new on-premises, hybrid, and multicloud scenarios for customers by extending Azure services and management to any infrastructure. Across industries, customers are taking advantage of Azure Arc to bring Azure management to any infrastructure and enable Azure services to run anywhere.

Azure Arc provides a single control plane to consistently manage and govern all of your resources, anywhere. And with Azure Arc enabled services, you have the flexibility to deploy Azure services anywhere—on-premises or in other public clouds. Use cloud innovation where you need it by deploying consistent and always-up-to-date Azure data services anywhere.

Let me share how Ferguson, Africa’s Talking, Siemens Healthineers, and KPMG have enabled seamless management of their hybrid and multicloud resources using Azure Arc, realizing tremendous business value.

Ferguson uses Azure Arc to extend Azure services on-premises

Ferguson, the largest wholesale distributor of plumbing supplies in the United States, uses Azure Arc to

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16

Feb

Future-proof your network with Azure for Operators

Increasing competition and ever-growing demand for mobile, always-on services challenges operators to find new strategies to grow profits and gain a competitive edge. To succeed, operators also need to embrace three critical trends:

Changing the economics of their service model. Finding new revenue and shareholder value with 5G. Driving digital transformation, consolidation, and automation.

To address these trends, operators are actively seeking ways to transform their infrastructure, embrace 5G, and evolve their business.

To support operators in capitalizing on this opportunity, we launched the Azure for Operators initiative in September 2020, acting as a trusted partner to provide cloud and edge computing technology and solutions. We are building a platform on the foundation of a carrier-grade cloud and enhanced networking to bring the power of Microsoft’s technology to the operator’s edge. When these capabilities are combined with our broad developer ecosystem and deep business-to-business partnership programs, the result is a unique environment that will help operators accelerate their ability to monetize their network capabilities. 

The advent of 5G technology offers network operators unprecedented opportunities to expand their scale and range of services to enterprise customers in particular. Beyond faster data services for smartphones and 5G networks, other emerging technologies

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