Simplifying Multi-Cloud Management with Azure Arc

Navigating the complexities of a multi-cloud environment can be challenging. Partner with Velosio to leverage tailored solutions today.

Carolyn Norton

Director of Cloud

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Table of Content

    Businesses are increasingly adopting a multi-cloud strategy. They recognize the strategic potential of leveraging the strengths of different cloud platforms to ensure resilience, compliance, and competitive advantage. With over 87% of organizations already deploying workloads across multiple clouds, the message is clear — the future of enterprise IT is unequivocally multi-cloud. However, while the vast majority of businesses report having a multi-cloud strategy, most do not use multi-cloud management tools.

    What is a multi-cloud management approach? Why do you need a multi-cloud management tool? And, what makes Azure Arc the best option for simplifying multi-cloud management? We’ll answer these questions and offer a real-world use case to demonstrate the benefits of Azure Arc.

    What Is Multi-Cloud?

    Multi-cloud is an IT strategy that leverages services from two or more cloud providers to create a robust infrastructure. By doing so, you mitigate risks—no single point of failure can jeopardize your entire operation. You select best-of-breed services tailored to specific tasks and optimize your resources.

    For example, consider a company with an on-premises data center for running sensitive operations and legacy applications. They use AWS for scalable computing power and storage solutions, optimizing their resource-intensive workloads. For integrating enterprise services and leveraging advanced AI tools, they turn to Azure, benefiting from its robust security features and seamless integration with their existing Microsoft-based infrastructure. This multi-cloud approach allows the company to maintain control over critical data while maximizing the technological strengths of the public cloud for agility and innovation.

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    Why Do I Need a Multi-Cloud Management Tool?

    That all sounds great, right? However, a multi-cloud approach comes with the challenge of managing different platforms, each with its own set of APIs, interfaces, and security protocols.

    A multi-cloud management tool, like Azure Arc, brings coherence to the multi-cloud chorus, simplifying a complex matrix into a manageable task. Businesses adopt multi-cloud management tools for several key reasons, including:

    • Manage Complexity: They simplify the complexity of managing multiple cloud services, including different APIs, security models, and interfaces.
    • Optimize Costs: These tools help track and optimize spending across different cloud platforms.
    • Compliance and Governance: They ensure consistent policy application and compliance across all cloud environments.
    • Monitor Performance: Businesses can monitor the performance and health of applications across various clouds.
    • Disaster Recovery: They facilitate more robust disaster recovery strategies by managing data and applications across multiple clouds.

    In short, a multi-cloud management tool offers a centralized platform for efficiently managing, operating, and optimizing the diverse components of a multi-cloud environment.

    How Azure Arc Simplifies Multi-Cloud Management

    Azure Arc’s key features provide a powerful suite of tools to manage multi-cloud environments effectively, including:

    • Unified Management: Centralizes operations across hybrid and multi-cloud environments via the Azure portal.
    • Kubernetes at Scale: Extends Azure management capabilities to any CNCF-conformant Kubernetes cluster.
    • Server Management at Scale: Manages Windows and Linux servers running outside of Azure on any infrastructure.
    • Data Services Anywhere: Enables Azure data services to run on any hardware and any Kubernetes cluster.
    • Automated & Always Up to Date: Keeps services running on Azure Arc consistently updated and compliant.
    • Adaptable for Any Infrastructure: Seamlessly integrates with any cloud, data center, or edge site.
    • Access Control and Policy: Applies Azure Policy for consistent governance and access control across all resources.
    • Familiar Tools and Practices: Leverages established Azure practices and tools for managing applications and services.

    An Azure Arc Use Case

    It can be helpful to see how a company might benefit from a multi-cloud management tool in their daily operations. Let’s consider a use case scenario involving a global retail company operating online and with physical stores across various regions. Our company has a mix of on-premises data centers and cloud environments, including Azure and another cloud provider, to host its critical applications, including e-commerce platforms, inventory management systems, and CRM software.

    The Challenge

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    Our company needs to manage inventory in real-time across all stores and online platforms to ensure product availability, optimize stock levels, and enhance customer satisfaction. However, the inventory systems are spread across different environments — some are hosted on-premises for legacy reasons, while others are in the cloud for scalability and agility. Managing these disparate systems efficiently while maintaining security and compliance and achieving a unified operational view is challenging.

    The Solution with Azure Arc

    Our company has deployed Azure Arc, a multi-cloud management tool, to address the challenges. In doing so, they’re achieving:

    • Unified Management
      By leveraging Azure Arc, they can project our on-premises and cloud-based inventory management systems into the Azure portal. This unification supports centralized management, monitoring, and governance of these resources as if they were all native Azure resources.
    • Real-time Inventory Updates
      They use Azure Arc-enabled Kubernetes to deploy containerized microservices that facilitate real-time inventory updates across all locations. These microservices are deployed on Kubernetes clusters, regardless of whether they’re on-premises or in different cloud environments but are managed centrally from Azure.
    • Data Services and Analytics
      With Azure Arc-enabled data services, our company can extend Azure SQL Managed Instances and Azure Database for PostgreSQL to on-premises environments. It allows seamless data synchronization and aggregation from all inventory systems into a centralized database to query and analyze for insights on stock levels, demand forecasting, and supply chain optimization.
    • Security and Compliance
      They use Azure Arc to apply Azure security policies and compliance monitoring across our inventory systems. By doing so, all our data is protected, access is controlled, and regulatory requirements are met across the board, regardless of where our data resides.
    • Application Development and Deployment
      Azure Arc enables the company to develop and deploy modern, containerized applications across its environments. For example, it can roll out new features for its inventory management system simultaneously in the cloud and on-premises, ensuring consistency and reducing time-to-market.

    The Results

    By implementing Azure Arc, our retail company achieves a cohesive, agile, and secure inventory management system across its global operations. The setup enhances operational efficiency, improves customer experience by ensuring product availability, and maintains high security and compliance standards. The ability to manage and govern everything through a single pane of glass simplifies IT operations, even in a complex hybrid and multi-cloud environment.

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    Velosio Is Ready to Help

    Navigating the complexities of a multi-cloud environment can be challenging, and we’re here to help. By partnering with Velosio, companies can leverage tailored solutions that align with their unique needs, ensuring seamless integration, enhanced security, and optimized operations across any cloud or on-premises environment. Reach out to our Azure team to learn more.

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    Carolyn Norton

    Director of Cloud

    Follow Me: