Azure Arc

Natasha Ong
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4 min read

In a nutshell:

Azure Arc can manage both resources located in Azure's cloud and those outside of Azure, like on-premises servers or resources in other cloud providers.
It provides a unified way to manage and monitor all of them.

Azure Arc

Woohoo! So in the previous module, we've learnt that Azure has Azure ARM for create, set up and monitor our Azure resources.

But they doesn't fix one problem: what about the resources that are not part of Azure?

Managing hybrid and multi-cloud environments can get super complicated. After all, you have some things in Azure, and other things that are on-premise or with another cloud provider.

Azure Arc is your sidekick that helps you keep everything organised.

Azure Arc extends Azure's compliance and monitoring to hybrid and multi-cloud setups, making management simpler under one single platform.

With Azure Arc, you can

  • Manage all your stuff in one place, by including your non-Azure resources in ARM.
  • Manage multi-cloud and hybrid virtual machines, containers and databases as if they're all running in Azure.
  • Use the same Azure services and management capabilities that you're used to, no matter where your stuff is.
  • You can create custom locations to manage Kubernetes clusters and their extensions. This comes with creating an abstraction layer, which is basically a user-friendly control panel that hides the complexity of Kubernetes, reducing the overwhelming nature of managing these clusters and their extensions.
  • Continue using traditional ITOps while introducing DevOps practices.
  • ITOps are the old rules and routines for running your computer systems. ITOps processes include tasks like maintaining on-premises servers, networks, and data centres, which are often managed using well-established procedures and tools.
  • DevOps is a modern practise that's all about increasing agility, collaboration, and automation in software development and delivery. This involves concepts like continuous integration, continuous delivery, and infrastructure as code. It's a more modern and dynamic approach to managing software and IT infrastructure.

Companies can start by using Azure Arc to manage on-premises servers more efficiently and gradually introduce automation and DevOps practices, all while maintaining the stability and reliability of existing infrastructure. It provides a way to modernise your operations without disrupting established ITOps procedures.

Currently, Azure Arc allows you to manage the following resource types hosted outside of Azure:

  • Servers
  • Kubernetes clusters (A Kubernetes cluster is like a team of computers that handle and organise containers to make sure everything runs smoothly)
  • Azure data services
  • SQL Server
  • Virtual machines (preview) - note that the feature being in preview means it's not yet fully developed!