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Moving from Hybrid to Adaptive Cloud? Think Three-Layer Cake.


The rate of change in the world is going up. We see it all around us—products and services that are revolutionary today risk becoming obsolete in two years if they don’t respond to changes in the market fast enough. Product life cycles have shrunk. Change cycles have compressed. If earlier, it took IT a year to roll out a technology, today, that might look like 45 days.

Nowhere is the clock speed of change more evident than in business. But this race to keep up and get ahead of competitors comes with unique challenges. Companies, in their rush to innovate, tend to kick-start new initiatives across different departments. These solo projects each creates its own ecosystems with different approaches, tech stacks, and resources. Over time, it produces too many systems spread across too many places, trapping valuable data and insights.

Businesses stuck with these challenges could use help in one (or all) of these three areas:

  • Too many systems: Companies struggle to manage the many servers, devices, and cloud services. Simple tasks like patching and securing get harder with each new addition.
  • Siloed teams: Each part of the business is innovating, but usually without talking to each other. IT, development, and operations often work independently, leading to wasted efforts and higher costs and risks. These silos keep talent entrenched in their projects and prevent them from sharing their learnings with other teams. Sometimes, it could also lead to duplicated efforts that benefit no one.
  • Technical debt: Short-term fixes without long-term planning lead to systems not working in tandem, concealing valuable data and insights.

So when Microsoft introduced the adaptive cloud approach at its recent annual conference, Microsoft Ignite, the excitement was unmistakable. With the adaptive cloud, Microsoft’s investments in Azure solutions, specifically Azure Arc, to solve these challenges have come to fruition. It’s the unified approach businesses have long needed. The adaptive cloud approach “unifies siloed teams, distributed sites, and sprawling systems into single operations, security, application, and data model,” said Leo Kamrath, Microsoft’s Principal Program Manager. “It lets you use cloud-native tech and AI simultaneously across hybrid, multi-cloud, edge, distributed computing, and IoT.”

By building resilience into operational models, the adaptive cloud helps you use resources better and mitigate risks faster. By bringing together agility and intelligence, businesses can now predict and respond ahead of time to market trends, customer needs, and technology advancements.

Adaptive Cloud—Think Three-Layer Cake

When you think about the adaptive cloud, don’t think of it as a single product—but a portfolio of products under one umbrella, like a three-layer cake:

Layer 1:
rational aspect, which includes management and infrastructure. Here’s where the operational teams focus their efforts. It’s about managing a distributed estate with a centralized management plan.

Layer 2:
The second layer is all about application deployment. How do you ensure the applications are adaptive enough to be seamlessly deployed across both cloud and edge environments?

Layer 3:
The third layer is all about the data. This layer is important because the insights derived from data analytics are essential to run a business efficiently.

Three-Layer Adaptive Cloud Approach

Azure Arc Is the Bridge

Azure Arc is the bridge that lets you cross over from hybrid, multi-cloud, edge, or IoT to the next level of modularity, enterprise integration, and simplicity, or in short, “the adaptive cloud approach.”

Azure Arc has many services, implementations, and features that, in the context of adaptive cloud, specifically Kubernetes, allow you to expand your distributed cloud or edge locations. It brings Azure services and different implementations to Kubernetes containers that were previously siloed.

With its application management focus and “wherever they are” principle, Azure Arc allows you to manage and deploy your applications to Kubernetes clusters from anywhere in the world. Being infrastructure agnostic, it also lets you manage your physical servers and virtual machines outside Azure, on your corporate network, or other cloud provider.

Azure Arc enables you to project hybrid, multi-cloud, edge, and IoT resources to Azure Resource Manager with Azure Arc. Not only does this create a single source of truth, but it also allows you to apply cloud services across your globally distributed digital estate. For example, observability tools in Azure, like Azure Monitor, give you visibility across thousands of assets in one place. Security features, like Microsoft Defender for CloudMicrosoft Sentinel, or Azure Policy for security, enhances your security posture. “My favorite aspect of Microsoft Azure Arc is its integrated management approach that simplifies operations and improves accessibility,” says Jason Milgram,
Senior Vice President, Azure Leader.

Key Features

  • Resource Management: Centralize management of resources across on-premises, edge, and multi-cloud
  • Azure Policy and Governance: Apply Azure policies for compliance and governance
  • Security: Unify security management with Azure Security Center and Azure Sentinel
  • DevOps Integration: Integrate seamlessly with CI/CD pipelines using Azure DevOps and GitHub
  • Kubernetes Management: Manage Kubernetes clusters and deploy applications consistently
  • Data Services: Run Azure data services anywhere, ensuring data consistency and availability
  • Scalability: Deploy cloud servers with intelligent automation in minutes
  • Cost: Only pay for the resources used

Adaptive Cloud? Start Here

If you’re looking to unify your infrastructure and applications across various environments in one integrated environment, then the adaptive cloud approach is for you. With over 25 years of experience implementing Azure solutions, our technology experts can help you deploy Azure Arc and extend Azure solutions to your preferred environment, ensuring your data workloads can benefit from Azure’s scalability, availability, and managed services, regardless of location.

Contact us today.