Leverage the full potential of Azure by starting with a Cloud Foundation

By Scott Hodges

Configuring your Azure environment to the best advantage can look like a daunting set of tasks. But, by building a solid landing zone you can ensure that your business-critical cloud workloads are secure, reliable, scalable, and efficient. 

It’s easy to run into difficulties when you’re seeking to build and maintain infrastructure and operations in the cloud. Every organisation has a unique set of requirements, meaning there are no truly “off the shelf” solutions. Charting the right path to cloud success, and then following it through, requires a lot of careful planning and execution. Fortunately, DevOps practices such as infrastructure as code make this journey easier than ever before.

Leverage Infrastructure as Code (IaC)

Infrastructure as code enables the automated deployment of cloud resources and offers a repeatable, error-free process for provisioning architecture in a safe and expedient manner. Development and testing environments that can be scaled up or down in minutes, combined with similarly elastic compute resource, gives organisations the ability to quickly meet customer requirements while reducing operational costs. Vendor agnostic configuration tools like Terraform can be used to automate the deployment of resources across multi-cloud, hybrid cloud, and on-premise environments, allowing organisations to enjoy these benefits across their entire IT estate.

Keep a tight grip on cost

The difficulty of balancing the demands of performance, security, and reliability with cost efficiency grows as the complexity of your cloud architecture increases. It is important that controls are defined at the ground level so costs can be tracked and charged appropriately. By creating policies that match cloud resources to specific projects or departments, you can monitor where investment is being made and, more importantly, where funds can be re-appropriated. A solid cloud foundation gives you the oversight to make data driven decisions that create business value while reducing operational expense.

Experiment at scale without risk

Another big advantage of investing in a cloud foundation is the ability to explore new and emerging technologies, with no upfront investment, in a safe and secure environment. Microsoft provides access to a wide range of products and services, an annual investment worth billions of dollars in development. This allows organisations to experiment without too much forward planning or capital expenditure. Cloud based infrastructure is essentially disposable, so if a new project requiring a lot of resources goes off the rails and needs to be rethought, it’s easy to pivot and change direction without spending a lot of money. The flexible nature of the cloud allows for a consumption-based model where redundant environments can be quickly disposed of, reducing sunken costs.

Rethink your idea of architecture

Cloud has changed the way we architect and provision our cloud systems. The days of ordering a server, waiting for it to arrive, plugging it in, and configuring it already seem very old fashioned. Quite simply, there’s no longer any need to manage and maintain a physical data centre of servers and flashing lights. Updating and evolving your infrastructure to meet an ever-expanding set of business demands is made much easier when you have a cloud foundation in place. The mechanisms and controls established within the cloud foundation help customers to exceed operational expectations with reduced resources, allowing the IT team to focus their efforts on future demands.

Operate securely at scale

New technology exposes new vulnerabilities, and these must be addressed to ensure businesses aren’t put at risk. With the appropriate could foundation your cloud ops will be just as secure as anything on-prem, if not more so. Proactive security monitoring and controls can protect your day to day operations and workload migrations. If you’re at the start of your cloud journey putting a cloud foundation in place gives you the opportunity to benefit from a set of standardised security settings, declared as code, that automatically protect every cloud instance. This is security by design, and it means no more ad hoc configuration, deviation from agreed security policies, or plain old-fashioned human error.

The benefits of operating in cloud environments are quite clear. The big question for each organisation is how to configure the solution that’s right for them. Building a cloud foundation is the best way to start this journey because it takes care of vital considerations such as governance, security, compliance, and budgets at a fundamental level, giving organisations the confidence to start exploring how the cloud can best benefit their business.

Get in touch with Logicalis today to start building your cloud foundation. Email info@uk.logicalis.com to learn more.