Bird’s eye view of Azure Arc

The all new Azure Arc is one of the new Azure offering to provide a centralized solution for complex and distributed environments across on-premises, edge and multi-cloud in a really simple way.

Last year when Microsoft announce it overnight it became talk of the tech town and even though it is still in preview mode many of my clients are interested in it. So i thought let me share some key points which clarifys use of Azure Arc and it can help my readers to understand if it is beneficial for their work or not.

Azure Arc: The global picture of modern cloud computing

Well if you are looking for an answer of the question “What is Azure Arc?” then it is perfectly defined in the above image by Microsoft. Now, if you have already gone through the official page of  Azure Arc and still have some questions or confusion then I guess you are at the right place.

From more than a decade, Azure has offered a variety of cloud services for infrastructure, platform, and databases it has also offered serverless computing from the last couple of years. While using Azure we are able to choose the datacenter region from the available 58 regions across the globe. But now with Azure Arc Microsoft is allowing you to manage resources from your own On Premise Servers within Azure Portal no matter where they are.

It allows us to deploying policies and services to virtual machines and Kubernetes. It also includes containerized versions of Azure’s SQL Database and PostgreSQL Hyperscale. In short Azure Arc extends these proven Azure management capabilities to Linux and Windows servers, as well as Kubernetes clusters (to know more about kubernetes services please click here) on any infrastructure across on-premises, multi-cloud and edge. Customers can now have a consistent and unified approach to managing different environments using robust, established capabilities such as Azure Resource Manager, Microsoft Azure Cloud Shell, Azure portal, API, and Microsoft Azure Policy.

Security

Eventhough your developers can manage all these resources at Azure portal Security is never compromised because to deliver this experience with your hybrid machines hosted outside of Azure, the Azure Connected Machine agent needs to be installed on each machine that you plan on connecting to Azure. Not only that you also need to have following permissions.

  • To onboard machines, you should be member of the Azure Connected Machine Onboarding role.
  • To read, modify, re-onboard, and delete a machine, you should be a  member of the Azure Connected Machine Resource Administrator role.

Currently as this service is in preview it is available only in few regions which are

  • WestUS2
  • WestEurope
  • WestAsia

Azure Arc in ACTION

It’s time to see Azure Arc in action and to do that kindly login to your Azure Portal first.

Once you sign in Click on Create Resource on the left top corner and search for Azure Arc.

You will get service Azure Arc for servers (Preview) like this

azure-arc-portal1

Click on create and Azure portal will ask you to select a method. Basically we have two choices

  1. Add machines using interactive script
  2. Add machines at scale
azure-arc-select-method

If you choose first option then Azure will allow you to provide all the customisations with in portal and then it will be generated as ARM template which will eventually deploy Azure Arc for you where you can manage resources.

azure-arc-options

Basically you have to provide following details

  • Subscription and Resource Group
  • Region from the avaialble regions
  • Windows or Linux Operating system
  • Proxy server details if you are using Non-Azure machine

Afterwords like all other azure resources this will be also deployed to Azure using ARM template. This same template can be used later again if you want to redeploy this from another subscription.

Suppose if you choose second option Add machines at scale it will take you to microsoft docs which will show you searies of steps which you need to perfom at your server with Agent installed.

For your ref here is a link for you. Add machines at scale

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