When should organzations start managing their Azure environment systematically?

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 Oldřich Šrubař

"When should I start managing my Azure environment systematically?" This question is likely to be asked by many IT executives responsible for cloud services in their organization. If your organization is just starting out with Azure, it's best to begin right away than later or never at all. If your organization has been using Azure services for some time and has an extensive infrastructure, adjusting the environment will be more complicated, but certainly not impossible. It is always necessary to start with small parts instead of willing to fix everything immediately.

For a better understanding of the issues of resource management in Azure (Governance), it is important to mention what is needed to be addressed:

  • Creation of meaningful hierarchies using Azure Management Groups
  • Application of relevant policies to already defined groups and subscriptions by using Azure Policy
  • Configuration of policies directly into Azure templates or roles using Azure Blueprints, resulting in efficiency and promptness in applying policies to new subscriptions
  • Inventory of resources using Azure Resource Graph – thanks to this you have a detailed overview of resources
  • Optimization and cost monitoring with Azure Cost Management + Billing

The cornerstone of Governance is the MVP - Minimum Viable Product. The aim of the MVP is to reduce the obstacles that would prevent the creation of an initial plan for Governance and then allow a quick resolution of the risks that may arise during the implementation or production.

Those less familiar with Microsoft Azure are now probably scared of what will be needed to be done and how to deal with it. However, there is no need to be afraid, because there is already a number of tools and guides that will make it easier for us to take the steps towards our dream journey - to have everything under control, comprehensible and systematically managed without stress. One of these tools that can help us a lot when switching to the cloud is the Cloud Adoption Framework (CAF). The CAF provides guidelines that include resource management steps and incorporates them directly into the organization's cloud adoption plan activities. Thanks to this set of recommendations, the organization is able to deploy the necessary rules for Governance effectively right from the start. A nice example is using templates in order to deploy one or more "landing zones" (Azure-ready infrastructure) for cloud migration.

So, if you have used the CAF to move to the cloud, you can be proud that you went in the right way and you are already solving Governance in some way. If not, then the Guidelines for Deploying Governance, which are divided into two groups, are a good help for you:

  • Standard Governance guide - guidelines for most organizations based on an initial model with two subscriptions for deployment in multiple regions. It does not include solutions for public and governmental organizations.

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Both guides provide us with the best practices and procedures that could be observed during resource management development. In principle, they describe procedures for fictitious organizations that have certain goals and how to achieve them as effectively as possible. Deploying the right Governance for your organization can now seem very extensive and complex, but as I mentioned at the beginning, you need to take smaller steps, gradually adding more and more parts and this will result in a complete resource management.

The starting point should be the following three areas:

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Followed by this implementation process:

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In order to add other parts, for example when changing business processes or increasing security or reducing costs, it is advisable to include the following additional areas:

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If you've read this far, you obviously are interested in the topic of Governance, which is very good, because despite considerable efforts, it's worth building a meaningful environment with easier management of resources. In any case, prior to each implementation, it is advisable to consider the possible risks before any major changes. And finally, one last piece of advice. If you are not confident enough to deploy Governance in your organization on your own, then you can address experts who will guide you and get you to your goal.

KPCS CZ provides consulting and implementation in this area as well, you can definitely contact us at any time.

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