3 min

Managing Multicloud with Azure Arc

This under-utilized management platform can help organizations unify their cloud environments and improve resource utilization.

According to Flexera’s 2023 State of the Cloud report, nearly 90 percent of organizations have embraced a multicloud strategy, but only one quarter are using multicloud management tools.

At many organizations, multicloud has popped up not as the result of an overarching strategy but as a consequence of ad hoc decision-making. One business unit spins up resources in Azure, another runs workloads with Amazon Web Services, a third department goes with Google Cloud, and the IT shop continues to maintain on-premises infrastructure.

Without centralized management tools to bring everything together, multicloud environments can quickly become sprawling and inefficient, making it more difficult for organizations to achieve their business objectives.

Azure Arc is a good tool for helping organizations manage their hybrid cloud and multicloud environments, and yet I find that many IT and business leaders are only vaguely aware of it. Despite being a Microsoft offering, Azure Arc is not limited to managing only Azure usage, but can also help IT departments manage resources across all major public cloud providers as well as in-house IT environments.

Virtual Machines Remain Essential to Many Multicloud Environments

While many organizations are slowly moving away from virtual machines in favor of containers, VMs remain a critical component of nearly all multicloud environments.

Azure Arc allows IT shops to quickly and simply create new VMs, delete them and change properties, both on-premises and across public cloud environments. While each public cloud provider offers its own management portal, it is inefficient for administrators to constantly toggle back and forth — important details inevitably get lost in the shuffle.

By contrast, when administrators use a management tool like Azure Arc, they don’t need to concern themselves with where their VMs are located. From a management perspective, everything is in the same spot.

Containers Allow for Greater Portability and Agility

Containerization solutions such as Kubernetes have taken the IT world by storm in recent years, and it’s easy to see why. Containers can help make applications more portable, improve development speed and enable increased scalability.

However, when applications are highly portable and capable of running anywhere, it’s important to remember that they could be running anywhere. Management tools like Azure Arc provide a comprehensive picture of multicloud environments, making it easier for organizations to keep track of their containerized applications. The big benefit here is that IT professionals get quick insight into all of the resources they’re using. This, in turn, prevents underutilization of containers (which can hamper performance) as well as overutilization of these resources (which can drive up costs unnecessarily).

Data Services Can Help with Managing Multicloud Environments

Just as organizations need to right-size and keep track of their VM and container environments, it is important to apply consistent management practices to data services, including SQL, PostgreSQL and MariaDB. With improved visibility into their data services environments through Azure Arc, organizations may find new opportunities to consolidate resources, improve performance and availability, and cut down on licensing costs.

Many IT leaders are already overwhelmed, and the prospect of implementing an additional platform may add to their stress. Yet, when a new solution helps them manage existing resources and streamline management workflows, it’s well worth climbing the learning curve.

Story by Drew Shanahan

Drew  Shanahan

Drew Shanahan

CDW Expert
CDW Expert