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Azure Tools: The most effective way to Manage and Govern your Cloud Resources

Posted by Rajiv Dattani on 6/1/21 1:01 PM


Azure management and governance are described simply as processes and mechanisms to maintain robust control over your applications and resources in Azure. There are multiple built-in Azure management and governance tools to help developers and system administrators to keep your resources secure and compliant, both in the cloud and on-premises.

In this blog, we will be discussing several Azure management tools that you can use to manage and govern your cloud resources. Some of these include Azure monitor and network watcher, Azure resource manager, Azure logic apps, Azure Cloud Shell, Azure security center, Azure policy, and Azure blueprints. 

1. Manage Your Platform Components and Network Issues with Azure Monitor and Network Watcher 

The Azure Monitor and network watcher is a service in Azure that empowers you to monitor and diagnose various network issues. It can also be termed as a network performance and diagnostic service that enables Azure network monitoring.

Azure network monitor contains multiple tools for managing your IaaS resources, including-

  • Monitoring elements

Azure network watcher monitors various endpoints such as a fully qualified domain name (FQDN), virtual machines (VM), or uniform resource identifier (URI).

  • Network diagnostic tools

Network Security Groups or NSG contain different rules that help you determine if the flow of network traffic between two endpoints is feasible. Azure enables the creation of NSGs with default rules for allowing traffic between subnets or out to the Internet. 

  • Logging capabilities

Azure network monitor and watcher offers to log for different Azure resources. The NSG flow log helps to logs whether or not traffic was allowed or denied by an NSG. 

With Azure Monitor and Network Watcher, you can gain real-time visibility into your Azure Network and get instant alerts on key metrics to identify any kind of network issues and security issues.

2. Effectively Deploy and Manage Resources with Azure Resource Manager 

Azure Resource Manager or ARM is the native platform for infrastructure as code (IaC) in Azure. It enables you to seamlessly centralize the end-to-end process of deployment, management, and security of various Azure resources.

There are multiple benefits that Azure Resources Manager offers to ease the process of managing and deploying resources. Among these include-

  • Templates

ARM templates allow you to define and deploy Azure resources (whichever you need) clearly and concisely. With ARM templates, you can define resource details, including names, locations, security settings, availability zones, and networks.

  • Centralized Management

ARM enables you to easily manage all your Azure resources from a single, centralized dashboard. Using an ARM, you can easily integrate any Azure resources, including third-party applications and services adopted from the Microsoft Azure Marketplace.

  • Security

Azure Resource Manager lets you use multiple security features with your resources, such as OAuth authentication and role-based access controls. Apart from this, it also provides granular control over resources and enables you to restrict who can modify which workloads, including the ability to lock resources against modification or deletion.

3. Scheduler by Azure Logic Apps to Maintain Scheduled Work for Apps 

Azure Scheduler was a dedicated service offered by Microsoft Azure to help users create and run jobs in the cloud describing specific tasks or actions to be performed.

It has recently been replaced with Azure Logic Apps, a managed cloud service that runs in the public cloud in the organisation. The key objective of Azure logic apps is to help users introduce easily scalable and cloud-based integrations and workflows to business processes. 

Among the various features of Azure Logic Apps include-

  • Manages different scheduled workloads as a first-class Azure resource.
  • Use connectors and a visual designer to integrate with over 200 different services, including Azure Service Bus, Microsoft Outlook, Azure Blob storage, and SAP.
  • Allows you to run multiple one-time jobs using a single logic app

4. Cloud Shell – The Admin Machine for Azure 

The Azure Cloud Shell is an interactive, integrated, browser-based shell for creating and managing Azure infrastructure. It offers the ability to manage all your cloud resources, run scripts, virtual machines, and other tasks directly from within the browser or Azure Mobile app.

Put simply, it is an embedded terminal/ command-line interface that can be used either within a web browser or the Azure Mobile app. 

Some of the topmost features associated with Azure Cloud Shell include-

  • Automatic Authentication for Better Security

Azure cloud shell automatically and securely authenticate your account access for PowerShell and Azure CLI. 

  • Virtual Access from Anywhere

The cloud shell service allows you to connect to the Azure platform using a browser-based, authenticated shell experience hosted in the cloud and can be accessed from just anywhere.

  • Seamless Deployment

Features a graphical text editor that enables seamless deployment to create and customize files by running code. 

  • Common Programming Languages and Tools

As a browser-based service, cloud shell naturally comes with common CLI tools, including PowerShell modules, source control, text editors, Linux Shell interpreters, container tools, database tools, and many more.

5.  Delivering Turnkey Solutions with Azure Managed Applications 

Azure Managed Applications enable various managed service providers, enterprise IT teams, and independent software vendors, to deliver turnkey solutions through service catalog or the Azure Marketplace.

With this powerful solution, vendors can easily manage and support their applications so that the users who deploy managed applications don’t have to worry about maintaining, updating, or servicing them.

There are mainly two different options to offering Azure Managed Applications. These are discussed below-

  • Service Catalog Managed Applications

With service catalog managed applications, organizations can easily create a catalog of approved solutions for Azure. Maintaining such a catalog allows you to ensure compliance with certain organizational standards while still offering great solutions for the organization.

This also makes it a solution especially preferred by central IT teams for enterprise organizations.

  • Marketplace Managed Applications

The other one is the managed applications available in the marketplace on the Azure portal. In this case, vendors simply need to publish their application to the marketplace, and it becomes available for anyone to consume. 

6.  Azure Policy and Azure Blueprints to Ensure Governance

Azure Policy is a dedicated service in Azure that can create, assign and manage policies. These policies enforce various rules and effects over your resources so that they stay compliant with your corporate standards and service level agreements.

Azure Policy does this primarily by running evaluations of your resources and scanning for those not compliant with the policies you have created. 

Azure Blueprints, on the contrary, enables cloud architects to define a repeatable set of Azure resources that allows implementation and adherence to an organization’s standards and requirements.

In all, Azure Policy, Tagging, Azure Blueprints, and Automation capabilities offer the building blocks and tools needed to enforce controls and standards within your Azure environment. 

7.  Azure Security Center for all Your Hybrid Cloud Workloads 

Offered by Microsoft, the Azure security center is an advanced security management platform available to all Azure subscribers,

Among the key features of Azure security center include-

  • Security health monitoring for cloud as well as on-premises workloads
  • Security policies (adjustable) for maintaining regulatory as well as standards compliance
  • Security threat blocking through robust access and app controls
  • Various security vulnerability discovery tools and patches
  • Enables threat detection through rapid security alerts 

To Conclude

TrnDigital and Azure bring the combined power for creating definitive cloud management and governance solutions. Our team has detailed knowledge and professional expertise in the latest in-cloud management solutions.

Our cloud management SaaS solutions integrate seamlessly into Azure and Microsoft’s Cloud adoption framework to offer you an enterprise-ready governance program in place within no time.

Topics: Microsoft Azure, Azure Tools

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