One of the biggest challenges with cloud adoption is orchestrating a flawless migration process. Transitioning to the cloud is such a critical stage in cloud implementation that it determines the resulting cloud infrastructure’s efficiency, safety, and governance. You have to plan the cloud transition or migration just right to get the most out of your cloud investment and ensure that the hosted processes meet your organization’s needs.
Azure Landing Zone is one of Microsoft’s solutions to the cloud transition problem. As experienced providers of Azure managed services, we’ll go over Azure Landing Zones in this post; explaining what a Landing Zone is, why it’s important, and how to deploy it. Let’s get started.
What is Azure Landing Zone?
Figuring out where to start when adopting Azure solutions can be tricky. This is where Azure Landing Zones come in handy. Azure Landing Zone is a key component of the Microsoft Cloud Adoption Framework. It helps you map out a digital layout based on your organization’s technical and workflow needs to enable a smooth cloud migration. Think of a Landing Zone instance as an Azure testbed where you can deploy applications, workloads, and data to account for scale, security, IT governance, and networking policies. A Landing Zone provides the foundation for cloud deployment and growth within a scalable and modular environment.
The Landing Zone itself is essentially an empty Azure subscription that you can populate with the workloads and applications (pre-provisioned through code) you wish to deploy on Azure. With this, you can set and test the parameters you’ll use to govern cloud workflows and determine the cloud adoption strategy that best meets your organization’s operational and digital requirements.
Azure Landing Zones deployment and considerations
No two Landing Zones are ever the same; each is built to meet unique organizational requirements and envision a specific cloud adoption journey. With that in mind, you have two options when it comes to deploying Landing Zones: “start small and expand” or “enterprise-scale.” Each approach is designed for a particular cloud adoption style and scale.
Start small and expand
This path provides a flexible cloud deployment approach with minimal controls. It’s ideal for organizations looking to migrate to the cloud at a low-risk pace. With a start small and expand Landing Zone, you can use Azure Resource Manager (ARM) templates to create subscription frameworks with Azure Blueprints and Terraform. A Blueprint is a tooling resource that helps you standardize your cloud deployment using predetermined templates designed with cloud best practices in mind.
These Landing Zones allow you to start the deployment at a low-risk level and build up the more complex security, regulatory, and governance policies as you go.
An enterprise-scale Landing Zone architecture has a modular design and puts governance, security, and regulatory compliance controls at the very start. This is for those wanting to deploy company-wide workloads onto the cloud in one go instead of taking an incremental migration approach. The best thing about an enterprise-scale Landing Zone is that mission-critical and highly sensitive operations can be integrated into the company’s application portfolio right from the start since security controls are a part of the Landing Zone’s foundation.
Azure Landing Zones design areas
Building a Landing Zone involves configuring, populating, and customizing various cloud computing aspects to develop a suitable cloud deployment framework for a particular use case or requirement. Azure provides eight main design areas for creating and customizing a Landing Zone. These are also the fundamental principles for planning cloud migrations, and not just on Azure:
- Enterprise enrolment: Represents the billing mechanism and the company’s relationship with Microsoft. It revolves around creating, activating, and managing Microsoft services subscriptions, licenses, and payment plans.
- Identity and access management (IAM): Access control underpins security and compliance in any cloud infrastructure. IAM erects a security boundary that allows only permitted users, apps, and services to access protected corporate resources hosted on the cloud.
- Resource organization: Focuses on how subscriptions, resources, and solutions are set up in order to align with specific goals. This means finding the most efficient resource combination for cloud migration.
- Network topology and connectivity: The networking aspect looks at how various resources and tools communicate with each other, within and outside the cloud environment.
- Business continuity and disaster recovery: Ensures you have measures in place to keep the business running in case of a disruption. For instance, you might want a continuity or recovery plan that kicks in after a data loss incident.
- Governance policies: A good cloud governance model gives you visibility and control over your cloud investments, usage, and security.
- Deployment options: Involves configuring the various solutions, tools, and resources for integration onto the Azure platform.
- Operations baseline: Represents the minimum standards (in terms of security, control, networking, performance, application portfolio, etc.) you must achieve in order to successfully port, run, and manage workloads on Azure.
Why do you need an Azure Landing Zone?
If you are thinking of migrating your enterprise workloads and data onto the Azure cloud platform, deploying a Landing Zone is a crucial step in working toward a successful cloud transition. Deploying a Landing Zone before the actual migration gives you a solid footing and invaluable insights into cloud integration. This sets you up for a secure, efficient, fast, cost-effective, and goal-oriented cloud migration.
Think of cloud migration as building a house. You wouldn’t start building unless you had all the essential designs, blueprints, and materials ready. In this analogy, a Landing Zone is where you draft and validate the building plans.
Need help deploying Landing Zones and migrating to Azure?
Moving from an on-prem IT setup to a cloud infrastructure is a delicate and technically demanding venture. But Softlanding is here to lend you a helping hand in deploying the stepping stones to cloud migration and fully implementing the Azure platform. Softlanding is a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner with years of experience in the business IT field. We specialize in helping organizations adopt Microsoft solutions and integrate them into their everyday operations.
Start your Azure migration journey on your best foot with a trusted Azure consultant by your side. Contact us today and learn how we can transform and grow your business via innovative digital solutions.