At its annual Ignite conference, Microsoft previewed Azure Arc which allows users to utilize Azure’s management tools and data services on virtually any platform, including those of its competitors such as AWS and Google Cloud.
The new service extends Azure’s management capabilities to Linux and Windows servers as well as to Kubernetes clusters on any infrastructure across on-premises, multi-cloud and edge.
Using Azure Arc, developers can now build containerized apps using their tools of choice and IT teams can ensure that these apps are deployed, configured and managed uniformly using GitOps-based configuration management.
Microsoft has also made it easier to implement cloud security across environments using Azure Arc with centralized role-based access control and security policies.
In a blog post announcing Azure Arc, corporate vice president of Microsoft Azure, Julia White explained how the new service can help speed up deployment while also providing customers with a complete view of all their Azure data services across on-premises and clouds, saying:
“With Azure Arc, customers can now realize the benefits of cloud innovation, including always up-to-date data capabilities, deployment in seconds (rather than hours), and dynamic scalability on any infrastructure. Customers now have the flexibility to deploy Azure SQL Database and Azure Database for PostgreSQL Hyperscale where they need it, on any Kubernetes cluster. From the Azure portal, customers get a unified and consistent view of all their Azure data services running across on-premises and clouds and can apply consistent policy, security and governance of data across environments. Customers can get limitless scale by seamlessly spinning up additional Kubernetes clusters in Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) if they run out of capacity on-premises.”
Just as Google did with its open platform Anthos, Azure Arc uses Kubernetes to enable customers to build out their hybrid cloud deployments across platforms.
As of now, Azure SQL Database and Azure Database for PostgreSQL Hyperscale are the only two Azure services users will be able to bring to other infrastructure providers though Microsoft will likely extend this to other Azure services over time.
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