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#Microsoft Azure Policy and BluePrints Overview #Azure #Cloud #Architecture #AzureBlueprints

Microsoft Azure Policy

Why is Azure Policy and Blueprints important ?

When you made your Enterprise Architecture Design like my last blogpost :

Microsoft Azure Hub-Spoke model by Enterprise Design Part 1 of 4

You want to keep in control of your Business policy’s and keep your Azure Virtual Datacenter consistent as by design.

Azure Policy is a service in Azure that you use to create, assign and, manage policies. These policies enforce different rules and effects over your resources, so those resources stay compliant with your corporate standards and service level agreements. Azure Policy does this by running evaluations of your resources and scanning for those not compliant with the policies you have created. For example, you can have a policy to allow only a certain SKU size of virtual machines in your environment. Once this policy has been implemented, it will then be evaluated when creating and updating resources, as well as over your already existing resources.

In Azure Policy, we offer some built-in policies that are available to you by default. For example:

  • Require SQL Server 12.0: This policy definition has conditions/rules to ensure that all SQL servers use version 12.0. Its effect is to deny all servers that do not meet these criteria.
  • Allowed Storage Account SKUs: This policy definition has a set of conditions/rules that determine if a storage account that is being deployed is within a set of SKU sizes. Its effect is to deny all storage accounts that do not adhere to the set of defined SKU sizes.
  • Allowed Resource Type: This policy definition has a set of conditions/rules to specify the resource types that your organization can deploy. Its effect is to deny all resources that are not part of this defined list.
  • Allowed Locations: This policy enables you to restrict the locations that your organization can specify when deploying resources. Its effect is used to enforce your geo-compliance requirements.
  • Allowed Virtual Machine SKUs: This policy enables you to specify a set of virtual machine SKUs that your organization can deploy.
  • Apply tag and its default value: This policy applies a required tag and its default value, if it is not specified by the user.
  • Enforce tag and its value: This policy enforces a required tag and its value to a resource.
  • Not allowed resource types: This policy enables you to specify the resource types that your organization cannot deploy.

Azure Policy Definitions

Resource policy definition used by Azure Policy enables you to establish conventions for resources in your organization by describing when the policy is enforced and what effect to take. By defining conventions, you can control costs and more easily manage your resources. For example, you can specify that only certain types of virtual machines are allowed. Or, you can require that all resources have a particular tag. Policies are inherited by all child resources. So, if a policy is applied to a resource group, it is applicable to all the resources in that resource group

Assign Azure Policy Definition.

Scope the Policy

Managed Identities in Azure Policy

A common challenge when building cloud applications is how to manage the credentials in your code for authenticating to cloud services. Keeping the credentials secure is an important task. Ideally, the credentials never appear on developer workstations and aren’t checked into source control. Azure Key Vault provides a way to securely store credentials, secrets, and other keys, but your code has to authenticate to Key Vault to retrieve them.
The managed identities for Azure resources feature in Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) solves this problem. The feature provides Azure services with an automatically managed identity in Azure AD. You can use the identity to authenticate to any service that supports Azure AD authentication, including Key Vault, without any credentials in your code.
The managed identities for Azure resources feature is free with Azure AD for Azure subscriptions. There’s no additional cost.

There are two types of managed identities:
A system-assigned managed identity is enabled directly on an Azure service instance. When the identity is enabled, Azure creates an identity for the instance in the Azure AD tenant that’s trusted by the subscription of the instance. After the identity is created, the credentials are provisioned onto the instance. The lifecycle of a system-assigned identity is directly tied to the Azure service instance that it’s enabled on. If the instance is deleted, Azure automatically cleans up the credentials and the identity in Azure AD.
A user-assigned managed identity is created as a standalone Azure resource. Through a create process, Azure creates an identity in the Azure AD tenant that’s trusted by the subscription in use. After the identity is created, the identity can be assigned to one or more Azure service instances. The lifecycle of a user-assigned identity is managed separately from the lifecycle of the Azure service instances to which it’s assigned.

Read here more about Azure Managed Identities

Here you find Azure Policy Samples:

Microsoft Azure Policy Samples are here

Microsoft Azure Policy Blueprints

Just as a blueprint allows an engineer or an architect to sketch a project’s design parameters, Azure Blueprints enables cloud architects and central information technology groups to define a repeatable set of Azure resources that implements and adheres to an organization’s standards, patterns, and requirements. Azure Blueprints makes it possible for development teams to rapidly build and stand up new environments with trust they’re building within organizational compliance with a set of built-in components — such as networking — to speed up development and delivery.

Blueprints are a declarative way to orchestrate the deployment of various resource templates and other artifacts such as:

  • Role Assignments
  • Policy Assignments
  • Azure Resource Manager templates
  • Resource Groups

How it’s different from Azure Policy?

  • A blueprint is a package or container for composing focus-specific sets of standards, patterns, and requirements related to the implementation of Azure cloud services, security, and design that can be reused to maintain consistency and compliance.
  • A policy is a default allow and explicit deny system focused on resource properties during deployment and for already existing resources. It supports cloud governance by validating that resources within a subscription adhere to requirements and standards.

Including a policy in a blueprint enables the creation of the right pattern or design during assignment of the blueprint. The policy inclusion makes sure that

  • only approved or expected changes can be made to the environment to protect ongoing compliance to the intent of the blueprint.

A policy can be included as one of many artifacts in a blueprints definition. Blueprints also support using parameters with policies and initiatives.

This video by Microsoft Sr. Program Manager Jim Britt  walks you through the process of exporting an existing Azure ARM Blueprint from a management group in your environment, and then importing that Blueprint into a new Management Group with a new Blueprint name as the target.

More information on the Script Manage-AzureRMBlueprint can be found here

More information about Microsoft Azure Policy BluePrints can be found here on Docs

Follow @satya_vel

 

Conclusion

Microsoft Azure Policy and Blueprints helps you to stay complaint to your Enterprise Architecture Design.

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#Microsoft Azure Hub-Spoke model by Enterprise Design 1 of 4 #Azure #Cloud

 

Azure Hub-Spoke Architecture

Microsoft Azure Hub-Spoke Architecture

This Enterprise reference architecture shows how to implement a hub-spoke topology in Azure. The hub is a virtual network (VNet) in Azure that acts as a central point of connectivity to your on-premises network. The spokes are VNets that peer with the hub, and can be used to isolate workloads. Traffic flows between the on-premises datacenter and the hub through an ExpressRoute or VPN gateway connection.

We only use the Azure Private peering

For this Hybrid Cloud Strategy we made four Microsoft Azure Subscriptions via the EA Portal :

  1. Azure HUB Subscription for the connectivity via Azure ExpressRoute to On-premises Datacenter.
  2. Azure Spoke 1 for Production workload and Cloud Services
  3. Azure Spoke 2 for Test and Acceptance Cloud Services
  4. Azure Spoke 3 for Future plans

The naming convention rules and restrictions for Azure resources and a baseline set of recommendations for naming conventions. You can use these recommendations as a starting point for your own conventions specific to your needs.

The choice of a name for any resource in Microsoft Azure is important because:

  • It is difficult to change a name later.
  • Names must meet the requirements of their specific resource type.

Consistent naming conventions make resources easier to locate. They can also indicate the role of a resource in a solution.The key to success with naming conventions is establishing and following them across your applications and organizations.

Azure connectivity and RBAC Identity

This tenant is federated with via ADFS and Azure Connect to Office 365. Identity management is provisioned
via Microsoft Identity Manager 2016 (MIM2016). With this already in place, we can Configure Microsoft Azure RBAC in the subscriptions.

Access management for cloud resources is a critical function for any organization that is using the cloud. Role-based access control (RBAC) helps you manage who has access to Azure resources, what they can do with those resources, and what areas they have access to.

RBAC is an authorization system built on Azure Resource Manager that provides fine-grained access management of resources in Azure.

Business Development

For Business Development we have a separated Active Directory in one forest and also federated via ADFS to Microsoft Office 365. For this environment we build one Azure subscription with a temporary Site-to-Site VPN connection to On-premises datacenter for the “Lift and Shift” migration via Azure-Site-Recovery (ASR)

S2S VPN IKE v2 tunnel with Cisco and Azure.

Azure Virtual Networks

Next step is to build the connections between the Azure HUB Subscription and the Azure Spoke subscription(s) when every Microsoft Azure subscription has It’s own Virtual Network (VNET). This is called VNET peering.

Virtual network peering enables you to seamlessly connect two Azure virtual networks. Once peered, the virtual networks appear as one, for connectivity purposes. The traffic between virtual machines in the peered virtual networks is routed through the Microsoft backbone infrastructure, much like traffic is routed between virtual machines in the same virtual network, through private IP addresses only. Azure supports:

  • VNet peering – connecting VNets within the same Azure region
  • Global VNet peering – connecting VNets across Azure regions

Here you see my step-by-step VNET peering creation from HUB to Spoke 1 :

Go to the VNET of the Azure HUB Subscription. and then to Peerings => Add.

Here you make the connection with Spoke 1 Azure subscription.

For Azure HUB is Peering to Spoke 1 Done.

Now we go to the VNET of Azure Subscription Spoke 1 to make the connection.

Go to VNET => Peerings => Click on Add in the Azure Spoke 1 Subscription

Connect here to the Azure HUB

The VNET Peering between Azure HUB subscription and Spoke 1 is Connected.

In this order you have to make the other VNET Peerings from the Azure HUB subscription to the other Spoke Subscriptions so that the network connectivity between VNETs is working. Because we have the Azure Internet Edge in the HUB for the other subscriptions.

In the Azure Reference Architecture we also do Security by Design in the Cloud with Firewall and Azure Network Security Groups (NSG) and every Azure component get it’s own Tag for Security Groups and Billing – Usage.

Azure Storage

In every Microsoft Azure Subscription (HUB and Spoke ) we created a Storage Account. You can choose for different kind of storage in Microsoft Azure.

Durable and highly available. Redundancy ensures that your data is safe in the event of transient hardware failures. You can also opt to replicate data across datacenters or geographical regions for additional protection from local catastrophe or natural disaster. Data replicated in this way remains highly available in the event of an unexpected outage.
Secure. All data written to Azure Storage is encrypted by the service. Azure Storage provides you with fine-grained control over who has access to your data.
Scalable. Azure Storage is designed to be massively scalable to meet the data storage and performance needs of today’s applications.
Managed. Microsoft Azure handles maintenance and any critical problems for you.
Accessible. Data in Azure Storage is accessible from anywhere in the world over HTTP or HTTPS. Microsoft provides SDKs for Azure Storage in a variety of languages — .NET, Java, Node.js, Python, PHP, Ruby, Go, and others — as well as a mature REST API. Azure Storage supports scripting in Azure PowerShell or Azure CLI. And the Azure portal and Azure Storage Explorer offer easy visual solutions for working with your data.

Azure Storage includes these data services:
Azure Blobs: A massively scalable object store for text and binary data.
Azure Files: Managed file shares for cloud or on-premises deployments.
Azure Queues: A messaging store for reliable messaging between application components.
Azure Tables: A NoSQL store for schemaless storage of structured data.

Creating your Azure Storage accounts by Design.

One of our Architecture Security by Design policy, is to Encrypt all the storage in Azure via Microsoft Azure Key vault.

Deploying Azure IaaS Virtual Machine with ARM Templates

Enterprise organizations with more then ten employees managing IT datacenters are working by process and order to do the job for the business. When they are all using the Azure Portal and deploy Virtual Machines manually you will get a mess and things can go wrong. In Microsoft Azure you have the Azure Resource Manager for deploying  JSON ARM Templates. With these Azure Resource Manager Templates you can automate your workload deployments in Microsoft Azure. For example : We build a JSON template to deploy a Windows Server in the right Azure Subscription in the right Azure Resource Group and with the following extensions to it :

  • Antimalware agent installed
  • Domain joined in the right OU (Active Directory)
  • Azure Log analytics agent installed ( Connected to Azure Monitor and SCOM )
  • Encryption by default.

Using with our Azure naming conventions and Azure policy we always deploy consistent without making mistakes or by wrong typing in the Azure portal. When you write and make your ARM templates for different workloads, you can store them in Azure DevOps Repo ( Repository) and you can connect your private repo to GitHub.

Making ARM templates works really Awesome with Microsoft Visual Studio Code which is opensource and free of charge. You can add your favorite VSC extensions to work with like Azure Resource Manager.

 Our Azure ARM Template to deploy Virtual Machines into Azure HUB-Spoke model with VSC

Azure monitoring and Recovery Service Vault

To manage your Azure Hybrid Cloud environment you have to monitor everything to keep in control of your Virtual Datacenter. And of course you have to plan your business continuity with Azure Recovery Services (Backup) by Design. We made in every Azure Subscription an Azure Recovery Services Vault for making Backups. This is because you don’t want backup traffic over your VNET peering’s. In the Azure HUB subscription we made a second Azure Site Recovery (ASR) Vault for the “Lift & Shift” migration of On-premises Virtual Machines to the landing zone in Azure HUB.

With Microsoft Azure Monitor we use Log Analytics and Service maps and with the same OMS agent on the Virtual Machine, we still can use Microsoft System Center Operation Manager (SCOM) connected to the same agent 🙂

When you have 45 locations, 45.000 students with BYOD and 10.000 Managed workstations, you will monitor 24 x 7 to keep everything running for your Business. Monitoring Express Route with a Backup connection is a must for your Hybrid Virtual Datacenter. Here you have more information about monitoring Express Route Circuit

Monitoring our Express Route

With this all installed in Microsoft Azure by Design, we have the policy Security First !

Microsoft Azure Security Center

Azure Security Center provides unified security management and advanced threat protection across hybrid cloud workloads. With Security Center, you can apply security policies across your workloads, limit your exposure to threats, and detect and respond to attacks.

We are already installing Azure Threat Protection (ATP) for our On-premises Datacenter for Security.

Azure Security Center

We still have a lot to configure in Microsoft Azure to get the Basic Architecture Design in place. When that is done, I will make three more blogposts about this datacenter transformation :

  • “Lift and Shift” migration with ASR for Virtual Machines on Hyper-V and VMware.
  • SQL assessment and Data Migration to Azure
  • Optimize of all Workloads in Microsoft Azure.

Hope this blogpost will help you too with your Datacenter transition to Microsoft Azure Cloud.


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#Microsoft WhitePaper Mesh and Hub-and-Spoke networks on #Azure #AzureCAT #Cloud

Virtual network peering gives Azure customers a way to provide managed access to Azure for multiple lines of business (LOB) or to merge teams from different companies. Written by Lamia Youseff and Nanette Ray from the Azure Customer Advisory Team (AzureCAT), this white paper covers the two main network topologies used by Azure customers: mesh networks and hub-and-spoke networks, and shows how enterprises work with, or around, the default maximum number of peering links.

Download the Mesh and Hub-and-Spoke Networks on Azure Whitepaper here

 

 

AzureCAT Guidance Blog

 


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Awesome #Microsoft Azure 101 Cards and Interactive Sites #Azure #Cloud

Microsoft Azure Services 101 Cards

From here you can get the Azure Container Instances Information

Go and see for your self the Microsoft Azure 101 Cards

Microsoft Interactives :

  • Azure Products
  • Cloud Design Patterns
  • Azure Security and Operations Management

Microsoft Azure Security Interactive


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#Microsoft Azure Virtual Datacenter Guidance Whitepaper Available #Cloud #Security #Azure

Overview Azure Virtual Datacenter is an approach to making the most of the Azure cloud platform’s capabilities while respecting your existing security and networking policies. When deploying enterprise workloads to the cloud, IT organizations and business units must balance governance with developer agility. Azure Virtual Datacenter provides models to achieve this balance with an emphasis on governance. Deploying workloads to the cloud introduces the need to develop and maintain trust in the cloud to the same degree you trust your existing datacenters. The first model of Azure Virtual Datacenter guidance is designed to bridge that need through a locked-down approach to virtual infrastructures. This approach isn’t for everyone. It’s specifically designed to guide enterprise IT groups in extending their on-premises infrastructure to the Azure public cloud. We call this approach the trusted datacenter extension model. Over time, several other models will be offered, including those that allow secure Internet access directly from a virtual datacenter.

In the Azure Virtual Datacenter model, you can apply isolation policies, make the cloud more like the physical datacenters you know, and achieve the levels of security and trust you need. Four components any enterprise IT team would recognize make it possible: software-defined networking, encryption, identity management, and the Azure platform’s underlying compliance standards and certifications. These four are key to making a virtual datacenter a trusted extension of your existing infrastructure investment. Central to this model is the idea that your cloud infrastructure has isolation boundaries that can be thought of as your corporate namespace. Think of it as your isolated cloud within Azure. Within this virtual boundary, security controls, network policies, and compliance come together, providing you with an IT infrastructure on Azure capable of securely integrating cloud resources with your existing on-premises datacenter. You can deploy new virtual workspaces in the virtual datacenter much as you would deploy additional capacity to your physical datacenter. These virtual workspaces are self-contained

Environments where workloads can run independently, and workload teams can get workspace specific access. Workspaces enable teams to build solutions and manage workloads with great freedom while adhering to the overall access and security policies defined in the central IT infrastructure. This guide is intended for enterprise IT architects and executives. Using the lens of the physical datacenter, the guide discusses an approach to designing secure, trusted virtual datacenters on the Azure platform. Azure Virtual Datacenter is not a specific product or service but rather a way to think about cloud infrastructures. It offers proven practices and guidance to help smooth your migration to the cloud. At the end of this guide, you can learn about the upcoming Virtual Datacenter Automation guidance. This guidance includes a collection of scripts and Azure Resource Manager templates that will help you build an Azure Virtual Datacenter using the trusted extension model.

You can download this Awesome Microsoft whitepaper Azure Virtual Datacenter here


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Microsoft #Azure Architecture Center Awesome overview #Cloud #HybridCloud

Microsoft Azure Architecture Center

The Microsoft Azure Architecture Center is the place to be when you want to start with your Cloud only Services or with Hybrid Cloud technologies.

They got all the resources you need to make your own Cloud Architecture :

Start here your Microsoft Cloud Journey with Azure Architecture Center

and make your PDF Copy  😉
#MVPbuzz