Beginners’ Guide for Microsoft Hyper-V: What is Microsoft Azure Arc – Part 32 – BDRSuite

Beginners’ Guide for Microsoft Hyper-V: What is Microsoft Azure Arc - Part 32 - BDRSuite

Microsoft Azure Arc is a phenomenal solution that allows businesses to onboard existing environments on-premises or even in other public cloud environments into Microsoft Azure. In addition, it is a great way to standardize the management experience of resources, no matter where these exist. Microsoft Azure Arc allows onboarding servers and virtual machines into Microsoft Azure and managing these as native Azure resources.

Hybrid configurations are becoming the norm

Most organizations are moving forward with cloud migrations and migration strategies heavy on cloud resources. However, most maintain a presence on-premises with specific business-critical resources that need to exist in on-premises data centers for various reasons, including compliance, performance, or others.

It leaves businesses with multiple resources to manage with disparate management and configuration tools between their on-premises environments and public cloud infrastructure. It creates additional management complexity and leads to a lack of streamlined visibility across all resources.

Microsoft has created a new solution that helps businesses deal with these challenges and consolidate processes and management across different environments outside their Microsoft Azure tenant: Azure Arc.

What is Microsoft Azure Arc?

First, let’s consider Microsoft Azure Arc, what it is, and its capabilities. Azure Arc is a solution allowing organizations to extend the Microsoft Azure management plane to other environments. Microsoft Azure uses a control solution known as Azure Resource Manager (ARM). Any time you use an Azure resource and interface with it using the Azure GUI, PowerShell, APIs, or other means, you interact with the Azure Resource Manager.

Using a specialized agent installed on your foreign workload, Azure Arc creates a secure connection between the Microsoft Azure tenant and the external resource, whether on-premises or in another cloud. Once the object is onboarded in Microsoft Azure, it can be managed and configured using native Azure tools. It is assigned an Azure resource ID and “looks” like a native Azure resource.

Businesses don’t have to have new hardware to onboard with Azure Arc. Instead, it works with existing and new hardware brought into the environment, making it agnostic and compatible with most hardware configurations and infrastructure services.

What services and solutions does Azure Arc support?

Azure Arc works with infrastructure and services in existing environments. What do these include? Note the following:

Agent onboarding with a script

One of the tasks that may be daunting with Microsoft Azure Arc is onboarding your resources, such as servers, into the Azure Arc solution. Azure Arc uses the agent to communicate and link the external resource with the Azure environment.

Part of the onboarding process is generating the Azure Arc script used to onboard resources into Arc. For example, while onboarding on-premises servers, you can onboard servers using the following for the following:

Generating an Azure Arc script

The process of generating the Azure Arc script is straightforward. Let’s look at an example of generating a script for a single server, which is the least involved. It is a very wizardized approach in the Azure Portal. On the first page, we see the prerequisites for onboarding the server into Azure Arc.

Next, we assign the resource details using the Azure Arc onboarding wizard. It includes assigning the subscription, region, server details, etc.

Next, we can assign tags to the server resource, which adds object metadata. You can use tags for other purposes, including policies, etc.

Finally, on the Download and run script page, we can view and download the script to run on the on-premises server.

After downloading the script, we run the script on our on-premises server, which in this case, is a Hyper-V host.

During the script installation, enter your Azure credentials.

Finally, the script completes successfully. At this point, we should be able to view the resource in Microsoft Azure.

Below, we view the onboarding page for the Azure Arc-enabled on-premises server. As you can see, it looks like a native Azure resource.

Azure Arc FAQs

What is Azure Arc?

Azure Arc is a solution from Microsoft allowing the onboarding of external resources, including servers, into Microsoft Azure. Once onboarded, these resources can be managed and configured as if they were native Azure resources.

Can you onboard non-Azure servers?

Yes, you can. There are only a few prerequisites, including HTTPS access to Azure services, local administrator permissions, and a connectivity method. The whole purpose of Azure Arc is to allow non-Azure resources to be managed using the Azure Resource Manager (ARM) control plane.

How are servers onboarded into Azure Arc?

Azure Arc works off the installation of an Azure Arc agent. Microsoft has provided scripts to allow the onboarding of remote resources into Azure Arc. The scripts install the agent, connect the Azure Arc-enabled resource to the correct tenant, etc.

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