How a Cloud Architecture Review can help you improve workloads on Azure

 In Azure, Cloud

Microsoft Azure releases thousands of updates and new features every year. If you’re like most organizations, you have trouble keeping up.

At the same time, you want to make sure you’re taking full advantage of your workloads. You want to make sure your infrastructure is best aligned for future updates. How can you keep up and make the right choices?

That’s where an Azure Architecture Review comes into play.

Designed around the Azure Structured and Design Review Framework and Azure Onboarding Guide for IT Organizations, the Cloud Architecture Review for Azure helps your organization build and operate a reliable, secure, and efficient cloud infrastructure.

It gives your organization a framework to evaluate modern technologies and services that will improve the future versions of your workloads. By reviewing applications already deployed in Azure, the Cloud Architecture Review shows how those applications align with best practices based on five framework pillars:

  1. Availability: How resilient is an application and how can it be recovered? Do you perform failover testing and have a plan in place to deal with any outages or a component failure within an architecture? The review will examine how your teams handle these situations, what measures you have in place, and what technical safeguards are available to protect workloads.
  2. Scalability and performance: Determine your ability to use computing resources efficiently to meet system requirements and to maintain that efficiency as demands change. This addresses how an application can scale and grow.
  3. Security: Identify information assets and systems including integrity of data, identity management, and access policies. Harness a depth of protection through multi-layered security controls. How proactive are you being with your security? Have you separated your workloads? Are you patching? Utilize the Azure security best practices guide to answer these questions and more.
  4. Operations and management: Leverage a set of processes and procedures to integrate development and quality assurance, as well as manage and monitor system operations into a unified culture.
  5. Cost optimization: Prevent unnecessary spending to meet business needs through a detailed cost analysis by looking at questions like: How are you selecting your services? How do you monitor usage and spending? Are you taking advantage of Microsoft offerings?

The benefits of the Cloud Architecture Review

We touched on the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Well-Architected Review in a previous post. Azure, as you might expect, relies on a different framework than AWS. Therefore, its review is also going to be different.

Azure tends to be more application and platform focused than AWS. As such, the Cloud Architecture Review for Azure aligns more toward the operating side of things. It looks at the design of the cloud and what the workload is, while touching on management and DevOps components.

The Cloud Architecture Review for Azure lets you understand the pros and cons of your decisions while building systems on Azure. Other benefits include:

  • Benchmarking your architecture using well-defined frameworks
  • Analyzing results with financial and technical concerns in mind
  • Allowing for evolutionary architectures through funding

Every Cloud Architecture Review you perform gives you the opportunity to improve your infrastructure within the cloud. By evaluating workloads already deployed on Azure against best practices, the Cloud Architecture review offers technical validation about the infrastructure, determines any potential pitfalls, and helps you create the best plan for the future.

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