The Azure cloud offers extensive hybrid cloud management capabilities that extend to your on-premises data center. These tools include identity management, migration tools, networking tools, and single sign-on (SSO). Hybrid storage devices can also be deployed on-premises.
What Is a Hybrid Cloud?
A hybrid cloud is one that combines both public and private cloud computing environments. These clouds share data, workloads, and applications to create a unified environment. Hybrid clouds allow you to scale workloads, and “burst”, into the public cloud when your private cloud is full.
Hybrid clouds allow you to separate how and where data will be shared, and prevent all of your data from being stored in one public cloud. A hybrid cloud allows you to take advantage of the flexibility and scalability of a public cloud while still protecting your business-critical data.
Azure Hybrid Cloud Features
Azure provides services that will help you to connect your Azure private cloud to their public services in order for you to reap the benefits of a hybrid cloud. These services offer a range of useful features.
You can seamlessly run applications across cloud, on-premises, and edge environments
Azure allows you to run your applications as-is or refactor them to take advantage of cloud portability and scalability. You can also create cloud-native apps.
Azure Hybrid Cloud helps you support your applications by enabling:
- You can run hybrid apps on-premise- Azure Stack HCI allows you to use hybrid applications in your own environment. This service allows you to run applications in virtualized environments. This service allows you to reap the cloud benefits, while still maintaining regulatory compliance and connectivity.
- Migrate applications to the cloud- Azure provides tools to migrate apps to your public cloud. Azure also offers the Azure hybrid benefit program that allows you to transfer existing SQL Server or Windows Server licenses.
- Allow edge and disconnected situations- you have the option to use Azure edge technologies to run workloads at the edge of your network. This allows you to offer consistent experiences for all users, regardless of Internet connectivity.
- Enable DevOps Workflows- Azure DevOps provides cloud-native tools for DevOps processes. Many of the tools that you already use can be integrated and connected to the cloud and on-premise pipelines. This allows for continuous integration and continuous delivery.
Manage, migrate, and analyze data in your hybrid cloud
Azure offers access to high-performance resources, as well as enterprise-grade availability and security. Azure also provides tools for automated migration and advanced analytics. These tools make managing and moving your data simple and secure. Azure SQL Database Management Instances, for example, allows you to transfer SQL workloads to the cloud with no code changes.
Create a hybrid network that is highly available, fast, and secure
You can create a hybrid Azure cloud to access one of the most extensive global networks. Azure ExpressRoute can be used to optimize connections up to 100 Gbps. Azure Virtual WAN allows you to connect to thousands of endpoints and users with managed connectivity.
Azure Firewall and DDoS Protection are available to secure your connections. Azure Front Door Service is also available, which offers a flexible and secure entry point for your users.
Access all your accounts from one identity platform
Azure offers secure single sign-on (SSO), which allows you to manage your users from any location, including cloud, mobile, and on-premise. You can combine identity management across all environments by federating Active Directory and Azure AD. This centralizes identity management, promotes standard access, and permits.
Ensure security throughout your company
The Azure infrastructure is protected with enterprise-grade security measures. This expertise is available to you when you create a hybrid cloud using Azure. There are many security services that can be used to monitor, encrypt, and control access across your environments.
The Azure Security Center dashboard, for example, can give you a central view of your security status. Azure Sentinel is another example of how AI and automation can be used to protect systems and data.
Building Blocks of the Azure Hybrid Cloud Solution
You need to combine multiple services in order for an Azure hybrid cloud system to work optimally. These services can be used in conjunction with security and networking measures. Here are some of the most popular services:
- Azure Arc – allows you to extend Azure management tools to any architecture. It allows you to manage Azure data services across all your environments.
- Azure Stack – allows you to create, deploy, and manage cloud-compatible apps across multiple environments. These applications can be operated online or offline.
- Azure IoT edge – A fully managed service that allows you to run workloads on IoT edge devices. These workloads can be run on the edge to reduce communication delays and enable offline operations.
- Azure WebSphere – provides complete security for IoT devices. It allows you to secure privacy, data, infrastructure, and devices while also ensuring their physical safety.
- Azure StorSimple – Azure is a set of devices that can be deployed on-premise to synchronize data with the Azure cloud. There are three options for deploying devices: StorSimple Virtual Array, StorSimple Physical Array, and Cloud Appliance.
How the Azure Hybrid Cloud Architecture works
You can choose from a variety of Microsoft Azure cloud architectures to create a hybrid cloud environment, depending on the needs of your infrastructure.
Hybrid Cloud and Azure Stack
You can create a Virtual Private Network tunnel to connect Azure Stack architecture to create hybrid clouds. This tunnel allows communication between components on-premises and in the public cloud. You can make sure that applications and users use the same security settings across all environments with hybrid identity management. This combination of security and connectivity allows you to run your workloads on-premise or in the cloud without any application changes.
Modern Data Warehouse Architecture
Azure Data Factory is a data warehouse that you can use to create your hybrid cloud. Data Factory allows you to schedule and manage data processing workflows across multiple environments. Data Factory provides advanced analytics, dashboards, and operational reports to help you manage and monitor these workflows.
The following describes how data flows in a hybrid warehouse:
- Data Factory allows you to combine data in Azure Blob Storage. This refers to structured, semi-structured, and unstructured data.
- Azure Databricks analytics services allow you to cleanse and transform data stored in Blob Storage.
- After your data has been processed, you can transfer it to Azure Synapse Analytics for a combined data hub. Databricks and Synapse Analytics have native connectivity that allows you to move and access data quickly and easily.
- Azure Data Warehouse is your hub and you can create operational dashboards and reports from your data. These tools allow you to draw data insights and provide insights to your users using Azure Analysis Services.
Connect on-premises Networks with Azure
Connecting on-premise networks with your Azure environment is another option. This can be done using either ExpressRoute or a VPN gateway.
VPN Gateway – Communication between the on-premises and Azure components occurs through a secure IPSec VPN tunnel. This tunnel is managed with Azure Virtual Network (VNet).
ExpressRoute – Communication between Express Route on-premises and Azure components occurs through a third-party connectivity provider. This connection is secure and specific to your environment.