Azure landing zone is a cloud infrastructure framework that provides guidance and best practices for the setup, configuration, and governance of an organisation’s Azure environment. It is designed to help organisations build a scalable, secure, and compliant cloud infrastructure that meets their specific business requirements. In this article, we will discuss what an Azure landing zone is, its benefits, and how to implement it.
What is Azure landing zone?
Azure landing zone is a framework that provides a standardised approach for setting up an organisation’s cloud infrastructure on Azure. It is a set of design principles, best practices, and configuration scripts that help organisations deploy and manage their Azure environment efficiently. Azure landing zone provides a foundation for the governance, security, networking, and management of an organisation’s Azure resources. It is designed to be flexible, customisable, and scalable to meet the needs of any organisation, regardless of its size or complexity.
Benefits of Azure landing zone
Azure landing zone provides several benefits for organizations looking to build and manage a cloud infrastructure on Azure. Let’s take a closer look at some of the key benefits of Azure landing zone:
- Scalability: Azure landing zone is designed to provide a scalable infrastructure that can grow with your organisation’s needs. It offers a standardised approach to resource management, which makes it easier to add new resources and services to your environment. By using Azure landing zone, organisations can quickly spin up new environments and applications, making it easier to support business growth.
- Security: Security is a top priority for any cloud infrastructure. Azure landing zone provides a standardized approach to security, ensuring that your environment is secure by default. It includes security best practices such as identity and access management, network security, and data protection. Azure landing zone also includes features such as Azure Security Center, which provides a centralised view of security recommendations and alerts across all your Azure resources.
- Compliance: Compliance is a critical consideration for many organisations, particularly those in regulated industries. Azure landing zone is designed to help organisations achieve compliance with regulatory requirements such as HIPAA, GDPR, and ISO 27001. It provides a standardised approach to compliance, making it easier for organizations to maintain compliance in their Azure environment. Azure landing zone includes features such as Azure Policy and Azure Blueprints, which can help organizations enforce compliance requirements across their Azure resources.
- Cost optimisation: Azure landing zone helps organisations optimize their cloud costs by providing best practices for resource management, monitoring, and reporting. It includes tools such as Azure Policy, which can help organizations enforce cost-saving measures such as resource tagging and resource quotas. Azure landing zone also includes features such as Azure Cost Management, which provides insights into your Azure spending and helps identify areas where you can reduce costs.
- Governance: Governance is an essential aspect of managing a cloud infrastructure. Azure landing zone provides a centralised governance model for managing Azure resources. It includes best practices for resource organisation, resource tagging, and RBAC (role-based access control). Azure landing zone also includes features such as Azure Policy and Azure Blueprints, which can help organisations enforce governance policies across their Azure resources.
How to implement Azure landing zone
Implementing an Azure landing zone involves several steps. Here is a high-level overview of the steps involved in implementing an Azure landing zone:
- Define landing zone requirements: The first step in implementing an Azure landing zone is to define the landing zone requirements. This involves identifying the goals and objectives of the landing zone and determining the specific resources and services that will be required to meet those goals. This step also involves defining policies for security, compliance, governance, and cost optimization.
- Choose a landing zone architecture: The next step is to choose a landing zone architecture that aligns with your organization’s requirements. Azure provides several landing zone architectures, including Enterprise-Scale Landing Zone, Hub-Spoke Landing Zone, and Flat Landing Zone. Each architecture has its own set of benefits and trade-offs, and the right choice will depend on your organization’s specific needs.
- Create a landing zone subscription: Once you have chosen a landing zone architecture, the next step is to create a landing zone subscription. A landing zone subscription is a dedicated subscription that is used to manage the landing zone resources. This subscription should be created using Azure Resource Manager (ARM) templates to ensure that it adheres to the defined policies and standards.
- Deploy a foundation landing zone: The foundation landing zone is the core building block of the Azure landing zone. It includes the core infrastructure services, such as networking, identity, and security, that are required to support other landing zone resources. The foundation landing zone should be deployed using ARM templates to ensure consistency and adherence to policies and standards.
- Deploy landing zone management services: Once the foundation landing zone is in place, the next step is to deploy the landing zone management services. These services include tools and services for managing the landing zone, such as Azure Policy, Azure Monitor, and Azure Blueprints. These services should be deployed using ARM templates to ensure consistency and adherence to policies and standards.
- Deploy landing zone workloads: The next step is to deploy landing zone workloads. These are the applications and services that run on top of the landing zone infrastructure. These workloads should be deployed using ARM templates or other automated deployment methods to ensure consistency and adherence to policies and standards.
- Govern and optimise: The final step is to govern and optimise your Azure landing zone. This involves monitoring your environment, enforcing policies, and optimising your resource usage to minimise costs.
Azure landing zone is a framework that provides guidance and best practices for building a scalable, secure, and compliant cloud infrastructure on Azure. It is designed to help organisations deploy and manage their Azure environment efficiently. Azure landing zone provides many benefits, including scalability, security, compliance, cost optimisation, and governance. Implementing Azure landing zone involves several steps, including planning and design, deploying core infrastructure, deploying shared services, deploying workload infrastructure, and governing and optimising your environment.