How to Easily Automate Azure Infrastructure Tasks

Author: Guy Nadivi

Although AWS is currently the 800lb gorilla in the cloud, Azure is its fastest-growing competitor. The work-from-home mandate due to the COVID-19 pandemic, seems to be accelerating a migration to the cloud for many enterprises, and that means more and more infrastructure tasks will need to be done on platforms like Azure.

The Ayehu NG platform integrates with cloud computing environments like Azure and AWS, so it can mitigate the need to manually perform a lot of those critical yet mundane tasks associated with managing an Azure cloud instance.

The cloud computing market is growing very fast.

According to research firm MarketsAndMarkets, in this crazy year of 2020, the cloud computing market’s size will hit over $371 Billion!

In just 5 years though, they forecast the market size will more than double – hitting over $832 billion by 2025.

That represents a healthy 17.5% compound annual growth rate. Not too bad.

And that report from MarketsAndMarkets contains an interesting quote:

“Increased automation and agility is expected to drive the cloud computing market.”

So automation actually has a dual role, both as a contributor to growth of the cloud computing market, and as a solution for making it easier to manage.

Just for the sake of comparison, I want to show you this chart I grabbed off of comparing all the major cloud service providers, including AWS, Microsoft, Google, IBM, etc.

The bottom row of the chart represents market share for AWS. As you can see, since Q2 of 2017, their market share hasn’t changed much. Three years ago, it was 34%, and last quarter it was 33%, so they’ve remained pretty steady.

Now look at Azure. Starting from the same time period, we can see that Azure went from 11% market share in Q2 of 2017, to 18% as of last quarter, Q2 of 2020.

No other individual provider has grown that much in that short a timeframe.

Not only is the Cloud Services market growing, but Azure’s share of that market is growing faster than anyone else’s.

Azure’s global footprint is large, and continues to grow.

They currently boast over 60 regions, which they define as “…a set of datacenters, deployed within a latency-defined perimeter and connected through a dedicated regional low-latency network.” They also claim to have more global regions than any other cloud provider.

Azure also currently has over 160 physical data centers within those 60 regions. I don’t think I need to define what data centers are, so suffice it to say, they’ve got a lot of capacity.

Within those 60+ regions and 160+ data centers, Azure provides customers 22 different categories of service. There’s a really broad diversity among those services, as you can see in the graphic below. The number in parentheses on each hexagon represents the number of services in each category.

As of today, there’s a grand total of 277 services offered that Microsoft lists on Azure’s website.

Here’s a sampling for some of the specific services you’ll find in 4 of the most popular service categories.

Under the Compute category, there are services for VMs, SQL Server, and Containers.

The Storage category includes services for Backups, BLOBs, and Data Lakes.

If you need Network services, Microsoft offers Traffic Management, Load Balancing, and Firewalls.

And in the ever-critical Security category, you’ll find services for Active Directory, Key Vault, and VPN Gateway.

Now I suspect that most (if not all) of you reading this probably already knew about Microsoft’s many service offerings, the diversity of services they offer, their global data center foot print, and even their market share. So why am I going over all of this?

The reason why is because all of that massive computing capability Azure makes available to you, also requires a massive amount of often manual administrative tasks to be executed in order for your Azure instance to run smoothly. Which brings up the question – What percentage of Azure tasks can be automated?

As long as a task can be accessed through an API, and as far as we know the vast majority of Azure tasks can be, then you can automate that given task with Ayehu NG. We estimate that at least 90% of Azure tasks can be automated. Which means that as you grow your enterprise footprint on Azure, and as you increase the variety of Azure services you subscribe to, there is a solution for scaling your system administration capabilities in parallel that just might mitigate the need to increase headcount. That solution is available right now and can be plugged into your Azure instance within minutes of downloading.

One more thing to keep in mind. As your Azure footprint grows, and your volume of user demands expands, the number of tasks you’ll need to perform will increase as well. That will make it progressively more difficult for your staff to keep up, for one very simple reason – people don’t scale very well.

Even the very best Azure SysAdmins can only do so much. At some point, automation has got to absorb more and more of the repetitive, tedious, laborious tasks all this growth in cloud computing usage creates. The alternative will be trying to hire your way out of this dilemma, and that will prove to be far more expensive than adopting automation.

If you’re interested in test driving Ayehu NG and seeing for yourself how easily you can automate your own Azure infrastructure tasks, please visit our website or click here to download your very own free 30-day trial version today.

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