This means Microsoft recognises that organisations are not planning to stick to a single public or private cloud. Although they do not say this literally, Microsoft understands that companies will typically use a combination of Azure, AWS, Google and the likes while at the same time running resources on premise using VMware, Azure Stack and similar solutions. Likely these systems are running on different types of hardware as well, plus various kinds of edge devices on top of that.
Now of course in an ideal world for Microsoft, this will all be running inside the Microsoft cloud. But since we're not living in an ideal world, Microsoft has come up with a plan to better integrate and basically glue these different clouds together. This glue is called Azure Arc and it means that, as long as you're happy to use the Azure Management tools, you can now manage your entire infrastructure with the tools you are already familiar with.
Azure Arc in Practice
Now how will this look like in practice? Well, some of this is still very much unsure, as a lot of the Arc functionality is still in preview mode and there isn’t a lot of documentation available at this time. But as it stands today, there will be integrations available for VMware, Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud. You might however need to deploy a special software agent on those resources that are deployed outside of the Microsoft cloud. That will be something to be aware of as customers might be faced with additional software deployment and network connectivity hurdles.
Azure Arc Billing
Additionally if you are running and managing resources across multiple clouds that are not Microsoft branded, you will not get a single pane of glass to fulfill your hybrid cloud billing and chargeback requirements. If you are already an Exivity user however, you will be able to achieve this single pane of glass across all of your clouds enabling all of your cost and usage reporting needs. On top of that, Exivity is also able to integrate with Azure Arc API's using the available Azure usage integration templates. If you are a preview user of Azure Arc, feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org in case you want to learn how we can enable your centralized view on hybrid cloud costs. Or simply fill in the form below.