Microsoft Arc has been announced at Microsoft Ignite and it looks like it could be quite the game changer. Microsoft say that it “enables deployment of Azure services anywhere and extends Azure management to any infrastructure” across “across on-premises, edge and multicloud”.
The concept is pretty clever – it will allow certain Azure services to run in a variety of places, including on-premises hardware – both Azure Stack and seemingly regular customer hardware – but also other clouds like Amazon AWS and Google Cloud Platform!
Multi-cloud is the concept of an organisation having multiple public clouds (Azure, AWS, GCP etc.) in use at the same time and, while many say it isn’t necessary – and even more say it isn’t a good idea – it’s already reality for many companies around the world. That being the case, anything to help make it easier and more secure to manage is a positive for customers…but I’m really intrigued to see what Amazon and Google make of this! What measures will they put in place to prevent or discourage customers from using Azure Arc within their datacentres?
Microsoft are talking about “Azure data services anywhere”, which looks to be based on a Kubernetes container platform. Some of the benefits Microsoft tout include:
- Unified Management
- Consistent cloud billing model
- Consistent governance
- Unique security tools like Azure Threat Protection
Currently Azure SQL Database and Azure Database for PostgreSQL Hyperscale are available for private preview on Azure Arc – although this Microsoft site:
only talks about them being available on-premises. It does however mention that SQL Server customers will be able to “leverage their existing licensing investments” to use SQL on Azure Arc, which suggests a future widening of the Azure Hybrid Benefits available through Software Assurance.
This is definitely one to keep an eye on over the next few months as it goes through private preview, then public preview, and finally out into general availability.