Work with Azure Blueprints to design and deploy Governed Azure Environments

Traditionally, Blueprints are used by architects and engineers to design and build new things. Blueprints are used to ensure that final product are built up to very specifications as laid out and are in the compliance with certain standards and requirements.

Azure Blueprints are used in the same way as traditional blueprints. Using Azure Blueprints, cloud architects and IT groups can design and deploy azure resources repeatedly that adhere to organizational standards, requirements and patterns. By leveraging Azure Blueprints, cloud architects can quickly build and deploy new environments that are always compliant ready. Using Azure Blueprints, teams can deploy new Azure Environments, with a set of built-in Azure Resources, with a trust that they are deploying in accordance with standards and compliance.

What does Azure Blueprints Consists

Blueprints are a declarative way to orchestrate the deployment of various resource templates and other artifacts such as:

  1. Role Assignments
  2. Policy Assignments
  3. Azure Resource Manager templates
  4. Resource Groups

Azure Blueprint packages all above information into one single package which can be used to consistently deploy the defined resources and at scale.

The Azure Blueprints service is backed by the globally distributed Azure Cosmos DB. Blueprint objects are replicated to multiple Azure regions. This replication provides low latency, high availability, and consistent access to your blueprint objects, regardless of which region Blueprints deploys your resources to.

Benefits of using Azure Blueprints

There are so many features and benefits associated with Azure Blueprints that it is hard to get started. But we do need to start somewhere. Some of the key benefits of using Azure Blueprints are as below:

Easily create, deploy and update compliant environments

Azure Blueprints simplify large scale Azure deployments by packaging key environment artifacts, such as Azure Resource Manager templates, role-based access controls and policies, in a single blueprint definition. One can easily apply the blueprint to new subscriptions / management groups and environments and fine-tune control and management through versioning.

Streamline environment creation

Not only you can use Azure Blueprints to create a single compliant package, you can also deploy blueprints to multiple subscriptions with a single click. You can also manage blueprints from a central location and track blueprint versions to push updates.

Enable compliant development

Azure Blueprints help in speeding up of the compliant applications to production through a self-service model and easily deploy compliant environments matched to production standards. One can use blank templates for custom blueprints or use built-in blueprints for compliance with common internal scenarios and external regulations like ISO 27001.

Lock foundational resources

You can avoid unwanted changes and misconfigurations, even by subscription owners, that could affect multiple applications. With resource locking, you can limit access to key infrastructure that is shared across subscriptions. Protect resources that the blueprint is governing and configure exceptions to match your specific needs.

Create your landing zone for migrating to Azure

Accelerate migration by easily deploying a fully governed landing zone, without the need for external cloud architects or engagements. Reuse cloud-based blueprints for future environments or use built-in blueprints to set up ISO-compliant foundational architectures.

What about the cost?

In-tune with other Azure Governance services like Azure Policies, Management Groups, etc., Azure Blueprints are free as of writing of this blog post. However, the caveat is that Microsoft will not provide a financially backed SLA, which is understood since they are not charging anything in first place.

Summary and Notes

With so many benefits available from Azure Blueprints, there is no reason not to use it for managing and Governing Azure. It is of further importance to the Organizations that have multiple Azure Subscriptions and those who are using Azure at a scale.

Further read: https://azure.microsoft.com/en-in/services/blueprints/

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