If you are reading this, you’re likely familiar with Azure’s cloud solution advantages. Now think how powerful it would be if you could tie them together with the enhancements of the Cloudify platform. You’ll be able to create one great Azure deployment automation solution. It would take advantage of everything you love about Azure while not getting in the way when you move your workloads between private, public, and hybrid clouds. The newly upgraded Cloudify, Azure, and Azure Stack integration provide you with precisely that.
Current State of Azure Cloud Automation
Azure is a powerful platform for DevOps, but it can be challenging to automate. There are some challenges you will face when trying to make your automated processes work with Azure resources:
Azure does not have a Built-in Way to Deploy Applications from Code
It has no equivalent of Docker or Kubernetes container orchestrators like Docker Swarm. Instead, you have to use something like CloudFormation or Terraform (which may be difficult because they are limited in resources they can manage).
Azure does not have a Built-in Way to Manage Resource
Azure needs a built-in way to manage resources like databases and storage that make up your application architecture on top of IaaS services such as virtual machines, persistent disks, and load balancers.
You must either use third-party tools that integrate with Azure automation actions (e.g., Terraform) or run them separately from whatever toolchain you use for deployment. Otherwise, there won’t be any connection between those two parts!
Why Automate Deployment?
One of the best things about how to automate deployment in Azure is that the process is flexible. You can create automated deployments for various resources, including virtual machines, websites, and databases. You can also use PowerShell scripts to manage your environments. And when it comes to deploying code, there are many benefits of using automation:
You Want to Reduce Human Error When Deploying Your Application
When you’re deploying manually, it’s easy for a mistake to go unnoticed until it’s too late. If there’s an error in your script, you may be unable to fix it quickly enough to save yourself from downtime implications.
You Want to Increase Repeatability
Automation frees up time for manual testing and other tasks that machines can’t do as quickly (yet). The more repeatable your deployments are, the more likely they will succeed every time and the less likely they will fail unexpectedly during manual testing or production use.
You want greater visibility into what happened during a deployment failure so that you can identify and fix the root cause more quickly in future attempts at deployment.
Why Use Cloudify with Azure and Azure Stack?
Azure Stack is an extension of Azure that runs in your own data center. It allows you to develop, test, and deploy applications using containers and serverless computing technologies.
As your business grows, Azure Stack helps you scale up to support many users without rewriting your application.
Azure Stack provides a consistent experience across all deployment models:
- Azure Resource Manager (ARM)
- Azure Service Management (ASM)
- Deployment model
You can use the same tools and APIs to manage your resources in Azure Stack as you would in Azure.
Azure Stack provides an experience similar to the public cloud, but it’s built for the unique needs of your business. For example:
- A single pane of glass for those who want to know how to automate Azure resources in their environment
- End-to-end encryption at rest and in transit so only authorized people have access to sensitive data
- A consistent hybrid experience that lets you seamlessly move applications between on-premises and Azure
- Highly scalable infrastructure that supports thousands of virtual machines (VMs) with single-digit millisecond response times for compute-intensive applications like SQL Server or SAP HANA
Benefits of Azure Cloud Automation with Cloudify
Azure is a big part of the Cloudify story. Cloudify upgraded its offering to support Azure ARM templates and Azure DevOps.
Azure Stack is based on an open-source Cloud Foundry platform. It makes for easy automated deployment on Azure hybrid cloud and management of applications in the cloud.
Cloudify allows you to deploy complex applications on any cloud platform and automate their lifecycle while taking advantage of native capabilities such as auto-scaling and application blueprints.
The combination of these two powerful technologies unlocks new possibilities for upscale DevOps operations on Azure without compromising security or cost efficiency. The unique benefits of Cloudify for Azure & Azure Stack users include the following:
- Intent-Based Orchestration & Management
Cloudify allows users to specify their intent first, then automate it end-to-end through pre-built domain-specific workflows called Blueprints. Cloudify supports both stateless and stateful applications with a rich set of built-in blueprints for each type.
This approach allows developers to focus on writing code instead of worrying about how to deploy it into production or manage its lifecycle over time.
- Open and Pluggable Framework of Hardware, IAAS, Networking and Applications
Cloudify provides an open architecture that enables you to integrate with any cloud platform or technology stack. Use the out-of-the-box integrations or extend them with the Azure Cloudify plugins to connect to your preferred services.
Cloudify also supports a wide range of hardware platforms and networking products, making it easy to integrate on-premise infrastructure with public cloud resources.
- Optimized for Azure Cloud and Stack
Cloudify is optimized to manage Azure Cloud and Azure Stack environments, so you can easily automate all your processes, from provisioning through development and testing through production operations.
You can also use tools like Ansible or Terraform alongside Cloudify to further increase your DevOps automation capabilities!
- Multi-cloud Orchestration
Cloudify supports multiple clouds, including AWS, Google Cloud Platform (GCP), Azure, and OpenStack clouds. Furthermore, it supports multi-layer architectures that allow you to layer your applications across different cloud providers or even on-premises servers.
- Easy Integration with Existing CI/CD Pipeline
The Cloudify Orchestrator has a pluggable architecture that allows users to integrate it with existing CI/CD tools such as Jenkins or GitLab.
This enables continuous integration testing within a single toolchain. Additionally, Cloudify can be integrated with a wide range of other tools, including Ansible playbooks and Docker images.
Cloudify’s deployment architecture works effectively within the Azure Stack and helps maximize the advantages of the entire range of Azure services. Through this combination of management layer for the Microsoft ecosystem (Azure, Azure Stack) and powerful higher-level orchestration, Azure Stack can effectively deploy and manage hybrid multi-cloud architectures ranging in size from a single-VM deployment to multi-site, multi-tier applications.