Azure Landing Zone What Is It and Why You Need It Shanawaz sheriff February 2, 2022

Azure Landing Zone What Is It and Why You Need It

Azure landing zone

$482 billion.
That’s the figure that Gartner has estimated for global spending on cloud services in 2022.

In 2020, this figure was at $313 billion. That’s a 53% growth in two years!

These numbers represent a seismic shift towards cloud adoption. Organizations are experiencing a range of benefits in exchange for such heavy investments in their cloud migration infrastructure. A majority of this spending, if allocated towards foundational methodologies and tools, will reap high returns for any organization looking to migrate to the cloud.

One of these methodologies is the Azure Landing Zone.

Azure Landing Zone: What Is It?

Cloud services are often really easy to deploy – literally at the click of a button. But in an enterprise environment, this could lead to questions and challenges. Organizations deploying cloud services need to know if they are doing so in a secured manner and whether or not they are following regulatory compliances. There are also questions on the availability and cost optimization of services. Organizations must think about best practices and governance when deploying cloud services.

Microsoft solves many of these questions and challenges through what they call the Azure Landing Zone – a critical component of the Cloud Adoption Framework. According to Microsoft, “Azure landing zones are the output of a multi-subscription Azure environment that accounts for scale, security governance, networking, and identity. Azure landing zones enable application migration, modernization, and innovation at enterprise-scale in Azure. These zones consider all platform resources that are required to support the customer’s application portfolio and don’t differentiate between infrastructure as a service or platform as a service.”

Azure Landing Zone delivers configurations as a starting point, a foundation for what enterprises must build for their applications and workloads as they kick off their cloud journey. Azure Landing Zone is a usually empty Azure subscription which includes foundational Azure services such as management groups and subscriptions, hybrid network connectivity, logging, and security policies. It delivers a framework for the organization deploying cloud to efficiently perform and manage cloud migration. Within a landing zone, organizations have critical parameters or guardrails that determine how to use and deploy data and applications in the cloud.

A functional Azure Landing Zone constitutes a streamlined framework of rules and regulations, guidelines, and policies for hosting options as you migrate to the cloud. Once you have understood the tenets of cloud migration and how they are placed vis-à-vis your organization, you can focus on building a Landing Zone.

Think of it as a place where everything comes together in one place. You can view your subscriptions and the costs attached to every cloud initiative you take, among other considerations, and customize it based on connectivity, resource organization, and network topology.

Why Do You Need Azure Landing Zones?

You will need a robust Landing Zone to carry out application migrations and other processes of your cloud portfolio. It will provide you with the guardrails required to regulate the usage of data in the cloud environment and also answer some concerns such as:

  • How will our resources connect to each other, and how can we organize them in an optimized manner?
  • How will we carry out identity management?
  • What tools do we need to develop a governance strategy and make policy decisions? Azure provides blueprints to help with this, such as the Azure Resource Manager Template.
  • How will we address the most significant cloud migration challenges?

You can fulfill the following goals by incorporating the relevant frameworks that will build your Landing Zone:

  • Ensuring that the computing decisions related to your workloads are in line with the purpose of the Landing Zone.
  •  Implementing robust storage and database solutions that support your workloads.

Since the Landing Zone gets automatically created based on the parameters you want to prioritize, there’s

lots of flexibility in terms of adding and removing design areas and customizing the framework.

In addition, a cloud environment can contain hundreds of Azure subscriptions, and a Landing Zone helps standardize all of them.

Further, an organization also needs a Landing Zone to minimize the compliance burden stemming from its IT requirements. For example, consider an organization with developers that have created disparate applications that are incompatible with each other or do not comply with the safety mechanisms and obligations related to IT law.

In such a case, it will require human intervention to synchronize everything. But since compliance requirements will be an integral part of the environment with a Landing Zone, this situation need not arise.

From a cost-cutting perspective, you will not have to worry about drawing up complex SOPs and ensuring that your team complies; the Landing Zone will do that for you, thus allowing you to reallocate your time and resources to more critical business decisions.

Depending on your cost considerations and the extent to which you want to adopt cloud capabilities, you must incorporate cost configurations for each Landing Zone.

Therefore, you need a Landing Zone for smooth implementation of your cloud infrastructure.

Some Benefits You Need to Know About

One of the main twin benefits of Azure Landing Zones is that they are scalable, i.e., your cloud adoption journey doesn’t have to be a bumpy ride. The ecosystem is reproducible, even if the actual resources within one Landing Zone differ from the other. Creating a Landing Zone is fast, and you can deploy them at scale depending on your organization’s requirements.

In addition, Azure Landing Zones are based on a standard modular architecture compatible with a broad scope of technology platforms. Therefore, not only is it scalable, it is versatile in its functioning, thus allowing you to tailor it not just as per scale but also according to the particular technologies you want to make use of.

With the Azure Landing Zone taking care of deployment considerations, you can focus on innovating and experimenting for your business.

Here's a checklist of benefits:

  • Automated environmental setup can take just a few minutes without requiring heavy expertise, especially if they are API-driven
  • Long-term management of multi-account ecosystems in a seamless manner
  • The agility of workloads due to reduced deployment times, which lends to easy scalability
  • Secured workloads due to streamlined compliance requirements that are embedded in the Landing Zone
  • Ability to manage myriad technologies and workloads

How Do You Go About Building Landing Zones?

The first step is to take stock of your organization’s cloud environment and cloud capabilities, including the current cost breakups. Next, consider who will benefit from a Landing Zone and why exactly you need it.

Once you have concrete goals in mind, you can activate the life cycle of implementing a Landing Zone, which would involve strategizing what your Landing Zone will include and then its deployment. You can make use of the Azure Cloud Adoption Framework, which helps define and implement optimal cloud adoption strategies.

After this comes operating the Landing Zone, which is not a static process since your requirements, workloads, and commitments will change now and then. You may have to constantly update the Landing Zone depending on when you add new applications and workloads. Azure’s robustness and flexibility when it comes to Landing Zone configurations will make this stage seamless.

With a partner to help through this process, you can have your Landing Zones set up in no time!

What Comes Next?

Cloud migration is not an easy task. Setting up the Landing Zone is crucial to organize and optimize your workloads. Though the lifecycle of a Landing Zone seems like just three steps, there are endless variables that require detailed insights.

To know more about how you can save substantial time and money with an optimized Azure Landing Zone, give us a shout!