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Azure – Go Configure!

Author: Howard M. Cohen

Remember servers?

So many layers of management required there, from the bottom up!

Keeping the power constant and consistent. Keeping the hardware running. Keeping the vents clear so the server doesn’t overheat. Maintain a cool room temperature. Keeping the operating system software properly configured and tuned. Minding the MIB to keep SNMP running smoothly. Managing applications. Managing backup. Managing applications.

“Ah-hah,” you may have thought, “but when we move to cloud, we won’t have to worry about any of that anymore!!”

Well, not so much.

Cloud Computing Requires Your Attention, Too

How often do the needs of your business change? Daily? Perhaps not that frequently, but change is the one constant of business operations. And as your business changes, so must your computing and data estate. It’s unavoidable. Many of the changes your business experiences must be accommodated by changes to the configuration of the cloud services you’ve come to depend upon.

Changes in usage patterns also impact your cloud configurations. As you add or remove more users, or some users expand their responsibilities, the configuration of various cloud services may require attention and adjustment.

Are You Getting the Most for your Money?

If you’re not asking this question, you can rest assured that your CFO is. One of the most important components of cloud computing is cost. The whole strategy was built around reducing the cost of computing operations, so you always want to assure that you’re operating at peak efficiency, and peak cost-efficiency!

From the user’s perspective that translates to availability. If they turn to your cloud to spin up new services for an application they’re developing, or a process they’re testing, or a new production service, they absolutely expect they will instantly get what they’re asking for. Who is watching carefully to keep all cloud services available at all times? Hint: it can’t be a human being. There’s just too much to keep an eye on.

Non-compliant or underperforming processes also bleed budget, and they do so unnecessarily. If you don’t spot them early, they keep costing you more and more.

And when you make broad changes, be sure your managers start by establishing performance baselines, and are using role-based access controls (RBAC) and other strategies meant to reduce the time and labor required to keep everything functioning optimally.

Things Will Happen That Require Remediation

Murphy’s Law, anything that can go wrong will go wrong at the very worst time, applies as much in the cloud as anywhere else. You need to be ready to remediate when they do.

At times, the best solution is to modify your baseline configurations. When you ask yourself how many virtual machines (VM) you’re managing in Azure you’ll find yourself wishing for the ability to modify all those VMs centrally without having to visit each one individually. Same goes for system updates and patching. You’ll be looking for available automation. In the course of any normal day you may find several of these challenges facing you simultaneously, and you’ll wish for help in prioritizing which ones you’re going to attack first.

And you thought you’d have so little to manage when you moved to Azure.

The Solution is Simple When You Partner with Idenxt

Idenxt has been developed by a group of people who have faced all of these problems and more many times over the years. They’ve come together and built a management engine that responds to all the wishes we’ve described above.

Idenxt actively maintains your configuration every operating day and every adjustment corresponds to the specific and changing needs of your business. AI within Idenxt is constantly watching how your users employ their Azure resources and adjusts configurations to optimize their user experience. When configuration modifications are required across numerous or all VMs, Idenxt provides the centralized modification you’ve only dreamt of. Even if your operators never used RBAC, Idenxt identifies and classifies groups appropriately and manages all users contained in each group simultaneously

Idenxt has been developed to preserve your most important priorities on Azure, optimized performance, constant availability, and minimum operating cost.

When patches or updates are required, Idenxt pushes them out to wherever they are needed. When it identifies configurations that don’t align with your governance, or are underperforming, Idenxt identifies and remediates them, following prioritization rules established in advance by your team.

Vigilance

When using Azure to serve your data estate the most important characteristic you want at work is vigilance, constant attention to detail, every detail, and rapid response and remediation whenever and wherever needed.

Idenxt is designed to deliver that vigilance and to move most expeditiously to keep your entire Azure environment performing at its peak.

Effective cloud management may not be effortless, but with Idenxt its far easier to achieve.

For more information about putting Idenxt to work for you and your customers, contact us here.

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