Insights 10 Optimizations for Your Azure Environment – Part 1

10 Optimizations for Your Azure Environment – Part 1

As we enter the new year, I’d like to challenge every company with an Azure environment to “do more with less” by raising the operational maturity of their cloud environment.  Successful companies look at the cloud as a financial advantage to their businesses because of the opportunity to apply optimizations across each spending area.  The unsuccessful companies deploy services and are ineffective at applying spend to improvement, likely leaving it as they initially provisioned it.   

Part 1 of this series outlines the first five ways to optimize your Azure environment.

In the diagram below, see an example of a cloud maturity curve, demonstrating the stages of becoming a cloud-capable organization.  The key operational hurdle occurs at the “Platform” level where a company implements a Cloud Center of Excellence and can achieve key gains: 

For the remainder of this blog, we’ll focus on the 10 optimizations that a company could seek to implement and improve.  A company would generally see a 20% – 35% cost reduction and more operational optimization if these are implemented. 

Let’s hit each one at a time: 

Number 1: Building a Methodology for Cost Reviews and Organizational Discipline

A company needs to be able to analyze its costs based on owner, business unit, application, technology, dev/prod/QA/test, and other qualities.  This can be done in Power BI, or natively in Azure Cost Management … IF… you have tagged your resources properly. 

See the following view from Azure Cost Management where you can see many of the services, resource groups, business units, types, etc. 

A few good ways to implement improvements to Azure through cost optimization include: 

Number 2: Relieve Dependency on Legacy Tools and Approaches 

This is about dumping the legacy tools and facilitating an Azure environment that runs more efficiently compared to what it does with on-premise approaches dragging it down.

Number 3: Clean up the Mess in the Basement and Keep it Clean 

Most Azure environments have messes that were brought forward from the original deployment, aging implementations, or even junk moved from on-premise.  Take a serious look at eliminating the dependencies and making it better.   

The following is a list of cleanup areas to check for in the Azure environment and changes to make assertively in improving it. 

Number 4: Adapt Security Controls to a Cloud Consistent World 

Adapting cloud controls to a cloud-consistent world is a full topic, but at its root, we’re looking at moving to Zero Trust architectures as a way of thinking about the cloud environment.  The first concept to understand is the move to a vertical networking stack, which you can see in the diagram below.  The intention is to take each application and move it into its own resource group and perhaps even its own subscription. 

Here are other optimizations to make in the security domain: 

Number 5: Ensure Your Recovery Strategy is Very Well Understood 

The importance of recovery doesn’t go away in the cloud.  There are FAR more options that affect RTO, RPO, and cost and it’s important that you pick the options appropriate for the environment and application.  A few optimizations in this domain to consider include: 

Also, many find availability types in Azure super confusing.  Here is a handy graphic that helps to understand those choices and their architecture. 

Click here to continue to Part 2 of this blog series which covers the second five Azure Optimizations.