Azure Landing Zone: 5 Best Practices and Design Areas

Azure Landing Zone gives cloud adoption experts a managed platform to run workloads. The Azure landing zone best practices can allow the teams to build a strong and robust foundation. 

The experts can extend the foundation by implementing security, compliance, and governance in the best manner possible. 

Businesses in the modern, digital-first world are always on the search for secure cloud services. Landing Zones in Microsoft Azure are one such option that provides scalability, security, and affordability.

Before we move on to the best landing zone design areas, let’s understand what Azure Landing Zone is all about. 

What is Azure Landing Zone?

Azure landing zone is an environment that is built based on key design principles covering eight design areas.

The specified design principles enable application modernization, migration, and innovation at scale. 

The platform uses a subscription model to isolate and scale platform resources and application resources.

Subscriptions for platform resources are termed platform landing zones while the subscriptions for application resources are called application landing zones. 

  • Organizations can use Azure Landing Zones, a scalable and integrated framework for launching Azure-based projects and workloads.
  • The necessary tools and configurations for efficient resource and service management are all provided by this cloud-based platform.
  • The Cloud Adoption Framework (CAF) is used to create Azure Landing Zones, and it provides a detailed plan for making the transition to digital.

This paradigm is useful for ensuring that a company’s cloud-based operations are consistent with its long-term goals and objectives.

Purpose Of Landing Zones in the Cloud

The purpose of Azure Landing Zones is to offer a safe, scalable, and compliant environment in which to set up and manage your Azure infrastructure.

The Landing Zone concept simplifies resource organization with in-built features like management groups, resource groups, and subscriptions, and it serves as a springboard to speed up your cloud adoption journey.

With Azure Landing Zones, you have access to enterprise-grade hardware and networking capable of supporting massive data centers in the cloud.

  • Compliance & Security: It has built-in security and compliance controls including Azure Policy, Azure Blueprints, and Azure Security Centre to help you keep your security in check and keep an eye on it.
  • For top-notch operations and productivity, the solution provides industry-standard logging, monitoring, and application analytics.

Environment Development Approaches 

Though there are two different approaches available, the one you select is based on how fast the Cloud teams can equip with the desired skills. 

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Customize:

If the aim is to build a custom environment to develop specific skills or meet specific business needs, then opt for a custom environment development approach. You can focus on adopting simple considerations required for cloud adoption. 

When you need to focus on a specific business need such as answering how to see photos in iCloud or migrate large volumes of data, this approach helps. When your environmental considerations align with the landing zone architecture, your implementation is considered complete.  

If you decide to go for this environment development approach, the implementation options are: 

  • Migration landing zone 
  • Partner landing zone
  • Foundation blueprint

Azure landing zone Accelerator:

You can select to start with a landing zone accelerator if your business requires a rich implementation of a landing zone with proper governance, operations, and security in place. As the name indicates, it’s the quickest way to get the task done. 

This approach is ideal if your team is running short of time to accomplish a project that needs to be done early. Later, you can modify the zone using Infrastructure-as-Code (IaS) to establish and configure the environment as per your business needs. 

When you use this environment development approach, you get a wide list of implementation options that include:

  • Enterprise-scale foundation 
  • Enterprise-scale for small enterprise 
  • Azure landing zone modular
  • Enterprise zone for Azure government
  • CAF enterprise-scale landing zone 

Benefits of landing zones

Users can take use of a number of advantages thanks to Azure Landing Zones, including as

  • Streamlined Operations: Because of the unified setting provided by Azure Landing Zones, managing and operating Azure resources is a breeze.
  • Scalability: The framework is flexible enough to accommodate organizations of varying sizes due to its scalability.
  • Security & Compliance: Thirdly, security and compliance are prioritized in Azure Landing Zones thanks to the zone’s strict access policies and built-in compliance controls.
  • Reduced Operational Costs: It helps optimize cloud spending, which in turn lowers operational expenses over time.

Azure Landing Zone Architecture

The landing zone architecture is modular and scalable, developed to meet an array of deployment requirements.

It allows you to apply configurations consistently while maintaining control over each subscription. Use the conceptual architecture to get started and improve it as the business evolves. 

The available modules make it easy to deploy and customize specific components to the landing zone architecture as the business needs to evolve over time.

Moreover, it gives you the flexibility to customize the platform accordingly. 

The design of Azure Landing Zones takes into account and handles the complexities of massive Azure rollouts. The framework consists of:

  1. Management Groups: Access, policies, and compliance can all be managed across various Azure subscriptions with the use of containers called Management Groups.
  2. Subscriptions: Access to Azure resources is granted to users via subscriptions. Together, we can handle these resources more efficiently.
  3. Resource Groups: In Azure, resources are organized into Resource Groups, which serve as logical containers.
  4. Azure Policy: Azure Policy is a service in Azure that lets you apply regulations to your resources in the form of rules and other consequences.
  5. Azure Security Center: The fifth feature, Azure Security Centre, protects your Azure resources from threats and provides full visibility into the security of your hybrid cloud workloads.
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Resource Organization in Landing Zone Architecture 

Resource organization is a conceptual architecture that illustrates a group hierarchy. It organized subscriptions via management groups.

This architecture displays five subscriptions where you can see the details of each subscription and the policies that apply to them. 

The subscriptions available under the Platform management groups show the platform landing zone while the subscriptions displayed under the Landing zone are associated with the application landing zones.

Azure Landing Zone Design Areas

The design areas are the elements that illustrate the relationship between the eight design areas.

The Azure landing zone design areas are categorized as the Environment design areas and Compliance design areas. 

Each Azure landing zone implementation option illustrates a deployment approach and corresponding design principles. I

It is important to evaluate the design areas sequentially to simplify the process of designing a complex environment. 

The design area explains what needs to be done before the actual deployment takes place.   

The eight design areas include:

  • Azure billing and Azure Directory tenant (A)
  • Identity and access management (B)
  • Resource organization (C)
  • Governance (C, D)
  • Network topology and connectivity (E)
  • Security (F)
  • Management (D, G, H)
  • Platform Automation and DevOps (I)
  • After you are done with the environment development and deployment, you can implement different design areas to improve the cloud operating model.
  • Reviewing methods corresponding to each design area will allow you to understand it in detail. 
  • Within each design area, you get the summarization of considerations that allows you to shape your internal recommendations and discussions.
  • You can figure out the decisions and considerations needed to implement a landing zone. 

Once you understand the concept of the modular design areas, you can better choose the landing zone implementation option that aligns with your business cloud adoption requirements.

Make sure to equip the skills you need to develop a robust Azure landing zone, keeping your business goals in mind. 

Azure Landing Zones Pricing

Costs for Azure Landing Zones may change based on the scope and configuration of the deployment. The use of Azure Landing Zones adds no extra expenses.

Your landing zone’s price tag will often be determined by the specific Azure services you use. To get a rough idea of what it will cost, you can utilize Azure’s Pricing Calculator.

Azure Landing Zone Accelerator

Microsoft’s Azure Landing Zone Accelerator is a solution accelerator that facilitates the deployment of large-scale Landing Zones by providing a graphical user interface that can be easily modified.

The Accelerator shortens the time to deployment and reduces complexity by providing a set of templates and best practices for enterprise-ready systems. Let’s find some of the best practices below.

Best Practices

The following are some guidelines for using Azure Landing Zones effectively:

  • Plan your Adoption Strategy: The first step in successfully deploying Azure Landing Zones is to carefully design your adoption strategy. It entails outlining the goals, coordinating the relevant parties, and preparing for execution.
  • Embrace Policy-Driven Governance: Second, adopt policy-driven governance with the help of Azure Landing Zones. Embrace this by setting up policies to handle your resources and guarantee conformity with company regulations.
  • Use the Right Services: Make Smart Service Choices Determine which services will best meet your organization’s needs and put them into action.
  • Monitor & Optimize: Fourth, keep an eye on things and tweak as needed to make sure your cloud environment is running as smoothly as possible.
  • Security & Compliance: Fifthly, Security, and Compliance: Give Security and Compliance Top Priority. Protect your infrastructure using Azure Policy and Azure Security Centre.
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Azure Landing Zone Assessment

The Azure Landing Zone Assessment is a helpful tool for evaluating how effectively an organization’s Azure deployment follows industry standards.

The assessment reveals how well you’re prepared for the cloud, highlighting any weaknesses and suggesting solutions.

Furthermore, it can be used as a guide to adopting and deploying Azure Landing Zones.

Azure Landing Zone FAQS

Q: What is the difference between Azure Landing Zone and Azure Blueprints?

Azure Landing Zone is a flexible tool for managing Azure infrastructure and services.

In contrast, Azure Blueprints are collections of scripts, resource groups, and ARM templates that can be used to automate the provisioning of resources.

Infrastructure in an Azure Landing Zone can be created using a Blueprint.

Q: Can Azure Landing Zones be used for multi-cloud strategies?

The ideas of Azure Landing Zones are consistent with best practices in cloud computing, even though they are designed to work within the Azure environment.

Multi-cloud plans can benefit from the lessons learned in Landing Zone strategic planning, security, and operations.

However, the intricacies of other cloud providers’ implementations would change the details of this solution.

Q: How do I get started with Azure Landing Zones?

Getting started with Azure Landing Zones is easy because of Microsoft’s extensive documentation, tutorials, and templates.

A successful cloud strategy begins with careful planning that takes into account all relevant business factors.

The Azure Landing Zone Accelerator is a useful tool that can shorten the time required to get everything set up for the first time.

Q: How secure are Azure Landing Zones?

Answer: Azure Policy, Azure Blueprints, and Azure Security Centre are just some of the built-in security and compliance solutions available in Azure Landing Zones.

Maintaining and monitoring your security postures with these tools helps keep your Azure environment safe to use.

Conclusion

When it comes to your company’s cloud adoption journey, Azure Landing Zones can be a game-changer.

Accelerating digital transformation while maintaining scalability, security, and compliance is possible with the help of Azure Landing Zones.

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