Getting started with Azure but don’t know where to begin? I talk with partners everyday that are very interested in investing in building a practice around Azure but are a bit overwhelmed by the broad set of services offered on the Azure platform. What we’ve discovered is the quickest way to Azure for partners is to focus on “finished solutions” that you can implement on Azure for your own organization, then provide the same service for your customers.
Intro video for Hybrid Cloud Solution Accelerator
The first “solution” that we are recommending for partners to get started is Hybrid Cloud, the process of extending your network to Azure. Many partners are familiar with extending their own or their customer’s datacenter to a co-located facility, so extending your network to Azure should be quite a familiar process. In summary, you’re creating your network space in Azure (Virtual Network), your creating a VPN from Azure back to your firewall (Site-to-Site VPN), then you’re spinning up a few key VM’s in Azure, like a Domain Controller. We call this “Hybrid Cloud” and truly believe that this is what separates Microsoft for the competition; Microsoft technology on-premises (Windows Servers/ VM’s, Hyper-V, Active Directory) working with Microsoft technology in the cloud (Azure, Azure VM’s build on the Hyper-V stack, Azure Active Directory), all Microsoft technologies, working together. Think of Azure as an extension of your existing MS infrastructure, providing you the flexibility to move to the cloud at your own pace.
Now that we’ve established that extending a network to Azure is an important first step for partners to take, we need some guidance on exactly how to do this. This is where the “Solution Accelerator” comes into play. Solution Accelerators are technical documents that offer in-depth, step-by-step guidance on implementing Microsoft solutions. Solution Accelerators are great if you know the MS solution you want to implement, but you don’t want to spend a day scouring TechNet articles, MS blogs and other online resources putting together your implementation plan. Simply have your technical resource follow the guidance in the Solution Accelerator from start to finish.
I am excited to introduce the first in a series of Azure Solution Accelerators: Hybrid Cloud for SMB (click link to download).
- Start with the Executive Brief - contains the initial business conversation around the intent and rationale of the accelerator including a decision tree.
- Next step is to follow the Deployment Guide - contains the technical guidance to deploy a S2S and P2S VPN in combination of an extended AD infrastructure in the cloud.
- Also included in the Solution Accelerator are three scripts that provide automation for processes called out in the Deployment Guide: Deploy-S2S.ps1, Deploy-DC.ps1, NetworkConfigInputV1.xml
- Use the Addendum as a reference to gain further understanding of the technologies present in the Deployment Guide.
Please let us know your feedback on this Solution Accelerator, as your feedback is critical to the success of this accelerator and future accelerators.
Partner Technology Strategist