Skip navigation

Customers unify hybrid and multicloud IT operations with Azure Arc

Posted on 17 February, 2021

Director, Windows Server and Azure Product Marketing

Businesses today are building and running applications across a variety of ecosystems on-premises, in multiple clouds, and on edge. To maintain agility and ensure compliance, it’s critical to an organization’s success to effectively manage servers, applications, and data at scale—regardless of where they are located.

Microsoft Azure Arc is a set of technologies that unlocks new on-premises, hybrid, and multicloud scenarios for customers by extending Azure services and management to any infrastructure. Across industries, customers are taking advantage of Azure Arc to bring Azure management to any infrastructure and enable Azure services to run anywhere.

Azure Arc provides a single control plane to consistently manage and govern all of your resources, anywhere. And with Azure Arc enabled services, you have the flexibility to deploy Azure services anywhere—on-premises or in other public clouds. Use cloud innovation where you need it by deploying consistent and always-up-to-date Azure data services anywhere.

Let me share how Ferguson, Africa’s Talking, Siemens Healthineers, and KPMG have enabled seamless management of their hybrid and multicloud resources using Azure Arc, realizing tremendous business value.

Ferguson uses Azure Arc to extend Azure services on-premises

Ferguson, the largest wholesale distributor of plumbing supplies in the United States, uses Azure Arc to centrally manage thousands of servers in different locations by extending Azure to its on-premises datacenters. Ferguson's IT department can now easily monitor, update, and govern all IT systems across the enterprise using the Azure Portal by grouping and tagging. Taking advantage of Azure Arc enabled servers, Kubernetes, and data services, Ferguson has unified their IT operations with Azure Arc, their IT resources in Azure, and their datacenters into a single control plane.

“By binding our Azure and on-premises environments together through policies and tagging, we can create a consistent way to deploy and manage our systems in a disparate environment. That’s really important to us because as we become leaner as an organization, we still need to effectively manage our IT footprint.”—Kristina Melo, SQL Database Administrator, Ferguson Enterprises

Ferguson manages over 5,000 virtual machines and plans to migrate most of these virtual machines to the cloud. Yet, they don’t want to wait until they are migrated to start taking advantage of Azure’s management capabilities. With Azure Arc enabled servers, Ferguson can project its on-premises servers into Azure, enabling IT to monitor, update, and govern all resources across the enterprise from a single dashboard in the Azure Portal.

As a leader in its industry, Ferguson’s IT department is continuously searching for new technologies to drive the business forward and better serve its associates, customers, vendors, and contractors.

Learn more about Ferguson using Azure Arc.

Africa’s Talking uses Kubernetes clusters to deploy and manage messaging and payment solutions across Africa

With locations spread across Africa, Kenya based company Africa’s Talking provides custom mobile, voice, messaging, and payment APIs for large organizations and thousands of developers. But with limited cloud services in some regions, the company found it difficult to offer the containerization capabilities its customers needed to meet their business requirements and goals.

By using Azure Arc enabled Kubernetes and Azure Arc enabled data services, Africa’s Talking can manage multiple Kubernetes clusters and deploy data services wherever they are needed, from a centralized point of control. To help its customers offer new and exciting services while addressing data sovereignty, latency, and other business requirements, Africa’s Talking must configure, deploy, and run multiple clusters both in on-premises datacenters and public clouds.

Africa’s Talking is also taking advantage of the GitOps configuration management in Azure Arc. The team no longer has to manually configure every cluster.

“Before Azure Arc, it could take an engineer an entire day to configure a new cluster—now it takes minutes. We can test and push new features and fix bugs at speed, saving us time and boosting our customers’ experiences.”—Salama Balekage, Software Engineer, Africa’s Talking

With Azure Arc, Africa’s Talking developers can simply update any repository, which then automatically applies to the relevant clusters.

“What energizes me is that a developer with average means can use our technology to achieve their dreams—providing products and services to worldwide organizations.”—Calvin Karundu, Software Engineer, Africa’s Talking

Read more about Africa’s Talking.

Siemens Healthineers delivers services to customers’ on-premises medical equipment

The healthcare industry this year has been asked to innovate faster than ever before. However, organizations still need to maintain customer data privacy and in compliance with their data sovereignty regulations. Siemens Healthineers, one of the world’s largest medical equipment suppliers, implemented Azure Arc enabled Kubernetes to improve algorithms’ deployment to analyze lung damage from COVID-19 from Azure to on-premises medical equipment across the globe.

With Azure Arc, Siemens Healthineers can deploy and manage applications on Kubernetes clusters across tens of thousands of locations. It can also monitor, update, and help secure applications from Azure, all while maintaining customer data and the processing of that data on the medical devices.

“Azure Arc is a game-changer for us. It gives our customers choices and enables the continuous delivery of Kubernetes workloads from the cloud to the edge, at scale, and as a service.”—Thomas Dossler, Chief Architect, Siemens Healthineers

Siemens Healthineers and healthcare providers are turning to Kubernetes for modern application development—while maintaining patient data in compliance with their data sovereignty regulations.

Learn more about Siemens Healthineers.

KPMG Japan delivers seamless data solutions to clients

KPMG Ignition Tokyo, the centerpiece of KPMG Japan’s digital strategy, implemented Azure Arc enabled data services and Azure Arc enabled Kubernetes to take their low-cost, secure cloud solution—Cloud Next, to enable clients to have access to 24/7 support and host their digital solutions.

Due to the sensitive nature of some customer data, KPMG cannot put all their data workloads into public clouds. However, KPMG needs to manage its data workloads through a single pane of glass and leverage cloud benefits such as full automation and elastic scale. With Azure Arc enabled data services, KPMG can benefit from Azure innovation on any on-premises infrastructure or in multicloud setting, using Kubernetes on their hardware of choice.

“With Azure Arc, we are able to distribute solutions and workloads across multiple clouds and datacenters to support our clients.”—Aram Lauxtermann, Director of Cloud, KPMG

As a global company with thousands of clients, KPMG needed a platform-agnostic way to support their clients with whichever environment was required. With Azure Arc, KPMG is helping their customers out of the datacenter and into the cloud.

Watch the video on KPMG Japan.

Stay tuned for more Azure Arc news coming soon

With Azure Arc, you have access to a broad set of hybrid and multicloud capabilities to meet your needs from the datacenter, to the cloud, and the edge. With IT environments growing in complexity, it’s crucial to have a solution that can manage resources anywhere—servers (both physical and virtual), containers, and data services. 

Customers today turn to Azure Arc to enable visibility, operations, and compliance across a wide range of resources and locations—extending the Azure control plane to organize, govern, and secure Windows, Linux, Microsoft SQL Server, and Kubernetes clusters across datacenters, edge, and multicloud.

We’re excited to share more about Azure Arc at Microsoft Ignite from March 2 to March 4, 2021. Be sure to tune in to our Azure Arc sessions, and to learn more, visit our Azure Arc and Azure hybrid pages.