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Why Microsoft’s Azure Arc Is A ‘Value Proposition’

‘When you think about what we’re doing versus what our competition or what other vendors are doing, we provide the most flexible solution -- bar none,’ said Arpan Shah, the general manager leading Microsoft’s product marketing for Azure infrastructure.

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Fujitsu And Azure Arc

The breadth of Arc covers what’s in AWS Outposts and in Anthos, but in a flexible, all-encompassing way, according to Andrew Brabban, vice president in charge of Microsoft global business development at Fujitsu, a Tokyo-based Azure Expert Managed Services Provider (MSP).

“From an enterprise customer perspective, it’s a more flexible tool to deal with more scenarios,” he said. “Outposts and Anthos both deal with particular scenarios and, when they’re right, deal with them very well. But from a broader enterprise customer perspective, there’s more use cases we can tackle with Arc as it stands today.”

“Arc allows us to have that cloud-centric view of the world, where we can manage a portfolio for the customer, but they can have some of that which hasn’t made it into public cloud still sitting in the data center,” Brabban said. “The center of their world, in that sense, is the control plane that they’ve got set around the public cloud, and the ability to see those non-cloud servers as just an extension of the whole cloud architecture provides that kind of consistency and overall approach.”

Fujitsu has been using Azure Arc with customers with servers that need to stay in their data centers and customers with legacy systems that have been very hard to move.

“The advantage with Azure Arc is that we can move them under a consistent server management infrastructure, and that allows us to improve the security around those services by applying modern, policy-based security strategies that are consistent with the strategies that we need to be built up around this stuff that they have migrated to the cloud,” Brabban said.

Azure Arc is flexible in terms of being able to look at lots of different types of infrastructure that’s left on premise, according to Brabban.

“We’ve got lot of customers who’ve got VMware stuff, but they’ve also got bare metal servers, other types of resources,” he said. “And with Arc, it’s quite easy to deal with those, and it’s very helpful especially when you’ve got scenarios where you’ve done most of the migration, and there are a smaller number of servers left.”

As an MSP, Fujitsu has spent a lot of time looking at Azure Arc not just on its own, but how it fits into other component offerings, including Azure Lighthouse, which enables cross- and multi-tenant management and allows for higher automation, scalability and enhanced governance across resources and tenants.

“Adding Arc to Lighthouse is beneficial from our perspective, because we then have a single view that allows us to look across multiple customers and to look across the resources that are in the public cloud and the associated resources that are still on premise,” Brabban said. “That extension in both those directions at the same time, and the fact that Arc and Lighthouse work together, is all about expanding…and making sure that we can optimize our shared service delivery for customers, which means we get the advantage of improving the quality and lowering the cost of those services.”

 
 
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