At Microsoft Inspire 2019 Microsoft introduced Azure Lighthouse, a service that allows managed cloud service providers such as Arxus to manage cloud environments of multiple customers more efficiently. Even when you, as a customer, will not use Azure Lighthouse directly, you will still benefit from the advantages the service has to offer.

To be more precise, Azure Lighthouse offers three big advantages for managed cloud service providers such as Arxus.

 

  • Scalable management: via Delegated Azure Resource Management we can now manage multiple customers and cloud platforms using one secured platform. That will result in a higher efficiency and more scalability.
  • More transparency: thanks to the combination of Azure Lighthouse and our own Arxus customer portal we can now give you detailed insights in your cloud environment and the managed services that you use.
  • User friendly and standardised tooling: Azure Lighthouse is available for everyone and is not linked to your licensing model (EA, CSP, pay-per-use). It can be easily integrated with existing tools via API’s.

 

But what’s in it for you? Let’s go into a bit more detail for every single element.

1. Scalability: Delegated Azure Resource Management

Microsoft made a nice reference to Lord of the Rings when it introduced Delegated Azure Resource Management, the core of Azure Lighthouse: “One spot to rule them all”. That reference actually couldn’t be more accurate: this technology allows you, as a customer, to easily grant (multiple) service providers access to predefined resources (including licenses and resource groups). The big advantage for us as a managed cloud service provider, is that we can now manage multiple customers and environments  (tenants in Microsoft terms) at once in one secured platform, thanks to Azure Resource Manager.

 

What’s in it for you? Increased efficiency and gained time, less chance for human errors, easier deployment and monitoring of policies and a faster onboarding of new projects and employees.

2. Transparancy: Arxus Customer Portal & Azure Lighthouse

With our own Arxus Customer Portal we were a bit ahead of Azure Lighthouse. We offer our customers a clear and user friendly dashboard to give them detailed insights in their cloud environment and our managed services. Something that Azure Lighthouse will now do as well.

 

What’s in it for you? Detailed insights in your cloud environment and how we manage it for you. You get transparency just onto the server level: you can examine all specs, the status, monitoring and available managed services of every single server in your environment. For both your Azure public cloud servers and your private cloud servers. At the same moment we offer a high-level management overview of your entire environment.

3. Security: Azure Security Center & Azure Lighthouse

Instead of setting up monitoring, policies and alerts for every customer separately, we can now easily create them for multiple customers with just the click of a button. And in Azure Security Center we can easily monitor the compliance levels of multiple customers at once.  Azure already had iron-clad security, but by making it even more manageable for multiple customers via one platform, Microsoft allows us to secure environments even better. Next to that, we can react faster to security issues or challenges with governance.

 

What’s in it for you? An even more secure cloud environment and the possibility to deploy and uphold certain security or governance policies even faster throughout your entire organisation.

4. Go-to-market: Azure Resource Manager Templates

Azure Lighthouse uses an Azure Market Place Offer, that triggers Azure Resource Manager templates for onboarding. You add the user and principal ID’s of your MSP tenant to the template and via predefined role definitions they get the right authorizations. Fast, simple and secure.

 

What’s in it for you? A faster time-to-market because new users and projects can go live more quickly, without having an impact on security or governance.

Want to know more about Azure Lighthouse? Do you have any questions or comments concerning this blog? We’d love to hear from you. Get in touch via blog@arxus.eu