Many businesses have questions about how to optimize Microsoft Azure. Microsoft IT is moving the bulk of our computing resources to Azure, and the environment requires constant evaluation and optimization. We’ve set standards to manage resources, identify underutilized and noncompliant workloads, and to retire those that are unused. We employ a few tools—some analytic, and some automated—to implement changes to our environment that help us reduce our costs and our utilization footprint.
Host Lyle Dodge chats with Pete Apple, Principal Service Engineer, and Todd Robertson, Senior Program Manager, about how Microsoft IT is adopting Azure Resource Manager (ARM) for resource management. They discuss how ARM enables new levels of self-service and infrastructure as code through streamlined resource provisioning. Learn how we are using shared repositories to distribute templates in Azure.
With migration to Azure, it’s important that Microsoft IT ensure network connectivity between on-premises and virtual resources across our environment. To do so, we’ve been using Azure ExpressRoute circuits as part of our network topology. For management of ExpressRoute, we’ve moved to a shared circuit model—business groups access some networking components, but we provision and manage ExpressRoute networking services in a simplified and centralized way. As a result, we’ve reduced overhead and optimized bandwidth.
To consolidate information about commuting, corporate shuttle services, and transportation options for staff, Microsoft IT partnered with Microsoft Real Estate and Facilities to create Transportation Hub, a web app hosted in Microsoft Azure. Drawing on data from regional transportation providers, the app helps employees plan their commute and schedule transportation between campuses. It also provides insight into commuter behavior, allowing us to improve services and helping to reduce single-occupancy trips.
To support marketing efforts, Microsoft IT manages data orchestration for more than 120 data sources, many of which are hosted in Azure. Integrating data from disparate sources into custom data analysis solutions can be costly and inefficient. But with Azure Logic Apps, we have created data access solutions built from modular, reusable, configurable tasks—making it easier to deploy and manage data movement solutions.
Using modern engineering practices, Microsoft IT responds quickly and efficiently to meet the business needs of our customers and partners. Our development platform, Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS), offers built-in tools that support engineering fundamentals and application lifecycle management, providing our teams the opportunity to embrace agile methodology. By using VSTS, we work toward continuous integration and continuous delivery of incremental updates, and maintain a customer-focused development process.
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