Cloud adoption may be extremely difficult to master. It carries with it a slew of new problems, complexity, and dangers that must be properly handled if the numerous benefits of cloud computing are to be realised.
Landing zones are a powerful tool for simplifying and de-risking cloud adoption. They provide developers with a pre-configured basis on which to build in the huge cloud ecosystem. In reality, they are the foundation of a quick, safe, and cost-effective cloud adoption plan, addressing possible difficulties early on to avoid problems later.
Let’s have a look at why Azure Landing Zones ought to be at the heart of Cloud Adoption
What is a Cloud Landing Zone?
Every organisation moving to or deploying in the cloud has unique requirements and goals, therefore there is no one-size-fits-all best practises template. A well-designed and strategically implemented landing zone, on the other hand, is the next best thing, serving as an organisational template for moving workloads to the cloud.
Put simply, ‘A configured environment with a common set of secured cloud infrastructure, rules, best practises, guidelines, and centrally managed services.’ Customers may use this to rapidly set up a secure, multi-account Cloud environment based on industry best practices. Setting up a multi-account environment can take a substantial amount of time due to the configuration of many accounts and services, which necessitates a thorough grasp of cloud provider services (AWS/GCP/Google).
This solution can save time by automating the setup of an environment for running safe and scalable workloads while establishing an initial security baseline through the establishment of basic accounts and resources.
Critical hygiene considerations, such as security and compliance, are built in, allowing developers to devote more time and attention to activities that provide value. When these foundations are in place, they may be allowed more freedom to explore the full potential of the cloud. Meanwhile, the total risk is decreased since landing zones serve as guardrails, preventing the environment from becoming an unmanageable, invisible, and costly entity that is impossible to govern.
Fundamentals of the Cloud Landing Zone:
Prior to deciding on a cloud provider (such as AWS, GCP, or Azure Cloud), it’s critical to weigh some fundamental factors, such as the following:
- Compliance & Security
A landing zone enables you to manage security on a worldwide and account-by-account basis. Baseline security with proactive and detective controls. Landing zones enable the implementation of company-wide compliance and data residency regulations. Consistent architecture is used as part of this approach for concerns such as edge security, threat management, vulnerability management, and transmission security, among many others.
- Standardization of Tenancy
Landing Zone provides a framework for developing and standardising a multi-account management system. Automating the environment for many accounts saves time during setup while also establishing the basic security baseline for every digital environment you utilise. Security, audit, and shared service needs are all addressed by the automated multi-account structure. Enforce policy tagging across numerous cloud tenants and offer standardised tenants for various security profiles (dev/staging/prod).
- Identity and Access Management (IAM)
By establishing roles and access restrictions, we may implement the concept of least privilege. By establishing roles and access restrictions, you may implement the idea of least privilege. Implementing single sign-on (SSO) for cloud logins.
Cloud networking skills are a crucial component of your cloud adoption initiatives. Networking is made up of a variety of goods and services that each provide a unique set of networking capabilities. Measures to assure the network’s high availability, resilience, and scalability.
Centralized logging from many accounts that utilise various cloud provider services. Configuring automated backups and establishing disaster recovery utilising a variety of cloud-native technologies. Monitoring and alerting configuration for cost control, reactive scalability, and dependability. Automated server patching on a regular basis.
The Cloud Landing Zone’s benefits include the following:
- Automated environment configuration
- In a multi-account system, speed, scalability, and governance are critical.
- Security and compliance
- Cost savings on operations
The Cloud Landing Zone’s Optimum Practices
- Organizations Master Account: This is the root account that is responsible for provisioning and managing member accounts at the organisation level through Organizations Services.
- Core Accounts in an Organizational Unit: This offers key services that are shared by all accounts in the Organization, such as log archiving, security management, and shared services such as the directory service.
- Accounts for Teams and Groups within Organizational Units: Teams and groups are logically grouped together under the heading of Teams. These are defined at the team or group level for particular business units. For instance, a set of Team accounts may include the shared services account, the development account, the pre-production account, and the production account.
- Enterprises should, as a recommended practice, maintain distinct “sandboxes” or developer accounts for personal learning and experimentation.
- Billing: Separating things at the billing level is possible only through the use of an account. The approach of several accounts enables the creation of distinct billable items across business divisions, functional teams, and individual users.
- Allocation of Service Provider Quotas: Quotas for service providers are configured per account. By segmenting workloads into distinct accounts, each account (for example, a project) receives a well-defined, unique quota.
- Multiple Organizational Units (OUs): These are defined at the team or group level to represent individual business units. For instance, a set of Team accounts may include the team’s Shared Services, Development, Pre-Production, and Production accounts.
Additionally, you can select the sort of connection you wish to utilise. By configuring networking patterns and integrating them with other data centres, you may implement a hybrid system or multi-cloud adoption.
Baseline of Security:
- Each account archiving logs in a centralised log archiving account.
- Using a centralised virtual private network (VPC) for all accounts and peering where applicable
- Establishing a password policy
- Access to multiple accounts with restricted permissions
- Configure alarms/events to provide notifications upon root account login and API authentication failures.
Automation guarantees that your infrastructure is configured in a repeatable manner that may develop as your use evolves and your requirements rise.
Tagging resources can assist the client in a variety of ways, including cost analysis and optimisation.
The Life Cycle of a Cloud Landing Zone
Let’s discuss the various phases of a landing zone’s lifetime!
In the field of software development, you will frequently hear the phrases.
“Day 0/Day 1” and “Day 2”
These terms relate to the many stages of a software’s lifecycle: from requirements and design (Day 0), to development and deployment (Day 1), and finally to operations (Day 2). We’re going to utilise this nomenclature to explain the phases of the landing zone lifecycle in this blog article.
Day 0: Landing Zone Design
Landing zones, as the starting point of your cloud journey and a critical component of your cloud environment, should be carefully thought out and strategized — particularly with Day 1 and Day 2 in mind. Let us expand on the four factors that a well-designed cloud landing zone should consider:
- Security and Compliance: Consolidate your approach to security, monitoring, and logging. Landing zones can be used to create company-wide compliance and data residency requirements, for example. In this manner, you can assure compliance on a fundamental level across numerous tenants or settings.
- Tenancy standardisation: Enforce tagging regulations across various cloud tenants and offer tenants uniform security profiles (dev/staging/prod).
- Identity and access management: By establishing roles and access restrictions, you can adhere to the concept of least privilege. Define your tenant-specific user ID settings and password requirements.
- Networking: Configure IaaS networks, firewalls, and any other necessary networking parameters.
Day 1: Landing Zone Deployment
On Day 1, the landing zone is customised and deployed according to the design and specifications established on Day 0. Each public cloud service provider approaches the landing zone idea differently.
Consider the following three major CSPs:
- Microsoft Azure: The Cloud Adoption Framework, a component of Microsoft’s public cloud platform, incorporates the idea of landing zones. Azure blueprints are a critical tool: Within Azure, you may select and build migration landing zone blueprints for configuring your cloud environments. Alternatively, you may make use of third-party services such as terraform.
- Amazon Web Services (AWS): AWS’s landing zone solution is simply named AWS Landing Zone. This solution pre-configured AWS services such as CloudTrail, GuardDuty, and Landing Zone Notifications with a security baseline. Additionally, the service automates the configuration of a landing zone environment, which speeds up cloud migrations. AWS offers Cloud Formation Templates to let you build and standardise service or application architectures based on your use case.
- Google Cloud Platform: When it comes to writing customizable templates and configuration files for GCP, the Google Deployment Manager is the way to go. To set up your deployments, you may use a declarative syntax such as Yaml — or Python and Jinja2 templates.
Day 2: Landing Zone Operations
Cloud infrastructures and their associated usage patterns are never constant. This requires continual work to maintain and operate the underlying landing zones.
It is a continuous endeavour to improve how you manage and run landing zones. The operations workstream’s aim is to assess your existing operational model and design a strategy for operations integration that will enable future-state operational models when you migrate to the cloud. Infrastructure-as-Code is used to guarantee that your settings are handled consistently, developing through DevOps practises and tools. Additionally, we leverage several logging technologies. Using Cloud provider services or technologies to implement different backup and patching procedures. Disaster recovery planning and design are critical components of ensuring the infrastructure’s high availability.
Three ways that landing zones facilitate cloud adoption are as follows:
- Landing zones assist teams in realising the benefits of cloud computing.
By centralising and automating administrative duties and heavy lifting, landing zones assist teams in realising the benefits of cloud computing. This enables the cloud’s broader benefits — such as agility, scalability, and simpler deployment — to be realised sooner. When application teams are relieved of platform administration responsibilities, they can devote their time and skills to activities that add value to the client.
- They contribute to the overall security of the cloud environment.
They increase the overall security of the cloud environment by establishing a centralised security baseline for all implementations. The setup of the landing zone should adhere to the cloud provider’s well-architected security standards, as well as any industry- or organization-specific needs. This provides application teams with the confidence and freedom to develop while being secure.
- They may be utilised to include a cost-effective strategy.
Finally, they may be utilised to institutionalise a cost-effective strategy through cost management consolidation. With technologies like CloudCheckr may help you save money on cloud computing operations. These may be linked with landing zones created with the assistance of third-party vendors such as AWS Control Tower.
Platingnum’s perspective on Landing Zones
Platingnum‘s perspective on the landing zone idea is as follows: we support native tools supplied by many cloud platforms and suppliers. In this manner, we assure seamless integration of current operational capabilities and make the most of each platform’s most powerful and well-integrated tools. Generally, this technology adheres to an infrastructure-as-code paradigm, which fits well with platingnum’s approach to multi-cloud orchestration. Contact us now and get a consultation.