Next week marks the kickoff of Microsoft’s annual Inspire convention in Las Vegas, where the Seattle company reliably announces a slew of enterprise product updates across its portfolio. This year, in addition to Microsoft Teams news and a new AI for Good initiative, it launched Azure Lighthouse in general availability alongside Azure Migration Program enhancements
In essence, Azure Lighthouse is a control panel that integrates with portals, IT service management (ITSM) tools, and monitoring tools to let service providers view and manage Azure deployments across customers. It’s powered by Azure delegated resource management, a capability that allows companies to delegate permissions to the providers in question and perform operations on their behalf over scopes, including subscriptions, resource groups, and individual resources.
As Azure Compute corporate vice president Erin Chapple explains in a blog post, once customers assign resources to individual providers, the providers can in turn extend access to users or accounts in its tenant within the constraints specified by the aforementioned customers using Azure role-based access control mechanisms. Standard mechanisms work as if customer resources were resources in the provider’s own subscriptions and regardless of the licensing construct at play (e.g., pay-as-you-go).
“Inspired by Azure partners who continue to incorporate infrastructure-as-code and automation into their managed service practices, Azure Lighthouse introduces a new delegated resource concept that simplifies cross-tenant governance and operations,” wrote Chapple. “Partners can now manage tens of thousands of resources from thousands of distinct customers from their own Azure portal or [command line interface] context.”
Azure delegated management furthermore enables service providers to automate status monitoring, and to apply, create, update, change, and delete changes across multiple customers’ resources from a single location. Additionally, it allows both customers and service providers to see who took actions on the resources thanks to Azure’s Activity Log and the newly built resource provider, Microsoft Managed Services, which helps services determine if a call was made from a resource’s home tenant or a service provider’s tenant.
Azure Migration Program
Alongside Azure Lighthouse, Microsoft rolled out updates to its Azure Migration Program, a service designed to help enterprises move systems, apps, and data to Microsoft’s cloud platform. It comprises step-by-step guidance from experts and specialized migration partners, along with technical skill building through courses and free migration and cost assessment tools like Azure Migrate and Azure Cost Management.
Starting this week, Azure Migrate Program participants will gain access to first-party tools like Server Assessment, Server Migration, Database Migration Service, and App Service Migration Assistant, as well as utilities from Carbonite, Cloudamize, Corent, Device42, Turbonomic, and UnifyCloud (with additional integrations on the way). That’s in addition to offers to reduce migration costs, including Azure Hybrid Benefit, free Extended Security Updates for Windows Server and SQL Server 2008, and agentless migration and support for Hyper-V assessments.
“Azure Migrate delivers a unified, integrated experience across Azure and partner migration tools, so customers can identify the right tool for their migration scenario,” said Azure corporate vice president Julia White. “I couldn’t be more excited about the collective opportunity that lies ahead of us and look forward to helping our customers confidently plan and migrate to Azure.”