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How Microsoft Azure Arc Brings Cloud Solutions to Hybrid Environments

Effectively managing and securing an organization’s data assets can be a complex process. And as the size of data has exploded, it’s also in more places than ever. “To cloud or not to cloud” is no longer the question: it’s almost always both. In fact, 73% of businesses are deploying hybrid cloud solutions today, according to Flexera’s State of the Cloud report. Better managing data, regardless of its location, is an essential step in any innovation journey. Organizations need a bridge connecting their environments to gain efficiency, reduce risk, and allow them to focus on moving their organization forward.

That’s why Microsoft is committed to meeting customers wherever they are, with adaptive solutions that bring their data together from the ground to the cloud, with Azure Arc. This solution can help organizations visualize their entire SQL data, from one place. This means organizations can streamline critical tasks such as governance, security and manageability.

The World Bank works tirelessly to end extreme poverty and promote prosperity on a livable planet. To achieve its mission, the organization provides lending services in developing countries around the world. The World Bank is one of the world’s largest sources of financing and financial knowledge for 189 developing countries. The World Bank’s IT team used multiple cloud providers and tools to manage the global institution’s complex backend.

“It was completely uncentralized. There were three, four different tools and places to monitor things. Even the security office was using different software to monitor security risks for all our servers,” said Chandra Kala Macha, Chief Information Officer II, World Bank.

“We wanted to implement Azure Arc so that we could use all features and manage all of our on-premises and cloud servers, including AWS, from a single location,” added Kala Macha. “With Azure Arc, we can manage everything on the operational level and also on the SQL Server side, all from a single pane of glass. This made a huge difference in efficiency.

By 2023, the World Bank had connected approximately 25% of its SQL Server fleet to Azure Arc. The organization plans to triple the number of instances in 2024 based on initial results. Today, performance, insights, security and compliance can be managed in one centralized tool. All monitoring can be done in one place, making it easier for teams to manage vulnerability issues and requirements.

There are also notable financial benefits to deploying Azure Arc. For example, the IT team was using decentralized tools that were not capable of monitoring the entire SQL infrastructure (on-premises and in the cloud). Additionally, the team was only able to use the licensed tools on a few on-premises servers. For the same cost, the World Bank can now enable Azure Arc on over 300 SQL servers (10x more than previously licensed tools) to monitor performance, security, compliance and more (a savings of $90 %).

Today, the World Bank and Microsoft are working together on additional functional elements to improve the optimization of Azure Arc. “We’ve already seen how Azure Arc can make us more efficient and reduce our operating costs. We now want to see how we can do more and save more,” said Kala Macha. “Because every dollar saved on the operational side is another dollar that can be used to eradicate poverty.”

Providing access and innovation everywhere

Azure Arc extends the features and services that make the cloud so attractive across an organization’s entire IT environment, even if it includes other clouds. This allows customers to connect formerly disparate environments while helping to manage, govern and secure in a unified integrated solution. In the World Bank’s case, this meant the ability to bring together its SQL Server databases. And when organizations are ready to take the next step, tools are available with Azure Arc to simplify the migration process, providing sizing and destination recommendations.

By accelerating these workloads with Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors, organizations can ensure superior performance for their mission-critical applications, while Intel® Virtualization Technology facilitates migration between clouds and between server generations. Customers running SQL Server 2022 can perform even faster backups of their SQL Server databases, with lower CPU usage, using Intel® QuickAssist Technology (or Intel® QAT). Intel QAT is integrated into the 4th generation Intel Xeon processor for more efficient hardware-accelerated compression, even when the database is running.

Azure Arc also offers customers a consumption-based billing model: instead of fixed licensing costs, customers can pay only for what they use, adding the flexibility to innovate with consumption-based payments. use for a consistent, personalized SQL experience, regardless of location.

“We’ve already seen how Azure Arc can make us more efficient and reduce our operating costs. Now we want to see how we can do more and save more. Because every dollar saved on the exploitation side is another dollar that can go towards the eradication of poverty. Chandra Kala Macha, Chief Information Officer II, World Bank.

For organizations like the World Bank, which need centralized management as well as fast and reliable data availability, Azure Arc offers a powerful and cost-effective solution. Azure Arc is the bridge needed, allowing businesses to easily manage, govern and secure their critical data, while reducing costs and focusing on furthering their mission.

Learn more about Azure Arc.

This article was created by Insider Studios with Microsoft and Intel.

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