One of the more interesting announcements at Microsoft’s 2019 Ignite conference was Azure Arc, a new management tool for hybrid cloud application infrastructures. Building on Azure concepts, Arc is designed to allow you to manage on-premises resources from the Azure Portal, deploying policies and services to virtual machines and Kubernetes. It also includes containerized versions of Azure’s SQL Database and PostgreSQL Hyperscale to give your Kubernetes-based hybrid applications Azure-consistent data options.
Azure Arc extends the Azure Resource Manager model down to servers and Kubernetes clusters. It’s designed to manage resources in a cloudlike manner wherever they are, treating Azure’s resource tooling as your control plane. That puts it at a much higher level than most management tools. For example, if you’re using it with virtual machines running on a Windows Server network, you’d manage the VMs with Hyper-V management tools, and the server configuration and applications running on them with Azure Arc.
Using Azure Arc with servers
“Wherever they are” is a key principle behind Azure Arc. With its application management focus, it is infrastructure agnostic. Those VMs it manages can be running in your data center, in a hosting facility, or as virtual servers in a managed, shared environment.