Get the most out of cloud with Microsoft Cloud Adoption Framework

July 4, 2022 - 4 minutes reading time
Article by Ilco Zeggelaar & Eelco Labordus

For a successful move to the cloud, it is essential that people, process, and technology are correctly aligned. To conduct and implement the right cloud strategy, the Microsoft Cloud Adoption Framework for Azure (CAF) was introduced. This framework consists of a set of tools, guidelines and manuals that help you get the most out of your cloud implementation.

The CAF aligns different phases of the cloud adoption cycle and thus provides the right support for your cloud implementation. Because the CAF is based on best practices and learnings from other organizations, you can easily avoid common pitfalls.

The CAF consists of several phases:

  1. Strategy: define why you are moving to the cloud and what results you expect.
  2. Plan: create executable adoption plans and align them with desired business outcomes.
  3. Ready: prepare the cloud environment for the planned changes.
  4. Adopt: migrate and innovate continuously in the cloud, keeping an eye on governance and operations.

The supporting stages govern and manage grow iteratively, parallel to the above stages.

Azure Landing Zone Design Principles

You want to design your cloud environment to be capable of innovation and transformation, while keeping the environment secure and compliant by default. For this purpose, the CAF uses the Azure Landing Zone Design Principles.

In total, there are 5 Design Principles:

1 Subsciption democratisation

Subscriptions are used as a unit of management and scale, tailored to your business needs and priorities. This allows you to support portfolio owners in accelerating application migrations and the development of new applications. You can also manage rights at the subscription level, such as role-based access control (RBAC). You apply subscriptions per solution, guaranteeing the management of this application within the subscription. It also delineates governance. Subscriptions are also a useful tool in separating development and production with other governance guidelines. You can read all about it here.

2 Policy driven governance

The right Azure policies ensure the compliancy of your cloud platform, while providing the developer and end user as guard-rails with enough freedom to do their jobs properly. Want to know more about policy driven cloud governance? You can read it in our article Policy driven governance: guardrails for cloud.

3 Single control and management plane

By implementing the CAF, you ensure management from one central location, so that your cloud environment offers a consistent experience for both AppOps and DevOps. You do this by avoiding abstraction-layer dependencies in your landing zone architecture. For example, specifically developed portals or tooling.

4 Application centric and archetype neutral

With an application centric service model, you focus on application oriented migrations and development instead of pure infrastructure migrations (lift-and-shift migrations), such as moving virtual machines. Design choices should not distinguish between old and new applications and infrastructure as a service (IaaS) or platform as a service (PaaS) applications. In doing so, you strive for a secure environment for all your applications in the cloud.

5 Azure native design and platform roadmap alignment

The Cloud Adoption Framework only uses Azure-native platform services where possible, so that new features that become available can be used immediately within your cloud environment. Azure platform services also help you create your migration strategy. Align your solution, system or software application with Azure native design and roadmap. This keeps your solutions up-to-date using the newest Azure functionalities and creates a seamless collaboration with the Azure cloud computing platform. Therefore, keeping your environment safe, scalable, reliable and cost efficient.

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