The Bridge

The Bridge

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How Microsoft is extending Azure everywhere.

Effectively managing and securing an organization’s data estate can be a complex process. And as data has exploded in size, it also lives in more places than ever before. “To cloud or not to cloud” is no longer the question — it’s almost always both. In fact, 73% of enterprises today are deploying hybrid cloud solutions, according to Flexera’s “State of the Cloud” report. Getting a better handle on data, no matter where it lives, is a critical step to any innovation journey. Organizations need a bridge connecting their environments to drive efficiencies, reduce risk, and enable them to focus on driving 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 view their entire SQL data, from one place. This means organizations can streamline critical tasks like governance, security, and manageability.

 

The World Bank is working tirelessly to end extreme poverty and boost prosperity on a livable planet. To achieve its mission, the organization offers lending services in developing countries around the world. The World Bank is among the world’s largest sources of funding and financial knowledge for 189 developing countries. The World Bank IT team was using multiple cloud providers and tools to manage the complex backend of the global institution.

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

“We wanted to implement Azure Arc so we could utilize all the features and manage all our on-premises and cloud servers, including the AWS ones, from one location,” Kala Macha added. “With Azure Arc, we can manage everything at the operating level and on the SQL Server side as well—all from a single pane of glass. It’s made a huge difference in our efficiency.”

As of 2023, World Bank had connected about 25% of its SQL Server estate to Azure Arc. The organization plans to triple the instance count in 2024 based on initial results. Today, performance, insights, security, and compliance can all be managed in a single, centralized tool. All monitoring can be done in one location, making it simpler for teams to manage issues and requirements around vulnerabilities. 

Deploying Azure Arc has also had some notable financial benefits. For example, the IT team was using decentralized tools that were not capable of monitoring the entire SQL infrastructure (both on-premises and cloud). Plus, the team was only able to use the licensed tools on a few on-premises servers. For the same cost, World Bank can now enable Azure Arc on more than 300 SQL servers — 10 times more than the previously licensed tools — to monitor performance, security, compliance, and more (a cost savings of 90%).

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Today, World Bank and Microsoft are working together on additional functional elements to improve optimization of Azure Arc. “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,” Kala Macha said. “Because every dollar saved on the operation side is one more dollar that can go towards eradicating poverty.”

Delivering access and innovation anywhere

Azure Arc extends the features and services that make the cloud so attractive to an organization’s entire IT environment, even if that includes other clouds. This allows customers to connect once-disparate environments while helping to manage, govern, and secure in one unified integrated solution. In the case of The World Bank, it meant the ability to bring together its SQL Server databases. And when organizations are ready to take that next step, there are tools 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 enables easier migration between clouds and across generations of servers. Customers who are running SQL Server 2022 can realize even faster backups of their SQL Server databases, with lower CPU utilization, using Intel® QuickAssist Technology (or Intel® QAT). Intel QAT is built into the 4th Gen Intel Xeon processor for more efficient hardware-accelerated compression — even while the database is running.

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Azure Arc also provides customers with a consumption-based billing model: Instead of fixed licensing costs, customers can pay for only what they use, adding the flexibility to innovate with payments based on usage for a consistent and customized 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 operation side is one more dollar that can go towards eradicating poverty.” Chandra Kala Macha, Information Officer II, World Bank.

For organizations like the World Bank, who need centralized management along with fast and reliable data availability, Azure Arc offers a powerful and cost-effective solution. Azure Arc is the necessary bridge, enabling businesses to easily manage, govern, and secure their mission-critical data, while reducing costs and focusing on driving their mission forward.  

Find out more about Azure Arc. 

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

Read the original article on Business Insider

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