5 minute read

Great! You just started your Azure journey and now it’s time to scale your infrastructure to meet the growing demands of your business. Microsoft Azure offers a robust cloud platform that can grow with you, but where do you begin? This article will introduce you to three fundamental building blocks for your Azure journey: Azure Subscriptions, Microsoft Entra ID (formerly Azure Active Directory), and Azure Enterprise Scale Landing Zones.

Understanding the Basics

Microsoft Entra ID (Azure Active Directory)

Microsoft Entra ID, previously known as Azure Active Directory (Azure AD), is the backbone of identity and access management in Azure. It is a cloud-based identity and access management service that provides:

  • Single Sign-On (SSO): Allowing users to access multiple applications with one set of login credentials.
  • Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA): Enhancing security by requiring multiple forms of verification.
  • Conditional Access: Implementing policies that manage access to applications based on user conditions.
  • Identity Protection: Detecting and responding to suspicious activities related to user identities.

Leveraging Microsoft Entra ID ensures secure and streamlined access to your resources, helping manage user identities efficiently as your organization scales.


Azure Subscriptions

An Azure Subscription is a container that holds your Azure resources. It’s linked to an Azure account and is the unit of management, billing, and control for resources in Azure. Key aspects include:

  • Resource Management: Organizing and managing resources like virtual machines, databases, and storage accounts.
  • Billing: Tracking usage and costs associated with the resources consumed.
  • Access Control: Setting permissions and policies for resource access and management.

You can benefit from multiple subscriptions to separate environments (e.g., development, testing, production) or different projects, ensuring clear boundaries and cost management.


Enterprise Scale Landing Zones

The Enterprise-Scale architecture is a modular design that allow organizations to start with foundational landing zones that support their application portfolios, regardless of whether the applications are being migrated or are newly developed and deployed to Azure. The architecture enables organizations to start as small as needed and scale alongside their business requirements regardless of scale point.

Enterprise Scale Landing Zones are predefined, best-practice architecture recommendations designed to help organizations set up their Azure environments in a standardized and scalable way. They address critical areas such as:

  • Security: Implementing security controls and compliance requirements.
  • Networking: Establishing a robust network topology.
  • Governance: Defining policies, management groups, and resource tagging.
  • Operations: Setting up monitoring, backup, and disaster recovery solutions.

Adopting Enterprise Scale Landing Zones from the beginning can help avoid common pitfalls and ensure your Azure environment is ready to scale with your growth.


How These Components Interrelate

Identity and Access Management with Microsoft Entra ID

At the core of any secure cloud environment is the management of identities and access. Microsoft Entra ID provides the necessary tools to manage who can access your Azure resources and under what conditions. By integrating Microsoft Entra ID with your Azure Subscription, you can:

  1. Control Access: Define roles and permissions for users and groups, ensuring the right people have the right level of access.
  2. Implement Policies: Use Conditional Access and other security policies to protect your resources.
  3. Monitor Activities: Track user activities and identify potential security risks with Identity Protection.

Structuring Your Environment with Azure Subscriptions

Azure Subscriptions act as the primary structure within which all your Azure resources reside. By strategically using subscriptions, you can:

  1. Separate Concerns: Use different subscriptions for development, testing, and production to isolate environments.
  2. Manage Costs: Track spending per subscription to ensure budget adherence and optimize costs.
  3. Apply Governance: Implement subscription-level policies and compliance checks to maintain a controlled and compliant environment.

Scaling with Enterprise Scale Landing Zones

Enterprise Scale Landing Zones provide a blueprint for setting up your Azure environment. They guide you through best practices and ensure your setup is ready for enterprise-scale operations. Key benefits include:

  1. Standardized Architecture: Follow best-practice templates to avoid misconfigurations and ensure consistency.
  2. Enhanced Security: Implement robust security measures and compliance from the outset.
  3. Scalability: Design your environment to scale seamlessly as your startup grows.

Why This Foundation Matters

Cost management, security, and scalability are paramount concerns. Here’s how Azure Subscriptions, Microsoft Entra ID, and Enterprise Scale Landing Zones can empower your journey:

  • Cost-Effectiveness: Organized subscriptions enable efficient cost tracking, allowing you to optimize spending and stay within budget.
  • Robust Security: Control user access and implement advanced security measures to safeguard your data and applications.
  • Effortless Scaling: Azure subscriptions and Entra ID can effortlessly adapt to accommodate your growing user base and resource demands.

While Azure Enterprise Scale Landing Zones might be overkill, it’s a valuable concept to keep in mind. These architectures provide a secure and standardized foundation for large deployments. As your company scales, understanding Landing Zones can help you plan your future infrastructure effectively.

Your First Steps on Azure

Ready to embark on your Azure adventure? Here’s what you can do:

  1. Create an Azure Subscription: Sign up for a free Azure account and create your first subscription.
  2. Explore Azure Services: Dive into the vast library of Azure services to discover solutions that match your specific needs.
  3. Master Entra ID: Learn how to configure Entra ID to manage user access and secure your applications.
  4. Plan for the Future: As your company grows, consider exploring Azure Enterprise Scale Landing Zones for a more robust infrastructure.

Remember, Microsoft Azure offers a wealth of resources to guide you on your cloud journey. Whether you’re a seasoned IT professional or a startup founder just getting started, Microsoft has the tools and support to help your business thrive.

This blog post is just the beginning. Stay tuned for future articles where we’ll delve deeper into specific Azure services and explore how they can empower your success!