If you are looking for the full AZ-104 study guide: https://www.cloud13.ch/2023/10/31/az-104-study-guide-microsoft-azure-administrator/
When I discuss a hybrid or multi-cloud architecture with my customers, especially organizations that just started to journey to the cloud, they mention the so-called cloud landing zones. I remember, a few years ago, when I asked my customers and the internal specialist what a “landing zone” is, I received an answer like this:
A landing zone is a concept or architecture, which helps you to get started with your cloud migrations based on best or leading practices. You start small, and you expand later – you put your apps in the right place.
Does this sound familiar? If everyone is saying almost the same, then there’s no need to investigate this term or definition further, right?
Since I want to better understand Azure and pass my first solutions architect exam, I thought I would google “landing zone” to check, if it’s only me who has doubts about the correct and full understanding of these so-called landing zones.
An Azure landing zone is part of the Cloud Adoption Frame (CAF) for Azure and describes an environment that follows key design principles. These design principles are about application migration, application modernization, and innovation. These landing zones use Azure subscriptions to isolate specific application and platform resources.
An Azure landing zone architecture is scalable and modular to meet various deployment needs. A repeatable infrastructure allows you to apply configurations and controls to every subscription consistently. Modules make it easy to deploy and modify specific Azure landing zone architecture components as your requirements evolve. The Azure landing zone conceptual architecture represents an opinionated target architecture for your Azure landing zone. You should use this conceptual architecture as a starting point and tailor the architecture to meet your needs.
According to Microsoft, an Azure landing zone is the foundation for a successful cloud environment.
Landing Zone Options
There are different options or approaches when it comes to the implementation of landing zones:
After studying the Azure landing zone documentation, I think my past conversations (mentioned at the beginning) were mostly about the so-called “migration landing zones”, which focus on deploying foundation infrastructure resources in Azure, that are then used to migrate virtual machines in to.
The CAF Migration blueprint lays out a landing zone for your workloads. You still need to perform the assessment and migration of your Virtual Machines / Databases on top of this foundational architecture.
Azure Landing Zones and Azure VMware Solution
If you are looking for VMware-related information about Azure VMware Solution and Azure landing zones, have a look at the following resources:
- Azure landing zone review for Microsoft Azure VMware Solution
- Landing zone considerations for Azure VMware Solution
Azure Landing Zone Accelerators
When you browse through the Azure documentation, you will find out that Azure landing zones have two different kinds of subscriptions:
- Platform landing zone: A platform landing zone is a subscription that provides shared services (identity, connectivity, management) to applications in application landing zones. Consolidating these shared services often improves operational efficiency. One or more central teams manage the platform landing zones. In the conceptual architecture (see figure 1), the “Identity subscription”, “Management subscription”, and “Connectivity subscription” represent three different platform landing zones. The conceptual architecture shows these three platform landing zones in detail. It depicts representative resources and policies applied to each platform landing zone.
There’s a ready-made deployment experience called the Azure landing zone portal accelerator. The Azure landing zone portal accelerator deploys the conceptual architecture and applies predetermined configurations to key components such as management groups and policies. It suits organizations whose conceptual architecture aligns with the planned operating model and resource structure.
- Application landing zone: An application landing zone is a subscription for hosting an application. You pre-provision application landing zones through code and use management groups to assign policy controls to them. In the conceptual architecture, the “Landing zone A1 subscription” and “Landing zone A2 subscription” represent two different application landing zones. The conceptual architecture shows only the “Landing zone A2 subscription” in detail. It depicts representative resources and policies applied to the application landing zone.
Application landing zone accelerators help you deploy application landing zones.
Note: There is Azure VMware Solution landing zone accelerator available
Azure Landing Zone Review
Review your Azure platform readiness so adoption can begin, and assess your plan to create a landing zone to host workloads that you plan to build in or migrate to the cloud. This assessment is designed for customers with two or more years experience. If you are new to Azure, this assessment will help you identify investment areas for your adoption strategy.
The official Microsoft assessments website describing this service and checklist further can be found here: https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/assessments/21765fea-dfe6-4bc4-8bb7-db9df5a6f6c0/
AWS defines a landing zone as a “well-architected, multi-account AWS environment that is scalable and secure“. An AWS or Azure landing zone is a starting point from which customers can quickly launch and deploy workloads and apps with the right security and governance in mind and in place. It is not about technical decisions only, but it also involves business decisions to be made about account structure, identities, networking, access management, and security with an organization’s growth and business goals for the future.
Landing zones have a lot to do with the right guardrails and policies in place.