Improve landing zone operations

When you've achieved the Ready state and implemented Azure landing zones, you still have an ongoing responsibility to manage your cloud environment in the most efficient way possible. This article provides guidance on improving landing zone operations as you scale, helping you meet growing operational excellence, reliability, and performance requirements.

The Manage methodology

The Manage methodology of the Cloud Adoption Framework provides guidance for establishing tooling for a management baseline and building operations management capacity across landing zones. It also outlines ways to extend your management baseline and build extra resiliency. We use the basic structure of the Azure Management Guide to improve operations across landing zones.

Screenshot showing the Manage methodology of the Cloud Adoption Framework. Figure 1: The Manage methodology of the Cloud Adoption Framework.

Prerequisite: Establish a management baseline

A management baseline establishes the foundation for operations management. It represents the minimum set of tools and processes that should be applied to every asset in a cloud environment. For high-level information, see Cloud management disciplines and Overview of Azure server management services. The disciplines and guidance can be applied to any landing zone to improve initial operations.

An effective management baseline encompasses three areas:

1. Inventory and visibility

This discipline comes first because collecting proper operational data is vital when making decisions about operations. Cloud management teams must understand what is managed and how well those assets are operated. See Inventory and visibility in Azure and Inventory and visibility in cloud management.

2. Operational compliance

Improving operational compliance reduces the likelihood of an outage related to configuration drift or vulnerabilities related to systems being improperly patched. See Operational compliance in Azure and Operational compliance in cloud management.

3. Protect and recover

Protect and recover is the final discipline in any cloud-management baseline, aiming to reduce the duration and impact of outages that can't be prevented. See Protect and recover in Azure and Protect and recover in cloud management.

Create business alignment

Once you've established a management baseline, you need to understand the criticality and impact of each workload within a landing zone in order to drive ongoing management improvements.

When an organization moves to the cloud, management and operations naturally shift a bit. This shift creates an opportunity to develop tighter business alignment by defining criticality, business impact, and business commitments. See Create business alignment in cloud management.

Define criticality

Most businesses have a few workloads that are too important to fail, while other workloads can go months at a time without being used. Understanding the criticality of each workload in the IT portfolio is the first step toward establishing mutual commitments to cloud management. See Business criticality in cloud management.

Understand business impact

In order to manage investments wisely, it's important to understand the impact on the business when an outage or performance degradation occurs. See Business impact in cloud management.

Define business commitments

Defining business commitments is an exercise in balancing priorities. The objective is to align the proper level of operational management at an acceptable operating cost. See Business commitment in cloud management.

Enhance the management baseline

Identify the workloads that require improving landing zone operations beyond the initial baseline. Some workloads might require enhancements to the baseline that aren't necessarily specific to a single platform or workload. Although these enhancements aren't cost effective for every workload, you should establish common processes, tools, and solutions for any workload that can justify the cost of the extra management support. See Enhanced management baseline in Azure.

Apply advanced operations and design principles

Review the design and operations of specific workloads, platforms, or full landing zones to meet deeper requirements. In some cases, aspects of workload and platform operations might require changes to design and architecture principles. The two primary areas of management specialization are platform specialization and workload specialization. See Apply design principles and advanced operations.

Platform specialization

Platform specialization means to invest in ongoing operations of a shared platform, distributing the investment across multiple workloads. See Platform specialization for cloud management and Platform operations in cloud management.

Workload specialization

Workload specialization means to invest in ongoing operations of a specific workload, generally reserved for mission-critical workloads. See Workload specialization for cloud management and Workload operations in cloud management.

Landing zone operations best practices

The following links provide best practices for improving landing zone operations.

Next steps

Understand how to improve landing zone governance to support adoption at scale.