Automated Self-Service for Azure Networking Services

By Wulf Schiemann31. October 2022

Summary: Many cloud and networking teams struggle to provide their organization’s application teams with the Azure networking services they need. Why is that? As organizations strive to move to the cloud the high demand for networking services meets manual processes. The result is a real bottle-neck that slows down cloud adoption. Read this article to learn how to offer Azure networking in fully automated self-service with a solution developed by meshcloud. Additionally we offer a free demo.

The Problem: High demand for integrating applications into Azure meets manual network processes creating a cloud adoption bottle-neck

Organizations that move to the cloud and to Azure specifically encounter a high demand for integrating applications into their virtual networks. To offer on-prem or secure cloud connectivity they might build a hub-and-spoke architecture, having to create the spokes manually every time. A real bottleneck for the organization’s cloud transformation and not a scalable solution.

The solutions offered by Azure are complex and lack central transparency and control. Organizations need to be able to offer Azure connectivity in a scalable and secure way that allows central control.

Most organizations either don’t have an automated solution implemented at all or don’t know how to realize the architecture for Azure networking services and offer them to their application teams.

Often Network Engineers use an ITSM or even email and phone to give the access to virtual networks the application teams need. They set up networks manually for each request they get.

In a better case scenario they get pull requests for a terraform deployment from application teams and approve them to roll out networking architecture.

The Solution: meshStack and UniPipe Service Broker let you provide Azure networking in fully automated self-service

With meshStack – meshcloud’s Cloud Foundation Platform – and UniPipe – meshcloud’s GitOps-based Service Broker solution – it is possible to offer Azure networking in fully automated self-service. The central cloud team and the network engineers can set up an Azure networking service broker in less than an hour. With this in place the application teams can book and use the integration of their application into the organization’s virtual network within minutes.

How it works

Central Cloud Team & Network engineers

  1. Create a Git repository that will be used for GitOps by UniPipe Service Broker. Data about all requested services and their status is stored in it.
  2. Add the Azure Networking Service Terraform Module provided by meshcloud to this repository. If needed you can modify the Terraform modules to your needs.
  3. Deploy and with only a few steps configure UniPipe Service Broker and UniPipe Terraform Runner docker containers.
    You can use Azure IPAM to automatically assign unique IP ranges.
    OR you can add a manual step to the Service processing in which a network operator assigns an IP range.
  4. Register the new Service Broker in meshStack, so its services appear in the marketplace.
  5. Add the service as a required service to your meshLandingZone, which will be applied after creating a new project.
  6. Enjoy your running and integrated Azure Networking Service

Application Team

  1. Create a new project in meshStack.
  2. During project creation you can pick a plan (On-Prem connectivity or Cloud-only connectivity), provide information about the vNet size and the target location in Azure.
    Automated Self-Service for Azure Networking Services
  3. After project creation the network will be successfully deployed into your Azure subscription and you can start using it within your application.

Conclusion: High demand needs automated supply to keep your cloud adoption goals in focus

meshcloud’s solution solves your scalability challenges when it comes to integrating applications into your organization’s Azure networking. Automating the provisioning of Azure networking services removes a common bottle-neck and enables networking and application teams to reach their cloud adoption goals.