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Azure Kubernetes Service on Azure Stack HCI (AKS-HCI) with Azure Arc enabled Kubernetes provides you with an environment that makes it easy to deploy, secure and monitor containerized applications at scale. By natively integrating AKS on Azure Stack HCI with Azure Arc, we make managing applications easy for you every step of the way, so you can focus on developing amazing applications.
In this blog, I will cover how AKS-HCI and Azure Arc complement one another. Before we get started, a quick, brief introduction to AKS-HCI.
Last year at Ignite 2020 we launched Azure Kubernetes Service on Azure Stack HCI (AKS-HCI) – an on-premises implementation of AKS that enables you to run containerized applications on Azure Stack HCI or Windows Server 2019 Datacenter the same way you would on AKS in Azure.
This gives you the flexibility to put your business needs first and choose a deployment model that works for you. AKS on Azure Stack HCI is built on 4 value pillars:
- Easy to deploy and easy to use
- Support for Linux and Windows containers
- Secure out-of-the-box
- Azure connected through Azure Arc
Running AKS in your datacenter does not mean you cannot enjoy Azure services like Azure Policy and Azure Monitor. Through Azure Arc, you can connect to Azure services for on-premises applications just like you would with AKS on Azure.
Furthermore, you can automate deployment of your applications and baseline configurations as Azure Arc makes it easy to implement GitOps. Connect your repository containing Kubernetes Helm charts and YAML manifests to an Azure Arc connected AKS-HCI cluster and Arc agents automatically deploy applications for you. If you want to deploy the same application at scale across multiple new and existing AKS-HCI clusters, you can use Azure Policy with a baked-in GitOps configuration.
When it comes to the security and compliance of your containerized applications and AKS-HCI clusters, Azure Policy provides a set of curated, built-in policy definitions that apply safeguards across all your AKS-HCI clusters in a consistent manner. Once you have successfully deployed and secured your application, you can use Azure Monitor for containers to monitor the health of your application and AKS-HCI clusters.
We have made it as easy as possible for you to connect your AKS-HCI clusters to Azure Arc. Windows Admin Center (WAC) natively integrates AKS-HCI with Azure Arc. All you need to do is provide us with your Azure subscription and resource group details and you are good to go! AKS-HCI manages the entire Azure Arc onboarding experience for you so you can focus on your applications and business needs.
To get started with AKS on Azure Stack HCI and Azure Arc enabled Kubernetes, we have created a couple of great guides –
- If you have an Azure Stack HCI cluster or a Windows Server 2019 failover cluster, head over to AKS-HCI documentation for a complete list of features and how-to guides. We would love to hear from you via our GitHub project.
- If you do not have an Azure Stack HCI cluster lying around but are curious about AKS-HCI, you can evaluate using an Azure VM. Visit evaluate AKS-HCI and give the provided guide a go. We would love to hear from you via our GitHub project.
- Head over to Azure Arc enabled Kubernetes documentation to learn more about the product and its features. The Azure Arc Jumpstart team has also created a dedicated automated scenario for AKS-HCI with Azure Arc enabled Kubernetes. Give it a spin and let us know what you think!
Brought to you by Dr. Ware, Microsoft Office 365 Silver Partner, Charleston SC.