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One click Azure Set-Up for Data Platforms

A modern data platform, also on Azure, is composed of several different services and setting up the architecture can be challenging.

Aspects to consider are roughly as follows:

  • Which services are needed for the environment?
  • How to set up and configure these services specifically for a data platform?
  • How to ensure security aspects as all the services need to be able to communicate with one another?
  • How to manage different environments (development, testing, production) and keep them updated?

Infrastructure as Code (IaC) has been designed to help tackle specifically these issues.

Infrastructure as Code (IaC)

The purpose of IaC is to define a repetitive way to set up and configure services by using a definition language. The purpose of the definition language is to describe how, in what order and with which configuration should the environment be set up.

In Azure, this definition language is called ARM (Azure Resource Manager) Template. ARM is actually a JSON format description of the services that are to be set up. This can cause difficulties with understanding, developing, and managing the structures in a “code-like” manner.

There are various products which enable a developer to write “code-like” definitions and then translate them into ARM specifications. In Azure, this supporting product is called Bicep. In comparison to ARM, Bicep offers smart code completion while simultaneously auditing the results to make sure a valid ARM template is created. The syntax of Bicep is more concise and modular. In addition, it enables what-if operations based on different versions of Azure services.

The role of ADA

Our data platform accelerator ADA generates its output in the architecture of Azure’s modern set-up. This means that each new project needs several different Azure environments; most common being development, testing and production. These must be both uniform and secure.

To achieve this, ADA uses Bicep and ARM templates to set up the environments. In practice, the result of secure and uniform Azure environments is achieved within minutes instead of hours or days. In other words, setting up your Azure resources requires far less seniority, and is achieved in a shorter timeframe. As the activity level on Azure increases, these benefits accumulate to significant savings. This translates into more time for the actual content and business orientation of the solution.

If you want to see and explore this “one-click miracle” for yourself, visit Github and learn all about it!