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Cloud Management setup guide for Azure

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Cloud Management setup guide for Azure

To set up Cloud Management for the very first time, you perform the procedures in this "Day 1" setup guide. Be sure to perform the procedures in order. After you have performed "day 1" setup, you can perform optional "day 2" setup and configuration procedures as needed and in any order. Detailed instructions for each procedure follow this overview.

Subscribe to Cloud Management and request plugin activation

The Cloud Management application is available as a separate subscription and requires the Cloud Management plugin ( See Subscribe to Cloud Management and request plugin activation.

Roles required to set up Cloud Management

  • Operations on the Azure portal require the Active Directory administrator or Azure administrator role.
  • Operations in Cloud Management require the sn_cmp.cloud_admin role.

About terms that Cloud Management uses

Cloud providers often use proprietary names for account and credential settings. Because the Cloud Management application supports several cloud providers, Cloud Management uses general-purpose names for the settings. In Azure, the region-specific containers for virtual resources are called regions. In Cloud Management, regions are called datacenters or logical datacenters. The term "logical" is used to reinforce the idea that Cloud Management is provider-agnostic. All infrastructure or applications that are deployed using Cloud Management are associated with a datacenter.

Quick overview of the setup process

Your setup process includes these tasks:
  • If needed: Subscribe to Cloud Management and request plugin activation.
  • Assign appropriate roles to cloud users.
  • Set up the MID Servers that will handle secure communications with the provider API endpoints.
  • On the provider portal, collect your account settings and the credentials that the Discovery process will use (through a MID Server) to programatically access your provider accounts. Securely associate the account settings and credentials with a service account in Cloud Management.
  • Set up a cloud account to represent your entire managed cloud infrastructure and set up a service account that works with one of your provider accounts. You specify which datacenters in the service account should be included in the cloud account. (Later, on "Day 2", you can set up additional cloud accounts and service accounts from the same or other providers.)
  • Cloud Management uses CMDB data to help users request and manage cloud resources and to help you manage your cloud infrastructure. To populate the CMDB with resource data for all datacenters, you manually run the Discovery process on each datacenter in the service account. Then, to ensure that the data continues to be updated, you configure Discovery to run on a regular schedule. Your cloud account might look like this:
    Structure of a cloud account on Day 1
  • Providers offer services that can auto-update the CMDB whenever a create/modify/terminate life cycle change or configuration update occurs to a resource. You can configure the AWS Config, Azure Alert, Google Cloud Messaging, IBM Cloud Update, and VMware Events services to integrate directly with Cloud Management.

What you will do to integrate Cloud Management with your Azure accounts

Detailed instructions for each procedure follow this overview.

1. Assign roles to Cloud Management users
You assign Cloud Management roles to user groups and to individual users based on user activities and responsibilities.
2. Set up MID Servers to connect Cloud Management to an Azure account
To ensure secure and reliable communications, the Discovery process communicates with your cloud provider accounts and cloud resources through one or more MID Servers. You can set up the MID Servers on your network or in one of your cloud networks.
Note: Data is encrypted to the MID Server and between the MID Server and the API endpoint. To ensure high performance and security, you should configure one or more MID Servers for each datacenter under management. Configure the MID Servers even if you have already configured other MID Servers while setting up Cloud Management for another cloud provider.
3. Create an Azure service principal
To securely access resource and billing data on your Azure account, the Discovery process must present appropriate Azure account credentials. You create a special programmatic account — an Azure service principal — to generate the required credentials.
4. Store the Azure service principal credentials in the instance
To securely access resource and billing data on your Azure account, the Discovery process must present Azure service principal credentials. To make the credentials available to Discovery, you securely store the credentials in your instance.
5. Create a service account for Azure
A service account includes provider datacenters and holds the credential and account information for your provider account. Discovery uses the information to access your provider account to obtain information on each datacenter in the service account.
6. Discover all datacenters in a service account on-demand
After you set up a service account, run Discovery to populate the datacenters in the account.
7. Set up a cloud account for Azure
A cloud account is the logical representation in Cloud Management of all or part of your managed cloud infrastructure. A cloud account can include multiple service accounts — even service accounts from different providers. For each service account, you specify which datacenters to include in the cloud account.
8. Set capacity limits on user requests for resources
Capacity limits place restrictions on the attributes of cloud resources for a datacenter such as the number of virtual machines, virtual CPUs, or aggregate storage. You can set limits on resources separately for each logical datacenter in a cloud account.
9. Configure the Azure Alerts service to auto-update the CMDB
You can configure the Azure Alert service to auto-update the CMDB whenever Cloud Management makes a life cycle state or configuration change to an Azure resource. As a result, the CMDB updates without having to wait for Discovery to run.
10. Define the schedule for downloading Azure billing data
Define the scheduled job that regularly uses a MID Server to download billing data from the provider. Cloud Management saves the data in a cost table and uses the information to generate reports.

Next steps

When you have finished all Day 1 and Day 2 procedures in this setup guide, see the Cloud Management administration guide for information on using the Cloud Management application in your organization.