Of uncertaintyAzure cloud scan
Towards optimal security
Azure cloud scan
Of challenges in the cloudMicrosoft reference implementation
toward structural cost savings of 40%
Microsoft reference implementation
To save money and avoid security issues, efficient setup of cloud platforms is key. It is therefore essential to pay adequate attention to configuration. Rockstar David de Hoop has developed the Azure cloud scan for organizations that are already past this stage. For example, he conducted this scan at Logiqs, an engineering firm specializing in the development of advanced Vertical Farming systems.
Logiqs developers themselves said they could no longer fully oversee the security of their cloud platform. So David was brought in to identify areas for improvement and possible gaps. “The Azure cloud scan is based on three elements: security, governance and cost savings,” David said. At Logiqs, the focus of their request was on security, but David obviously included the other issues as well.
Concrete areas for improvement
David: “Using Microsoft’s reference implementation, I looked at what had been implemented. You then see what are logical choices but also what may have been overlooked. At Logiqs, a number of components had not been configured, which had come at the expense of security.” David’s advice included dedicated security resources and security rules, separate security groups per team and multi-factor authentication. He compiled his findings into a report and gave a workshop to the IT department so they could work with it themselves.
Marijn van der Zee is Chief Transparency Officer and Line manager at Logiqs. “What was pleasant about the results was that they were very concrete issues. We had also discussed this beforehand: we are not interested in a general audit, we want to be given concrete points for improvement and to be sure that we are not missing anything major, because we ourselves are not experts in this field. With David’s findings we could really do something.”
SIGNIFICANT COST SAVING
The focus was on security, but David’s advice also yielded significant cost savings. “One of David’s bigger recommendations was about Microsoft’s subscription format for our test systems,” Marijn said. “As a result, we reduced our monthly costs by about forty percent. Purely by using in a different way the subscriptions at Microsoft that we already had. David showed us how to set that up for one or two systems, then our team was able to do it themselves.” David: “I’ve been advising to take advantage of the benefits Microsoft offers for Development and Test workloads right now. Especially for an organization with a lot of in-house R&D such as Logiqs, this provides great savings.”
Marijn: “It was very pleasant that David caught on to the organization, the people and the knowledge present. Ultimately, as a consultant you have to give recommendations that the organization can use. It was of great value that David picked up the difficult issues himself and left us with recommendations that we could work with ourselves. It is a form of consultancy where the consultant is not concerned with keeping himself employed but trying to make himself redundant as quickly as possible.”
“Many issues with cloud platforms can be addressed by paying attention to them as early as the migration,” David argues. “It is therefore important to pay adequate attention to configuration. Especially the first few months, pay close attention to your usage costs so you can manage that well. You can never estimate the costs exactly in advance, there are too many variables for that and you have to deal with per-second billing. So keep an eye on it so you can make timely adjustments. In addition, pay sufficient attention to information and manageability: without information you cannot act and without manageability you cannot intervene.”
Marijn’s team can now work with confidence. “They don’t have to worry about costing Logiqs or opening all kinds of doors to malicious people. That’s very nice. If we have a similar request again in the future, we would definitely engage Team Rockstars again. They are motivated people with knowledge who just want to enjoy working together.”