What are Azure Blueprints?
Blueprints, in the traditional sense, are used by architects and engineers to design and build new things. They are used to ensure that the final products are built to specifications and in compliance with certain standards and requirements.
Azure Blueprints are used in much the same way as traditional blueprints are. In much the same manner that an engineer or architect uses a traditional blueprint to design and build to spec, IT engineers can use Azure Blueprints to design and deploy a repeatable collection of Azure resources that adhere to certain requirements and standards. By leveraging Azure Blueprints, engineers can quickly build and deploy new environments that are always compliant with organizational standards – and they can do so far more quickly than building new each time.
Azure Blueprints allow the IT professional to orchestrate the deployment of resource templates and other Azure artifacts, including role assignments, policy assignments, resource groups, and resource manager templates. The service is back-ended by Azure Cosmos DB, which is globally distributed. Objects are replicated to multiple Azure regions to provide both highly available and low-latency access to those objects, regardless of where the Azure Blueprints objects are deployed.
The Lifecycle of an Azure Blueprint
Most resources in Azure have a natural lifecycle. Blueprints in Azure Blueprints are no different as they are created and then deployed. When they are no longer needed, they are deleted. As such, Azure Blueprints supports typical lifecycle operations and even builds upon them. Azure Blueprints provides support for typical continuous integration and for continuous deployment pipelines for companies that manage infrastructure as code.
The typical Azure Blueprint lifecycle consists of:
Creation of a blueprint
Publishing of the blueprint
Creating or editing a new version of the blueprint
Publishing a new version of the blueprint
Deletion of a specific version of the blueprint
Deleting the blueprint altogether