For the 2017 company-wide Hackathon, Chirag Gupta and Gaurav Kapila saw an opportunity to bring visibility to and alignment behind an improved and more in-depth analysis of resource allocation for large enterprise customers on Azure. At the time, the two were working on log analytics and Azure Governance for their day jobs. They were gathering evidence on what were the gaps for enterprise adoption of Azure, and what could help the experience for customers with Azure subscriptions at scale. With their 2017 Hackathon project, Cloud Map, Chirag and Gaurav recruited a team to create a solution that provided Azure Resource exploration through a graphical interface as well as advanced query language for searching across Azure resource properties. When showing their hack project to various groups in the company, they found that everyone was dealing with one problem – helping large-scale, enterprise customers better understand their own Azure environments by bringing better visibility to existing issues or potential problems.
“Hackathon helped us really get these internal teams together. Our project has a lot of dependencies and partners inside Microsoft.” Gaurav explained. “We needed to get these teams in the same room and ask, ‘would something like Cloud Map be helpful to you? Does this solve your problems?’” Chirag added.
Their project resonated with teams and especially Group Manager of Azure portal, Leon Welicki, who not only joined their project but became the sponsor, key in guiding the project towards public preview and general availability as Azure Resource Graph. Alex Zakonov, who was the Director of Application Insights in 2017, also sponsored the project with engineers from his team contributing to the project early on. The amount of validation the project received was so powerful that the portal team adopted Azure Resource Graph completely, with the top search bar in Azure portal pulling data solely from Azure Resource Graph.
“We coded like crazy in 3-4 days during Hackathon, we were elbow to elbow, sitting together, so we developed a really close relationship. Fantastic full stack collaboration between everybody involved, which set a very solid foundation of two teams that worked like one.” Leon recalled his team working side by side with the Graph team during the Hackathon and how each member of the hack project worked across disciplines to achieve a compelling demo that showed their vision for the project. “We continue to have a fantastic partnership going on driving two parts of the product – front-end and back-end.”
In 2018, Chirag again participated in the Hackathon to experiment with what their team had built. Their 2018 Hackathon project, Microsoft Graph for Azure, investigated ways Azure Resource Graph’s reach could be extended by integrating Microsoft Graph to allow exploration using Microsoft Graph API’s.
In September of 2018 at Microsoft Ignite, Azure Resource Graph was officially released as part of Azure Governance, a set of services for customers that help build and scale applications quickly while making sure their environments are secure, compliant, and cost effective. Customers are able to access Azure Resource Graph by directly searching in the Azure portal search bar, querying and filtering on multiple resource properties, and seeing an in-depth and even visual representation of their resources across Azure subscriptions. All to ensure customers have a clearer picture of their activity and environments across Azure for smarter and more efficient management to save time and money.
At Build 2019, the team released the Azure Resource Graph explorer view in Azure portal. In addition to allowing customers to create custom queries, they could now also create dashboards based on the Graph. The experience was also made available on the Azure mobile application, expanding Azure Resource Graph’s footprint.
Even after public preview and general availability release, expect the team to continue improving and extending Azure Resource Graph. The team is collaborating closely with Azure portal to provide robust data visualizations and build improved Azure management experiences that are critical for IT admins, cloud admins, DevOps, and enterprise businesses everywhere.