What's new in the Microsoft Cloud Adoption Framework for Azure

Here's a list of recent changes made to the Cloud Adoption Framework.

This framework is built collaboratively with customers, partners, and internal Microsoft teams. New and updated content is released when it becomes available. These releases allow you to test, validate, and refine the guidance along with us. We encourage you to partner with us to build the Cloud Adoption Framework.

March 2021

This release is the largest update of the framework yet, adding a number of new broad-reaching collections of guidance that span across the entire framework.

Adoption journeys

Most notable in this release is the addition of adoption journeys, which provide a short, consumable overlay or lenses that rest on top of the deeper framework to accelerate engagement. These shorter guides demonstrate how to apply the guidance in the Cloud Adoption Framework, the Microsoft Azure Well-Architected Framework, the Azure Architecture Center, Microsoft Learn, and other Microsoft documentation to the adoption of specific technology platforms. The table below provides links to the overview page for each of the new journeys:

Journey Description
Hybrid and multicloud Lifecycle guide to integrate hybrid, multicloud, and unified operations into your cloud adoption journey.
Modern containers Container modernization enables rapid innovation and workload portability. Learn how to integrate containers into your cloud adoption journey.
SAP on Azure As part of our OneMigrate (migration scenarios) commitment, this journey bridges the gaps between the SAP migration process and other mainstream migration processes to deliver on full-scale adoption of SAP on Azure.

Cloud economics

Building on feedback and lessons learned, this is our first step to refresh the Strategy methodology by integrating Microsoft's cloud economics program.

We've updated the introduction to each category of business outcomes with references to case studies on cloud economics, demonstrating how organizations achieve the related business objective. The refreshed introductions with illustrative case studies include:

Enterprise-scale updates

The critical design area of network topology and connectivity includes new articles that simplify rationalizing individual components of your network design. Those design aspects now include guidance on connecting to multicloud providers like Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. We've also released the new enterprise-scale Terraform module to demonstrate Microsoft's continued investment in open-source approaches to Azure landing zone configuration. Lastly, we've updated guidance on how enterprises can [optimize management groups and organize subscriptions](../ready/enterprise-scale/management-group-and-subscription-organization] in Azure to meet cloud governance requirements.


Companies often miss important steps in their cloud adoption journey. The new cloud adoption anti-patterns guidance highlights common customer pain points, what skipped step led to that pain, and the fastest path to recovery. The anti-patterns are distributed throughout each methodology, but a top 10 list is available in the getting started section of the framework.

January 2021

To help you accelerate adoption and innovation, we've added new information about using GitHub and updated best practices for machine learning. We've published a new article and video to help you choose the best landing zone.

Article Description
How GitHub accelerates cloud adoption This article outlines the benefits of using GitHub to accelerate cloud adoption by taking advantage of open-source assets, collaborative development environments, automation and security features.
Best practices for machine learning We've updated and expanded the best practice guidance for Machine Learning. Included in the best practices are:

  • How to approach machine learning operations and the MLOps process
  • Machine learning security
  • Machine learning inference and deployment
  • Determine compute instances for your model
  • Set up machine learning workspaces
  • Responsible and trusted AI
  • Choose a landing zone option Microsoft offers two implementation options for landing zones: Start small and expand and Enterprise-scale. Use this new article to review both options and choose the right approach for your organization.

    December 2020

    We've revised the naming and tagging strategy guidance, as well as adding guidance for Moodle migration scenarios.

    Article Description
    Develop your naming and tagging strategy for Azure resources We've refined the guidance for defining your naming and tagging strategy. In addition to the overview, we've separated this guidance into multiple articles that cover these topics:

  • Define your naming convention
  • Recommended abbreviations for various Azure resource types
  • Define your tagging strategy
  • Migrate a Moodle deployment to Azure Learn how to migrate a deployment of the Moodle open-source learning management system from an on-premises environment to Azure. Steps are provided for using either the Azure portal or the Azure CLI for your deployment.

    October 2020

    This month's updates include incremental improvements throughout the Cloud Adoption Framework and supporting web assets.

    Our biggest investments have focused on building out Microsoft Learn modules to accelerate application of the Cloud Adoption Framework. This month, we released the modules listed below. Note that the Getting Started module provides our first guidance aligned with an industry vertical, by introducing a retail customer (Tailwind Traders) who we will follow through all of the core methodology modules to follow.

    Module Description
    Overview module Entry-level introduction to the framework.
    Getting Started module Introduction to the getting started guides to accelerate application of the proper methodologies for overcoming specific blockers.
    Azure landing zones Before building out your cloud environment, understand your operating requirements and choose the most appropriate Azure landing zone product to get you started.
    Create an enterprise-scale architecture Create landing zones at scale following a set of enterprise-scale design principles, reference architectures, and reference implementations. Four modules to create a single learning path to success.

    We've also expanded the business outcomes to share a number of common business motivations and approaches that continue to emerge in the post-COVID marketplace.

    Article Description
    Examples of sustainability outcomes Learn how cloud computing can help you reduce carbon emissions, use resources more efficiently, and shrink your environmental footprint.
    Measure business outcomes with objectives and key results (OKRs) Learn how to use OKRs to measure business outcomes.
    Measure business outcomes with AppDynamics Understanding an application's performance and user experience is key to measuring business outcomes. See how AppDynamics can provide business insights for most use cases.
    Cost management update: Spot VMs Use of Spot VMs in nonproduction environments is a rapidly emerging practice to further reduce costs in those environments.existing environments. "I already have a working environment. How can I apply the design principles of enterprise-scale?" The new article on transitioning to enterprise-scale can help.
    Article Description
    Transition existing Azure environments to enterprise-scale This article helps organizations to navigate the right path based on an existing Azure environment transitioning into enterprise-scale.
    Cloud Adoption Framework enterprise-scale landing zone architecture This article was updated to include a high-level diagram for an enterprise-scale landing zone architecture based on the hub and spoke network topology, and updates to describe and cross-reference the critical design areas for an enterprise-scale landing zone architecture.

    August 25, 2020

    This release provides better definition and decision criteria regarding landing zone implementations.

    Operating model

    One of the most important considerations in landing zone design and implementation is your operating model. How you want to operate in the cloud will have a direct impact on the architecture and controls to implement. The following articles will help align your target operating model with a few models that are common in the cloud. Then map those to the most appropriate implementation to get started.

    Article Description
    Compare common operating models This article is the primary guide for comparing operating models and choosing a course of action.
    Understand cloud operating models Primer for making import decisions regarding your operating model.
    Define your operating model with CAF The Cloud Adoption Framework is an incremental guide to building out your environment and adopting the cloud within your chosen operating model. This article creates a frame of reference to understand how the various methodologies support the development of your operating model.
    Terms Terms that are likely to come up when discussing your operating model with counterparts. These terms are not as commonly used by architects or technical specialists, but will prove important in those conversations.

    Azure landing zones: Additional implementation options

    The concept and implementations options behind Azure landing zones was built alongside the leading Microsoft partners. This release recognizes the existing intellectual property (IP) that those partners use to accelerate cloud adoption.

    Article Description
    Partner landing zones Review and compare Azure landing zone offers from your partner.
    Implementation options Updated to add partner landing zone options to the existing Azure landing zone implementation options.
    Enterprise-scale reference implementations Updated to add a hub-spoke reference implementation to enterprise-scale reference implementations.


    The new partner landing zone articles don't specify how a partner should define or implement a landing zone. Instead, it's designed to add structure to a complex conversation, so you can better understand the partner offer. This list of questions and minimum evaluation criteria can also be used to compare offers from potential partners. It's also being used by some partners to more clearly communicate the value of their Azure landing zone implementation options.

    July 17, 2020

    This release adds a number of new scenarios to make cloud adoption more actionable.

    Migration scenarios:

    The new migration scenarios overview page builds on the Migrate methodology to demonstrate how Azure delivers on the #OneMigrate promise. It provides approaches to migrating multiple first and third-party scenarios to Azure. This includes new migration scenarios:

    Article Description
    Windows Virtual Desktop This scenario enables productivity boosts and accelerates the migration of various workloads to support the end-user experience.
    Azure Stack Learn about deploying Azure in your datacenter using Azure Stack Hub.

    Analytics in the Cloud Adoption Framework:

    Analytics solutions are now included in the Microsoft Cloud Adoption Framework. These new topics highlight best practices for enabling analytics solutions during your cloud adoption journey.

    Article Description
    Analytics solution for Teradata, Netezza, Exadata Learn about migrating legacy on-premises environments including Teradata, Netezza, and Exadata to modern analytics solutions.
    High availability for Azure Synapse Learn about one of the key benefits of a modern cloud-based infrastructure, built-in high availability and disaster recovery.
    Schema migration data definition languages (DDL) Learn about the database objects and associated processes when preparing to migrate existing data.

    AI in the Cloud Adoption Framework:

    AI solutions and best practices are now integrated into the Microsoft Cloud Adoption Framework. These AI solutions can help accelerate innovation with predictions about customer's needs, automate business processes, discover information, find new ways to engage with customers, and deliver better experiences during your cloud adoption journey.

    Article Description
    Responsible AI Learn about the AI principles you should consider when implementing AI solutions and learn how to establish a responsible AI strategy.
    Azure innovation guide: innovate with AI Learn about how you can innovate with AI and find the best solution based on your implementation needs.
    AI in the Cloud Adoption Framework Review a prescriptive framework that includes the tools, programs, and content (best practices, configuration templates, and architecture guidance) to simplify adoption of AI and cloud-native practices at scale.
    MLOps with Azure Machine Learning Learn about machine learning operations (MLOps) best practices.
    Innovate with AI Learn about AI solutions (machine learning, AI applications and agents, knowledge mining) and best practices that can accelerate digital invention.

    June 15, 2020

    Proper configuration of the cloud environment is often the first and most common technical blocker during cloud adoption. This release focuses heavily on guidance that accelerates deployment of cloud environments. To overcome this common blocker, the Cloud Adoption Framework introduces Azure landing zones.

    Article Description
    Azure landing zones Azure landing zones create a common set of design areas and implementation options to accelerate environment creation aligned to the cloud adoption plan and cloud operating model. This new article defines Azure landing zones more clearly.
    Azure landing zones: design areas All Azure landing zones share a common set of 8 design areas. Before deploying any of the Azure landing zones, customers should consider each of these design to make critical decisions.
    Azure landing zones: implementation options Choose the best Azure landing zone implementation option, depending on your cloud adoption plan and cloud operating model.

    The existing CAF blueprint definitions and CAF Terraform modules provide a starting point for Azure landing zone implementation. However, some customers need a richer implementation option that can meet the demands of enterprise-scale cloud adoption plans. This release adds CAF enterprise-scale to the Azure landing zone implementation options to fill that need. The following lists a few of the articles to get you started with the CAF enterprise-scale architecture and reference implementations.

    Article Description
    Enterprise-scale overview Overview to enterprise-scale
    Implement CAF enterprise-scale landing zones Rapid implementation options and GitHub examples
    Enterprise-scale architecture Understand the architecture behind enterprise-scale
    Enterprise-scale design principles Understand the architectural design principles that guide decisions during implementation to evaluate whether this approach fits your cloud operating model
    Enterprise-scale design guideline Evaluate the enterprise-scale guidelines for fulfilling the common design areas of Azure landing zones
    Implementation guidelines Review the activities required for an enterprise-scale implementation before deployment

    Partners are an important aspect of successful cloud adoption. Throughout the Cloud Adoption Framework guidance, we have added references to show the important role that partners play and how customers can better engage partners. For a list of validated CAF partners, see the CAF-aligned partner offers, Azure expert managed service providers (MSPs), or advanced specialist partners.

    May 15, 2020

    Based on feedback, we've created new content to get you started using the Cloud Adoption Framework. The new getting started guides help you navigate the framework based on what you want to accomplish. We've also create a new landing page to make it easier to find the guidance, tools, learn modules and programs that support a successful cloud adoption journey.

    Article Description
    Cloud Adoption Framework for Azure The Cloud Adoption Framework landing page has been redesigned to make it easier to find the guidance, tools, learn modules and programs that support a successful cloud adoption journey.
    Get started with the Cloud Adoption Framework Choose a getting started guide that's aligned with your cloud adoption goals. These common scenarios provide a roadmap through the Microsoft Cloud Adoption Framework for Azure.
    Understand and document foundational alignment decisions Learn about the initial decisions that every team involved in cloud adoption should understand.
    Understand and align the portfolio hierarchy Learn how a portfolio hierarchy shows how your workloads and supporting services all fit together.
    How do Azure products support the portfolio hierarchy? Learn about the Azure tools and solutions that support your portfolio hierarchy.
    Manage organizational alignment Establish well-staffed organizational structures that an effective operating model for the cloud.

    April 14, 2020

    We've brought all the cloud adoption tools and templates together in one place to make them easier to find.

    Article Description
    Tools and templates Find the tools, templates, and assessments that can help you accelerate your cloud adoption journey.

    April 4, 2020

    Continued iteration of refinement to the Migrate methodology and the Ready methodology, to more tightly align them with feedback from Microsoft customers, partners, and internal programs.

    Migrate methodology updates:

    Article Description
    Migrate methodology These changes streamline the phases of the migration effort (assess workloads, deploy workloads, and release workloads). The changes also remove the details regarding the migration backlog. Removing those details and referencing plan, ready, and Adopt methodologies instead creates flexibility for various different cloud adoption programs to better align with the methodology.

    Ready methodology updates:

    Article Description
    Refactor landing zones New article: Drawing from Ready methodology workshops, this article demonstrates the theory of starting with an initial template, using decision trees and refactoring to expand the landing zone, and moving toward a future state of enterprise readiness.
    Expand your landing zone New article: Builds on the parallel iterations section of the refactoring article to show how various types of landing zone expansions would embed shared principles into the supporting platform. The original content for this overview has been moved to the basic landing zone considerations node in the table of contents.
    Test-driven development (TDD) for landing zones New article: The refactoring approach is much improved through the adoption of a test-driven development cycle to guide landing zone development and refactoring.
    Landing zone TDD in Azure New article: Azure governance tools provide a rich platform for TDD cycles or red/green tests.
    Improve landing zone security New article: Overview of the best practices in this section, related back to the TDD cycle.
    Improve landing zone operations New article: List of best practices in the Manage methodology, with a transition to that modular approach to improving operations, reliability, and performance.
    Improve landing zone governance New article: List of best practices related to Govern methodology, with a transition to that modular approach to improving governance, cost management, and scale.
    Start with enterprise-scale New article: Demonstrate an approach that shows the differences in the process, when a customer starts with CAF enterprise-scale landing zone templates. This article helps customers understand qualifiers that would support this decision.

    March 27, 2020

    We've added guidance about the initial subscriptions you should create when you adopt Azure.

    Subscription guidance updates:

    Article Description
    Create your initial Azure subscriptions New article: Create your initial production and nonproduction subscriptions, and decide whether to create sandbox subscriptions, as well as a subscription to contain shared services.
    Create additional subscriptions to scale your Azure environment Learn about reasons to create additional subscriptions, moving resources between subscriptions, and tips for creating new subscriptions.
    Organize and manage multiple Azure subscriptions Create a management group hierarchy to help organize, manage, and govern your Azure subscriptions.

    March 20, 2020

    We've added prescriptive guidance that includes the tools, programs, and content categorized by persona to drive successful deployment of applications on Kubernetes, from proof of concept to production, followed by scaling and optimization.


    Article Description
    Application development and deployment New article: Provides checklists, resources, and best practices for planning application development, configuring CI/CD pipelines, and implementing site reliability engineering for Kubernetes.
    Cluster design and operations New article: Provides checklists, resources, and best practices for cluster configuration, network design, future-proof scalability, business continuity, and disaster recovery for Kubernetes.
    Cluster and application security New article: Provides checklists, resources, and best practices for Kubernetes security planning, production, and scaling.

    March 2, 2020

    In response to feedback about continuity in the migration approach through multiple sections of the Cloud Adoption Framework, including Strategy, Plan, Ready, and Migrate, we've made the following updates. These updates are designed to make it easier for you to understand planning and adoption refinements as you continue a migration journey.

    Strategy methodology updates:

    Article Description
    Balance the portfolio Moved this article to appear earlier in the Strategy methodology. This gives you visibility into the thought process earlier in the lifecycle.
    Balancing competing priorities New article: Outlines the balance of priorities across methodologies to help inform your strategy.

    Plan methodology updates:

    Article Description
    Assessment best practice Moved this article to the new "best practices" section of the Plan methodology. This gives you visibility into the practice of assessing local environments earlier in the lifecycle.

    Ready methodology updates:

    Article Description
    What is a landing zone? New article: Defines the term landing zone.
    First landing zone New article: Expands on the comparison of various landing zones.
    CAF Migration landing zone Separated the blueprint definition from the selection of the first landing zone.
    CAF Terraform modules Moved to the new "landing zone" section of the Ready methodology, to elevate Terraform in the landing zone conversation.

    Migrate methodology updates:

    Article Description
    Overview Updated with a clearer description of the guide and fewer steps.
    Assess Added a "challenging assumptions" section to demonstrate how this level of assessment works with the incremental assessment approach mentioned in the Plan methodology.
    Classification during assess processes New article: Outlines the importance of classifying every asset and workload prior to migration.
    Migrate Added a reference to UnifyCloud in the third-party tool options, in response to feedback at tier 1 conferences.
    Test, optimize, and promote Aligned the title of this article with other process improvement suggestions.
    Assess overview Updated to illustrate that the assessment in this phase focuses on assessing the technical fit of a specific workload and related assets.
    Planning checklist Updated to clarify the importance of operations alignment during planning for migration efforts to ensure a well-managed workload following migration.