External droplets allow you to create a Cloud Maker blueprint and reference resources that have already been deployed and managed, either via a separate Cloud Maker blueprint or outside of Cloud Maker altogether.
Getting Started with External Droplets
Droplets are converted into an External droplet by simply selecting the 'Droplet Type' node on the properties panel and switching to 'External'.
Switching to External will remove any configuration options for that droplet, and you now simply enter the resource name under the 'General' node.
Cloud Maker will now look for this resource in Azure when you deploy your blueprint and will not attempt to deploy this resource itself.
Using External Droplets
A use case for External droplets could be where you have resources such as an Azure SQL database already deployed in production and not yet ready to be brought in to Cloud Maker.
In this scenario, you can configure the bulk of the infrastructure within Cloud Maker. However, the Azure SQL droplet and its containing Resource Group are set to 'External' and their name properties set to the names of the deployed resources.
The Azure SQL droplet is configured as 'External'.
The name of the Azure SQL resource deployed to Azure is entered into the 'Name' property.
We can then configure the rest of the Cloud Maker infrastructure and still reference these External droplets in our design. For instance, the Private Link droplet in this design can still be configured to allow connectivity to the external Azure SQL resource.
You can now deploy your blueprint to Azure, and the infrastructure will deploy as expected. Cloud Maker will not attempt to deploy the External droplets. Instead, it will reference them where needed.
There are a few considerations to keep in mind when using External droplets.
Firstly, External droplets in your Cloud Maker blueprint must be contained within their own External Resource Group. Today you cannot place External droplets into a 'Default' Resource Group, and you cannot place default droplets into an External Resource Group. This is due to how Cloud Maker manages Resource Group deployments and the way it monitors the state of each Resource Group.
You can, however, 'Nest' Default and External Resource Groups on the same design. For instance, you can have an External network with Default VMs as shown in the following diagram.
If you need assistance with External droplets, please don't hesitate to reach out either via the in-app chat or via email.