July 23, 2018
In a previous post we discuss some of the major business benefits associated with cloud services that extend beyond just IT. Migrating data to the cloud can provide unprecedented levels of flexibility and opportunities to scale without the constraints created by managing on premise datacenters. In this post we will focus on the chief advantages of using Microsoft Azure Cloud Services specifically.
What is Microsoft Azure?
Azure is a cloud computing service by Microsoft built for creating, testing and deploying applications. Azure provides software as a service (SaaS), platform as a service (PaaS) and infrastructure as a service (Iaas) capabilities.
SaaS, PaaS, IaaS Definition Refresher: SaaS licenses a software subscription to a third party vendor. It’s frequently referred to as “on demand software”. With PaaS users can develop, run and maintain using a software platform managed by a third party. IaaS takes SaaS and PaaS a step further and the customer controls almost everything except the underlying cloud infrastructure.
Brief Azure History: Microsoft announced the launch of their cloud services in 2008 and officially released it under the name Windows Azure in February 2010. In 2014, Microsoft rebranded the service as Microsoft Azure. The 2014 name change reflected a shift in strategy for the company to focus on Azure as a public cloud platform for enterprise to service the world’s applications regardless of their operating systems.
One of the primary advantages of Microsoft Azure is that it is geography agnostic. In the modern business world, most companies require that their data has global reach. Companies that rely on centralized datacenters can sometimes find global expansion difficult. Features and adaptability of azure are not contingent on location.
Last year, BP, the world’s 12th largest company by revenue, selected to move its workloads out of central datacenters into Microsoft Azure as part of its corporate modernization efforts. BP will leverage Azure cloud services platform as a service (PaaS) for data visualization, workflows and predictive analytics.
One of the primary trepidations companies have when migrating to the cloud is security. On-premise datacenters allow for direct control over security measures that comply with company standards. Security remains one of the primary pillars of Azure. With the Azure Security Center, customers can maintain peace of mind with access to 24/7 unified security management across hybrid cloud networks.
With this Azure feature, customers can gain visibility to security across both on premise and cloud networks. Users can automatically deploy standardized security measures when onboarding new applications. Any security threats can be immediately remediated either using built-in Azure security assessments or proprietary assessments. Through VMs Azure controls leverage machine learning to protect against malware and viruses and can detect and respond swiftly to attacks.
Azure positions itself as not only a secure cloud network but an added security layer for all company datacenters.
Scaling involves a system adapting to a change in the amount of workload or traffic in a given application. This involves both increasing or decreasing application flows. One of the greatest features of Azure is its flexibility to scale. Scaling cloud networks involves creating or assigning servers to an application. With Azure, scaling is logistically simpler than with traditional hosting as primary servers do not need to be taken down. Companies gain benefits of scaling in the cloud as they don’t need to add physical infrastructure in order to scale.
With cybersecurity and risk management remaining at the forefront of IT and business, disaster recovery is key for cloud services. Azure prioritizes disaster recover through unprecedented coverage in regional and global fail-over options, hot and cold standby models and rolling reboot capabilities. This level of disaster recovery can be difficult to achieve in on premise models but comes standard out of the box with Azure.
Cost Savings and Flexible Expenditure
Cost savings continues to be one of the main drivers behind migrating to cloud services. Azure markets up to 72% savings with pay-as-you-go pricing. Companies can also choose to go the hybrid route and maintain their on premise data centers while reaping the benefits of flexibility and backup security in the Azure cloud.
Read about our partnership with leading supermarket company, Raley’s, and the cost savings realized by migrating data to Azure. Microsoft Azure provided Raley’s with many advantages including, security, scalability, flexibility, reliability, support, cost savings and the ability of Azure to provide a first class user experience.
Compliance can fall by the wayside when companies think about data. They would rather focus on tangible business outcomes. However, compliance must work in lockstep with business and system development to mitigate risk exposure and costly mistakes down the line! Microsoft holds more certifications than any other cloud provider leading in the areas of security and privacy requirements including GDPR.
Development Focused Integrated Delivery Pipeline
With Azure, companies can focus on end-to-end solutions for development. Azure focuses more on the entire package than just storage. With Azure, customers gain access to an integrated delivery pipeline for sourcing, testing, delivery and go-live. Taking advantage of Azure’s delivery pipeline allows for greater business continuity and better integration of data and workflows. It also fosters opportunities to create a true DevOps culture.
Azure Plus Attunix: One of our key service offerings at Attunix is Azure Managed Services. When partnering with Attunix to manage cloud services through Azure, customers receive increased visibility, access to maintenance and 24/7 incident remediation and a suite of value added services including cost management, business reviews and CIO advisory. By partnering with Attunix your organization will leverage the maximum advantages of Microsoft Azure with the help of a team of dedicated experts passionate about modernizing business!