In the past few years, we have seen the advancement of cloud computing to levels we could not have possibly fathomed two decades ago. There are so many benefits to be reaped from its rise, and different industries are rushing to do so.
There are numerous ways businesses can benefit from cloud computing, including helping them avoid excessive costs.
Workloads vary from time to time and often companies under-utilize server capacity, thus increasing the running costs. With cloud computing, organizations can conduct their business without having to bear these costs, avoid the pricey and laborious task of building data centers, and have the ability to quickly and easily provision computing resources for a diverse set of purposes.
One of the most accomplished platforms that can help a business achieve that is Microsoft Azure.
What Is Microsoft Azure?
Microsoft Azure is a cloud-based computing platform that lets users entrust Microsoft with all their network and computing needs through its Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) model. It also enables them to scale resources to their existing infrastructure via a platform as a service (PaaS).
By creating a platform where users build, deploy, and even manage applications from anywhere, anytime, Microsoft has made it possible for employers and employees to conduct business without constraints.
Whether you choose to use Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) or platform as a service (PaaS), you have a reliable, secure access to your cloud-hosted data. Azure is a convenient, easy to manage platform that is built on Microsoft’s proven architecture. On top of that, Azure offers an ever-increasing array of products and services, and that can be used to improve service delivery.
Great Features of Microsoft Azure
While Microsoft Azure is outstanding, it is not the ideal private cloud computing platform.
Here is a summary of some of the things Microsoft Azure can do.
- Store data. Microsoft is a global infrastructure that can provide safe, highly accessible storage for your data. You can build a safe, cost-effective storage plan that helps you store intermittently accessed data at a reasonable pricing structure and massive scalability.
- Visual studio team services. IT firms and individual developers can benefit from the visual studio team services available on Azure as an add-on for application life cycle management (ALM). From all over the world, developers can collaborate on Azure to deliver applications, perform load testing, as well as share and track code changes. Companies building a service portfolio, large or small, can benefit from visual studio team services.
- Application services. With Azure, you can create and deploy—on a global scale—applications that are compatible with all portable and web platforms. You get to save time and money because Azure allows users to have prompt responses for their businesses’ ebb and flow. You can accelerate the development of applications with pre-built APIs such as Office 365 and Salesforce.
- SQL databases. As a service, Microsoft Azure provides managed SQL relational databases saving a business from the need for in-house expertise as well as overhead and expenses from software and hardware. You can have any number of databases, from one to unlimited.
- Virtual machines. A cloud-based virtual machine can host your apps and services as if they were in your own data center. With Microsoft Azure, you can use your own custom machine images or the vast selection of marketplace templates available to create a Linux or Microsoft virtual machine.
Having arrived in 2010, some would say that Microsoft Azure was late to the cloud computing party. But over the years, Microsoft has improved the services and benefits users and enjoy from deploying Azure to great levels. According to the research firm Gartner, Microsoft Azure is the leading cloud computing platform at the moment.
Clearly, Azure is huge in terms of both infrastructure and use. Its capabilities extend beyond simple data storage, but many businesses overlook that. For those considering to use Azure, below are four things to understand about it.
Azure Can Be Your Disaster Recovery Solution
In 2017, the cost of data breach was estimated to the average of $3.62 million. You may think that a tech disaster may never happen to you, but you would be wrong. With the current state of the IT world, cyber breaches are threat to everyone and it is only prudent for a business to arm itself with a disaster recovery plan.
Nobody has the luxury of ignoring the threats. You need a data backup and disaster recovery scheme, which can be brought to you by the cloud.
Microsoft Azure provides a reliable disaster recovery option for users looking for a secure cloud backup for their data. In the era of cloud computing, no one can afford to overlook the importance of a cloud backup system. Always be prepared for the worst, no matter how stable or secure you think your system is.
Security is Not Azure’s Best Selling Point
A significant number of cases of data loss are attributable to hacking attempts. We live in a highly digitized world, and data security is a big concern. If confidential business information ends up in the wrong hands, there is a lot that could go wrong. For instance, a company could end up facing losses amounting to millions—if not billions—of dollars.
While cloud has a lot advanced recovery and data backup options, it lacks some deep security features. As a public, multi-tenant service, it is far less secure than any dedicated private cloud or virtualized data center. While you can benefit from constant access to your business critical files, those with strict security requirements should better turn to Azure’s alternatives which provide safer options.
While private clouds are still one of the most stable options for such needs, truly secure clouds are rarity. For companies that operate in regulated industries, Microsoft Azure cloud is not the best choice.
You Can Make Use of Advanced Analytic Capabilities
Big Data is the backbone of the most successful business today. These large sets of both structured and unstructured data can provide useful business insights to help you improve service delivery and increase profits.
However, if you don’t have the necessary data analytics tools, your business will not benefit from big data.
Microsoft Azure provides safe, fast analytics from the cloud, particularly stream analytics. In Microsoft Azure, users can analyze data on-demand and in real-time. You can use custom code for stream; every scenario you may want to analyze.
These capabilities can provide advanced business intelligence and can be a major differentiator between Azure and other similar providers. Today, the market is filled with a variety of cloud-based BI tools, but Azure’s in-built analytics features are by far the best way to make the best of your databases.
Microsoft Azure is the industry leader when it comes to cloud computing platforms. Through adherence to best practices—managing latency, caching static file assets using a content delivery network, building a robust cloud service, etc.—any business organization stands to enjoy many benefits from the deployment of Microsoft Azure.
All over the world, services like Azure have become an integral part of how businesses are run.