Azure is a highly flexible cloud platform provided by Microsoft. It is a growing collection of integrated cloud services which includes analytics, virtual machines, databases, mobile, networking, storage, web and much more. Below are some key points of Microsoft Azure.
It can be hard to predict the growth of your business and accommodate short term requirements. High demands and increased growth can put a strain on your infrastructure. This is where Microsoft Azure comes in. Microsoft Azure is a highly scalable cloud platform. Within a matter of minutes, you can provision a new server or change the resource of an existing one e.g. increase the CPU resource, memory or disk capacity. This is particularly useful for high demands or short term requirements.
Azure has a broad selection of operating systems, supports a broad selection of programming languages, frameworks, tools, databases etc. Azure allows you to utilise the same technologies that many of companies are already using and rely upon. If you have a technology requirement, likelihood Azure can accommodate it.
Azure’s pricing model is on pay-as-you-go meaning services can quickly be scaled up, scaled down on demand. You only pay per minute for what you use. Microsoft are committed to matching competitor’s prices e.g. Amazon Web Services to ensure you’re always getting the best price.
As you would expect from Microsoft, Azure is highly integrated with Microsoft’s other products e.g. Windows Server 2012, SharePoint, SQL, Dynamics etc. You can choose to host these applications in Azure, on premise or in some cases, a hybrid configuration.
In addition to Microsoft’s products, there are other services available in the marketplace e.g. Linux, Oracle etc. The list of services is continually growing at a fast pace.
Microsoft is one of the largest players in the IT world. As you would expect, the Azure service is highly reliable with enterprise high service level agreements 99.95%. In the unlikely event that Microsoft don’t achieve this uptime, they will provide you with service credit. Azure is used to power large services such as Skype, Bing and Xbox.
Many individuals and organisations are wary of putting their data in the cloud. This is why Microsoft has a commitment to protecting the data they host. Microsoft are the first cloud provider which has been recognised by the EU data protection authorities for commitment to EU privacy laws. Microsoft has also adopted the ISO 27018.
With Microsoft Azure, you are in complete control of security. You control who, what and where access is available from.
Azure is run from a large network of managed data centres across 22 regions – more than Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud combined. You can choose where you want your data and services to reside. You can choose from local redundancy whereby data is stored within the chosen region or geo redundancy whereby data is stored in a secondary region, at least 250 miles from the primary but with the same geography. This ensures that your services and data is highly available and redundant. As well as resiliency, by choosing the closest region, you will also benefit from high speed connectivity via the internet, site-to-site VPN or express route.