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An Introduction to Microsoft Azure Cloud and Its Benefits for Business!

With the market for cloud solutions growing fast, most enterprises are now using some kind of cloud business solution somewhere in their organization. Why cloud? Because of the evolution of networks and progress of the Internet, after having transformed the way people consume content, are on the verge of changing the way we think about computational potential and storage abilities. We are used to thinking of those as related to local physical machines, but the advent of cloud computing is leading toward a revolution in how we access computational and storage resources. Thanks to innovative platforms like Windows Azure and Amazon AWS, services are now accessible on demand!

There’s no doubt that everyone has heard about the cloud platforms and their benefits, but are organizations making the most out of Cloud platforms like Azure? 

We all know Azure is an open and flexible cloud platform from Microsoft. An innovative platform that businesses can leverage to quickly build, deploy and manage applications and services. But it doesn’t end there, Azure comes with many associated services, including those for compute, storage, data, networking and apps that can take businesses to new heights.

Let’s find out what they are.

 

What is Microsoft Azure?

Microsoft Azure is a cloud computing platform, that provides a wide variety of services you can use without buying and provisioning your own hardware. Azure empowers the agile development of solutions and presents the resources to perform tasks that may not be achievable in an on-premises environment. With Azure, businesses can easily implement the three cloud service models and gain unlimited access to storage, network, and application services allowing them to focus on building great solutions without the need to worry about how the physical infrastructure is assembled. 

With on-premises infrastructure, you have complete control over the hardware and software that you deploy. Over the years, this has driven hardware procurement decisions focused on scaling up; that is, acquiring a server with more cores to satisfy a performance demand. With Azure, a business can easily deploy only the hardware that is provided by Microsoft. Although this has consequences for the design of appropriate software architecture, there is now ample proof that the scale-out of commodity hardware is significantly more cost-effective than scale-up through expensive hardware. 

For startups, Azure enables you to start with really economical expense and scale rapidly as you obtain newer customers. You would not be burdened with large up-front capital investment to develop a new Virtual Machine (VM)—or even several new VMs. The application of cloud computing relates adequately with the scale fast, fail fast model of startup growth. The Azure platform presents the flexibility to set up development and test configurations quickly. These deployments can be scripted, therefore it gives you the capability to create a development or test environment, do the testing, and then bring it back down. This retains the expense and maintenance also is almost nonexistent. With Azure you can also try new versions of software without having to upgrade on-premises equipment. 


The 5 Business Benefits Of Using Microsoft Azure

 1. Extend your Datacenter with Azure Storage

Azure Storage is cloud storage that provides customers with anywhere and anytime access. It is highly durable, highly available and massively scalable. Azure Storage easily scales from megabytes to exabytes, and you pay only what you use when you use it. Pricing is based on the number of storage transactions, data stored, data egress and the type of replication. This makes it attractive for start-ups, small to midsize businesses and enterprise organizations alike. Azure storage benefits largely come down to agility, resiliency and price. On-premise storage is a significant cost for enterprises. In the cloud, you only pay for what you use, when you use it. No longer do you have to buy storage based on the IOPS you expect to need or the capacity you expect you may grow to need over the next several years.

2. Extend your Datacenter with Virtual Network

Azure Virtual Network allows you to extend an on-premise network into the cloud through site-to-site VPN. You can manage it like an on-premise infrastructure, and control the network topology and configuration of DNS and IP address ranges. A virtual network consists of more than one virtual machines that are configured to access local or external network resources. In Azure, virtual networks are used to provide a layer of security and isolation to your services. Virtual machines and web services that are part of the same virtual network can access each other. A site-to-site VPN connection to Azure is secured with industry-standard IPSec technology and the endpoint at your site will most likely be the firewall you already have.

3. Extend your Datacenter with Azure Backup and Disaster Recovery

Backup and restore options are a prerequisite for any business organization. Azure provides scalable and durable cloud storage, backup, and recovery solutions, and connects with your existing on-premise IT infrastructure, so you can backup and restore your apps and data regardless of whether they reside in the cloud or on-premise. Azure can provide a cost-effective way to enhance and optimize your disaster recovery and business continuity strategy. 

4. Virtual Machines: Using Azure for On-Demand Development and Test

If your organization develops custom applications, you need a development and test environment for those apps. This includes installing developer tools such as Visual Studio and creating a test environment that replicates a real-life production scenario. Over the past decade, creating virtual machines has replaced provisioning physical servers for each environment. Using a cloud platform instead of your own data center for virtualization has many advantages. In Azure, you can deploy Azure Cloud Services and Azure Virtual Machines. The former offers full Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) capabilities that allow you to create applications without having to manage the server infrastructure. The latter provides Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) capabilities, which give you way more control but also require you to manage most of the features of a virtual machine.

5. Single Sign-On with Azure Active Directory

Azure Active Directory (AD) implements identification and access management in the cloud. It is the cloud counterpart to Active Directory, which offers on-premises identity management through Windows Server. Azure AD comes in three versions: Free, Basic and Premium. Basic and Premium offer more advanced capabilities including high availability SLA uptime, advanced security reports, company branding and group-based application access management and provisioning.

 

Achieving IT infrastructure optimizations and cost efficiency through cloud solutions is no longer a confused proposal, and services for cloud management can help eliminate a lot of possible complexities. Cloud solutions running on Azure can enable a business to launch a new mobile app within two months instead of a year or access a server without even buying it. The benefits are never-ending and totally sublime, the question is are you ready for innovation?

 

 

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Ricky Philip

Ricky Philip

Content Strategist

ThinkPalm Technologies Pvt Ltd

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25 Mar

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Kochi

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