What is Microsoft Azure and Why it Matters?
Organizations all over the world are witnessing tremendous growth and success with having business solutions driven by the cloud. They are redefining business activities with secure and scalable cloud-triggered applications. Microsoft Azure is one such cloud computing service that is facilitating millions of organizations to drive their business activities utilizing cloud computing. In fact, out of Fortune 500 companies, 95% of them are using Microsoft Azure. In this blog, we will have a comprehensive discussion on Microsoft Azure and the benefits it brings for your business.
What is Microsoft Azure?
Microsoft Azure is a public cloud computing service from Microsoft. It provides a diverse range of cloud services that include storage, analytics, networking, virtual computing, and many others using solutions, such as Platform as a Service (PaaS), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS). It helps organizations to either supplement or replace their on-premise servers. When Azure cloud services get deeply-integrated with business infrastructure, it enables the business to rapidly build, set up, and manage simple to complex applications conveniently. The five salient aspects of Azure are:
- Open: It supports a wide range of languages, frameworks, tools, and operating systems.
- Flexible: It enables to scale resources up and down instantly.
- Global: It provides global access due to its data storage in geosynchronous data centers.
- Reliable: It comes with 24×7 tech-related support and 99.95% SLA availability.
- Cost-Friendly: It only requires you to pay for what you are using from it.
With being fast, economical, flexible, and resourceful, Microsoft Azure presents itself as the best public cloud computing service in the tech world. Following are the four key working applications of Azure:
- Apply and Improve Backup & Disaster Recovery
With the growing practice of data-driven decision and analytics, data holds tremendous importance today. No organization wants to face the situation of data loss, so they allocate dedicated resources to have backup and disaster recovery plans.
Azure presents itself as an ideal backup and disaster recovery tool owing to its flexibility, built-in integration, cloud-based storage, and advanced site recovery mechanisms. With the flexible nature, Azure can perform data backup from any location and in any language and operating system. You can also set up the frequency of backup, such as daily, weekly, etc.
Tape backup requires time and location and provides limited backup and disaster recovery possibilities. On the other hand, Azure provides the best site recovery owing to its offsite replication, almost zero onsite maintenance and capital investment, 99 years of data retention, and almost no operational costs. Azure makes three copies of the data backed up in it at three different locations at the data center. So, there is no chance that your data will be lost from Azure.
If you are a part of the Windows virtual environment, the built-in integration of Azure for additional backup is a faster and hassle-free solution. The site recovery of Azure links with Hyper-V architectures and System Center, setting up a fast and smooth cohesion among Hyper-V, Azure, and System Center.
- Develop and Host Mobile and Web Apps
Azure is a platform that makes developing, managing, or hosting mobile and web apps convenient. It makes such apps autonomous and adaptive with its features, such as AutoScale, patch management, and integration in the case of on-premises apps.
AutoScale is a state-of-the-art feature of Azure that helps you to automatically adjust the resources according to web traffic. This way, you will always have the resources during high web traffic and save lots of bucks in terms of resources during low web traffic.
The autonomous patch management feature of Azure for virtual machines helps to decrease the time to manage infrastructure and keep the focus on enhancing the apps. Azure also gives you support for regular deployment, which makes smoother code updates.
When you have both on-premise apps and web apps, Azure helps you to integrate them conveniently. With such integration, your partners and employees can have easy and secure access to resources inside the firewall, which otherwise is challenging to access from outside securely.
- Supplement and Distribute Active Directory
Active Directory can easily get integrated with Azure, which helps to increase your access capability. By such integration, your organization achieves centralized management, global reach, and robust security.
Currently, there is no other cloud service provider that can extend the access of your consolidate AD management and domain controller like seen with Azure. Azure enables you to globally distribute your AD environment that is direct connect enabled.
If you are located at multiple places or deploying cloud or on-premise apps, then the integration between Azure and Active Directory will become a central tool for managing the access of all such apps and tools. But with such integration also comes security issues. Therefore, Azure is providing a multi-factor authentication feature, which can add an extra security wall for your apps and data.
- Resourceful for IoT Industry Solutions
Since organizations are aggressively deploying IoT devices, the flexibility, scalability, and security of Azure make it an ideal resource for organizations in this matter. Azure makes it convenient for you to integrate devices with the cloud via solutions that connect with the current infrastructure and help your organization start receiving new business insights. They also get benefits of remote monitoring, along with predictive analytics and maintenance.
Azure IoT Hub can itself manage and analyze uncountable devices. It helps to gain business insights for better data-driven decisions, decrease complexity, enhance customer experience, and decrease cost. Besides that, the top-notch security aspects of Azure are also very vital for IoT solutions, decreasing any loopholes that cyber-attackers can attack. Azure has also made it easy for you to get started with the platform via its ‘Azure IoT solution accelerators’, along with pre-built templates that can be customized based on your needs.
How to use Azure?
The above four services of Azure are just a small glimpse of the potential behind the platform. In a nutshell, cloud computing is the future and Microsoft Azure is such a platform that promises the best cloud computing experience and services organizations from all over the world are needing or will need in the coming future.
If you are convinced to give Azure a try, then Azure provides you a free trial period with $200 in Azure credit so that you can witness the true potential of the platform before making any purchase. You can also use the Azure price calculator to estimate the cost.