In 2019 it was reported that 94% of all businesses had at least one cloud-based application handling secure business data (Flexera “State of the Cloud” report 2019). The big question for a business is: which Cloud to choose? There are fans of Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Google Cloud worldwide. However, Microsoft Azure is our favourite: it is rapidly gaining popularity due to some exciting and unique features. In 2019, Azure held 16% share of the world market and this percentage is growing. Launched in 2010 Microsoft Azure Cloud is the recommended Cloud system for your growing business. Our Microsoft Azure consultants can help you launch your Cloud system without hassle and at competitive prices.
Exciting range of products and services
Azure B2B (business to business) is versatile. It offers a large collection of services - more than 6,000 - and you’re bound to find the right service to benefit your business. Azure provides software as a service (SaaS), platform as a service (PaaS) and infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and supports many different programming languages, tools, and frameworks, including both Microsoft-specific and third-party software and systems. Companies can use Microsoft Azure cloud for finance, human resources, scientific, retail, media sectors and numerous other areas and sectors. Its speciality is that of using virtualisation at Microsoft Data Centres worldwide.
Services include Azure compute, Azure monitoring, identity, mobile services, storage services, communication services, data management, messaging, media services, content delivery network (CDN), developer tools, management, Azure AI, blockchain workbench, internet of things, functions and orbital. It is a big list of functionality and as a business owner or manager, you are bound to find a specific function to suit your business requirements and scale your business.
The most common uses for computer services are for Infrastructure as a Service or Platform as a Service. In the case of IaaS, virtual machines or Azure Windows virtual desktops are popular. Users can launch general-purpose Microsoft Windows and Linux virtual machines or Cloud Linux, as well as preconfigured machine images for popular software packages. VMWare on Azure is a very attractive functionality of the system.
In the case of PaaS, App services are key. The PaaS environment lets developers easily publish and manage websites using .NET, PHP, Node.js, Java, or Python.
Azure PaaS is ideal for:
- quicker and more efficient go-to-market strategy
- operational cost reductions (less admin needs for a set of applications)
- reduction in IT costs in general while increasing scalability
The versatility of Azure Cloud services appeals to both SMEs and corporates. Businesses that want to improve the quality of service of their company can greatly benefit from PaaS.
Integration with Microsoft 365 and other Microsoft products
One of the main reasons for Azure's success is obvious. It is in-built with the Microsoft 365 suite: if you are using the suite then by default you have Azure. Many enterprises deploy Windows and other Microsoft software. As Azure is tightly integrated with all these other applications, enterprises that use a lot of Microsoft software often find that it also makes sense for them to use Azure. Customer loyalty is deepened. There can also be significant discounts on service contracts. Azure seamlessly integrates with most enterprise environments in order to achieve efficiency and scalability.
Cost-effectiveness and scalability
The platform also has pay-as-you go pricing, billing per second of usage: you only pay for what you use, as and when you use it. Azure pricing is thus very appealing. You can therefore shut down services on demand to save costs at any time and quickly bring them back to life when required. The ultimate bonus is that you can increase or decrease allocated system resources to cope with varying levels of demand. Azure is the dream choice for system resource management.
Smooth Disaster Recovery Options
Microsoft Azure’s disaster recovery options are moreover potentially the most polished of the three main Cloud providers’ offerings. With Azure’s Site Recovery, users can replicate physical machines and virtual machines (VMs) to a different Azure region, all from within their Azure console. It can also replicate Azure VMs from one region to another.
So why migrate to the cloud in favour of leaving all your services on premise?
There could be many reasons to migrate to the cloud, in addition to what is detailed above. Cost is a big factor. It’s often a much cheaper and more scalable option to be cloud hosted and just pay for what you use.
Space is another important factor that is often overlooked. Do you have the facility for your own on premise server room, with automatic backup generator in case of a power outage, air conditioning to keep the servers cool, extra physical security measures in place to be data compliant, as well as a failover site location just in case local roadworks rips through your Internet cable connection?
There is also the consideration of staffing to administer and maintain all this equipment. These advanced skills don’t come cheap, and sometimes good people are hard to find.
So there’s a lot to consider. In response to some of these points, if you move to the cloud you don’t need any space at your business premises, or a failover site somewhere offsite. This also removes the need for additional physical security and energy resources.
Cost can be monitored closely and kept to a minimum with many built in cost management tools, alerts, and elastic scalable solutions that only use what you need and when you need them.
As for resources to administer everything, this can of course be handled with your own internal staff who have the skills to run a cloud environment, or it’s much simpler to sub-contract as there is no physical location restrictions to overcome.
Azure consultants at your service
The adoption of Azure in any business will result in building happy IT teams able to scale resources up and down. This equates to cost-effectiveness and builds the true synergy needed between intelligent technology and a growing business. At Dolphin IT Solutions we can help you set up Azure and transform your company into an intelligent digital workplace.
Contact us today to find out more:
+44 (0) 20 3695 2848
If you’d like to read one of our case studies around the above, we could recommend the following:
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