Why Microsoft Azure: A Platform Primer

Many organizations in recent years have been building their cloud strategy around Microsoft Azure. In addition to the many benefits of Azure cloud, running applications in Azure allows organizations to remotely access their environment from anywhere. For example, you could simply connect from a local network computer running capture software, to your Azure deployed capture server.

In today’s dynamic business world, it can be hard to predict how your business will grow or if you will need extra resources for short term traffic or transaction volume. Increased growth often demands running applications with high load or additional applications that most traditional hosting models cannot handle.

Agility and Scale On-Demand

An Azure deployment is now a piece of software you can configure and run in the cloud in just minutes, instead of procuring,assembling and provisioning a physical server like many companies had to in recent decades. The ability to rapidly deploy an Azure solution gives organizations the agility they need to quickly respond to business or IT infrastructure requirements.

Increasing computing power is a breeze so you can scale up on-demand as your business grows. You can simply increase your CPU, memory and/or storage space though your Azure administration site.

Cost Competitive

Azure works off a pay-as-you-go model, which greatly reduces the upfront costs to businesses, and those that sign a contract can receive an additional enterprise discount. There are currently 11 different virtual machine configuration series to choose from, with monthly costs ranging from under $6.00 to just over $1,100.00, depending on your specific requirements. Any of the configurations can leverage either Windows or Linux based systems.

Disaster Recovery and Redundancy

Microsoft Azure allows you to create virtual networks which can be accessed, along with your stored data, anywhere around the world. When you provision your Azure environment, you are given many computing options including the ability to select your preferred global region. For example, you can select the regions within the United States, Europe, Asia or many other country specific locations.

In the past, having business continuity meant having redundant hardware, networking and communications infrastructure sitting idle waiting for an incident to happen. Few organizations could afford this type of solution with the overhead of IT staff and hardware, but Azure enables business continuity and offsite disaster recovery for a fraction of the cost of traditional solutions. Since Azure is a pay-as-you-go service, you are only charged when the redundant virtual machines are in use. Should a local disaster happen, your Azure DR environment can be accessed from anywhere.

The business benefits of virtualization and hosting services on Microsoft Azure are clear, which is why over 80% of Fortune 500 companies are on the Microsoft cloud. Over recent years, the tone has changed around cloud environments. Several years ago, I asked an audience at an end user conference if they had a cloud strategy and the answer from the majority was that they were on the fence or thinking about it. Today, when I ask the same question, it’s not a matter of “if”, but when. Virtualizing and migrating your IT infrastructure to Azure will not only be more cost effective, but will also allow your organization to be more agile. This allows you to focus time, money, and resources on building your business.