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The Ultimate Guide to Microsoft Azure

May 02, 2018 BY Francisco Xaviar
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The Ultimate Guide to Microsoft Azure

Recently, we touched on cloud computing trends, but since you subscribe to our blog, you already know that cloud services are on the rise and show no sign of slowing down. 

Microsoft Azure shows no sign of slowing down either. Azure is a cloud-computing platform that allows users to rapidly build, deploy, and manage secure applications to scale, on-premise, in the cloud, or both. It is built on a broad stack of services that allow you to quickly provision resources, connect with existing on-premise Active Directory and domains, and create scalable, cross-platform applications. So, instead of needing expensive onsite infrastructure, you pay for access to computing resources provided by Microsoft Azure’s massive hosting infrastructure. Anything that can run on a physical server (e.g., email, databases, file storage, Active Directory) can run on a virtual machine hosted by Azure.  

The Benefits of Azure

Unlike having physical, onsite hardware, Azure allows you to quickly deploy infrastructure so you can scale efficiently and on a predictable budget. In addition to the benefits highlighted in 2018 Cloud Computing Trends, Azure is built on a consumption-based cost model, which means you pay for capacity by the second. You can increase or decrease compute capacity as needed, and you only pay for what you use. 

Guaranteed connectivity is extremely important for businesses to remain efficient. Azure offers uptime guarantees for their services. For example, they offer 99.9% uptime for their virtual machines. 

Compliance is also critical for many organizations. Azure has the most comprehensive compliance coverage with over 70 offerings, including HIPAA, ITAR, FedRAMP, ISO, and NIST and has contractually committed to GDPR compliance. 

Is Azure Secure? 

Microsoft uses their experience to implement and improve security-focused practices to ensure the protection of services and data. Here are some of the methods Microsoft uses to protect your data: 

  • Encryption: Microsoft uses multiple encryption methods, protocols, and algorithms to protect data at rest and in transit
  • Threat management: Microsoft cloud services have built-in protections against malware and Denial-of-Service (DoS) attacks, and utilizes advanced threat analytics to flag unusual activity in the cloud infrastructure
  • Network security: Microsoft uses multiple strategies to protect data, including firewalls, intrusion detection and prevention, and traffic isolation to protect VMs

Click here to learn more about how Microsoft protects your data.

What About Amazon Web Services? 

Although Amazon Web Services (AWS) holds the most significant market share in public cloud services, Microsoft Azure fundamentally serves a different market. Many enterprises have embedded much of their infrastructure in Microsoft operating systems, so it only makes sense to have Azure as their cloud platform to create a seamless cohesion with the rest of their environment. 

However, many companies are not running their business solely on cloud services; they want a cloud service with some physical infrastructure they still manage. To accommodate this need, Microsoft has developed a true hybrid cloud offering, and is the only cloud provider to do so. With this flexibility, companies can use their on-premise resources when needed while seamlessly transitioning to the cloud to scale. 

Additionally, Azure has more worldwide hosting regions than any other cloud provider. With 50 available regions, including 10 in North America, customers can house their data in a location that’s right for them. 

Where Can I Learn More? 

Click here to learn more about the Azure platform from Microsoft. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help your business utilize Azure. 

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