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Microsoft Azure Guide: The Ultimate Guide to Azure Cloud Services

May 02, 2018 BY Francisco Xaviar
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The Growing Popularity of 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. We’ve created this Microsoft Azure guide to help you in your decision-making process.

Flexibility of Microsoft Azure

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. This Microsoft Azure guide will help you understand all of its benefits. 

The Benefits of Microsoft 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 computing capacity as needed, and you only pay for what you use. 

Guaranteed Connectivity

In this next section of the Microsoft Azure guide, we’ll discuss connectivity. 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.

Azure Security 

An essential piece of this Microsoft Azure guide is to demonstrate how Azure can keep your system protected. Microsoft uses its experience to implement and improve security-focused practices to ensure the protection of services and data. Click here to learn more about how Microsoft protects your 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

What About Amazon Web Services? 

So far, in this Microsoft Azure guide, we haven’t discussed alternative options like 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. 

The Microsoft Azure Advantage

We hope that this Microsoft Azure guide has made the advantages of Azure obvious. 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. 

Get Started with Microsoft Azure

One of the most important points we want to make in this Microsoft Azure guide is the widespread accessibility of the system. 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. Click here to learn more about the Microsoft Azure platform. Contact us today to get started with our Microsoft Azure consulting services and learn more about how we can help your business harness the power of Azure. 

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