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Posted on April 26, 2018

Why Microsoft's Azure has the advantage in the Cloud

Azure and AWS are two of the most popular cloud platforms today. Traditionally, organizations would use their own infrastructure having their own web server or other hardware that they would have to buy and maintain themselves. When their business grew, the business would have to purchase more hardware and spend precious time setting everything up themselves or hiring someone to do it for you.

Cloud computing works differently. Instead of having to pay for and monitor your own hardware, you just need to buy into a massive pool of existing computing resources provided by Microsoft or Amazon. This allows you to host web servers, email servers, databases, file storage servers, virtual machines, user directories, or anything else you might want. When your business grows, and you need more computing resources, you don't need to purchase and configure more hardware because cloud computing platforms allow you to scale to your exact needs. Therefore, you only have to pay for as much computing resources you need, not a penny over or a penny less.

Microsoft Azure is a cloud computing service created by Microsoft for "building, testing, deploying, and managing applications and services through a global network of Microsoft-managed data centers. It 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." In other words, Microsoft Azure is a jack of all trades leveraging Microsoft's unparalleled technological prowess to bring together software, platform, and infrastructure into one product.

Amazon's AWS on the other hand was the pioneer in cloud computing launching their cloud storage division 12 years ago with its aim to, "help free developers from worrying about where they were going to store data and whether it would be safe and secure, if it would be available when they needed it, the costs associated with server maintenance, or whether they would have enough storage space available. [It] enables developers to focus on innovating with data rather than figuring out how to store it. Amazon Web Services (AWS) is a secure cloud services platform, offering compute power, database storage, content delivery and other functionality to help businesses scale and grow.

According to a survey of over 80 IT professionals and business executives in large and midmarket organizations by NetEnrich in 2017, 62 percent of organizations used a multi-cloud environment that included Microsoft Azure, and 46 percent had at least half of their IT infrastructure and workloads in Azure. The Microsoft Azure website also provides an entire directory of hundreds of other different services you can use, including full virtual machines, databases, file storage, backups, and services for mobile and web apps. Microsoft's Azure cloud and supporting services are the future of computing, and they're available right now. Whether you are completely new to the cloud or have already taken your first steps, there's much more that Azure can do for your business, helping you build it better, faster, and more cost-effective than traditional infrastructure.

Security

Microsoft guarantees the best in terms of safety for all operations and data on the Azure Cloud. Microsoft was the first Cloud vendor to be approved by the European Union's data protection authorities and the Article 29 Working Party. They were also the first to embrace the new international standard for Cloud privacy, ISO 27018. Azure was also designed based on the Security Development Lifecycle (SDL), an industry leading assurance process, comprising security at its core meaning that your private data and services stay secured and protected while they are on the Azure Cloud. Along with this best in class security, Azure's security prowess is backed by Microsoft's Trusted Computing Initiative along with unparalleled disaster recovery capabilities that work straight out of the box.

Real Hybrid Consistency

Azure also allows you to optimize your existing assets by using a hybrid approach to the cloud offering consistency across the data platform while reducing risk and cost in the form of their hybrid clouds. Hybrid clouds have become a popular choice for companies who don't want to convert fully to the cloud, letting them keep some of their data and operations on-premises while letting users access them on the Azure Stack. While Amazon is still testing how to implement hybrid clouds, Azure already offers hybrid capabilities seamlessly connecting your datacenters to their Cloud. Azure provides an easy to use platform which helps you move between on-premises and the public Cloud. You can develop hybrid apps easily on Azure taking advantage of the multitude of resources available within datacenters, at the service provider's end, or within Azure itself. Azure also provides a broader range of hybrid connections including virtual private networks (VPNs), caches, content delivery networks (CDNs), and ExpressRoute connections to improve usability and performance.

Infrastructure, software, platform as a service

Both Azure and AWS offer similar Infrastructure as a Service (Iaas) capabilities for virtual machines, networking, and storage. However, Azure provides stronger Platform as a Service (PaaS) capabilities which has become an invaluable piece of Cloud infrastructure today. Azure is the only major cloud platform ranked by Gartner as an industry leader for both infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) and platform-as-a-service (PaaS). Azure's PaaS gives developers the environment, tools, and building blocks they need to rapidly build and deploy new cloud services. It also provides the vital 'dev-ops' connections which are important for monitoring, managing, and continually fine tuning those apps. With Azure PaaS, much of the infrastructure management is taken care of behind the scenes by Microsoft allowing customers to focus 100% on innovation.

Compatibility and Consistency with other Microsoft Products

As a company, there is a good chance that you are running other Microsoft applications as Microsoft has long been synonymous with larger enterprise customers. Microsoft Azure makes it extremely easy for customers already using other Microsoft Products like Windows Server, SQL Server, Exchange, and others to move to the cloud. Further, if you have Microsoft licenses that you've already paid for, you could be eligible for license mobility. Therefore, you don't have to pay unnecessarily for using the same Microsoft server applications you're already using. If you already use Microsoft software, then you likely have an 'Enterprise Agreement' with Microsoft which makes you entitled to further discounts on other Microsoft software being used. With this agreement, enterprises can typically obtain significant incentives for also using Azure.

When you take the leap to the Azure cloud, an MSP like Korcomptenz can help you reduce hardware costs, hardware maintenance, and technician costs by configuring your virtual Azure servers and providing regular consultations so you no longer have the headache of both maintaining and constantly monitoring your servers (virtual and/or on premises). We will help you to configure the right Azure services at the right cost that fits your application needs and implement the right security principles around your azure services that Microsoft provides. Get in touch with us today so you can start leveraging the power of Microsoft Azure today!

Rohan Iruthayaraj

Junior Network Engineer

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