As technology has continued to evolve, the importance of cloud computing has too. According to Flexera’s 2021 State of the Cloud Report, investing in cloud is steadily on the rise in 2021. Businesses of all sizes are reaping the immense benefits Cloud adoption as to offer. From SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) to Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) – the ability to be more agile, innovative and reach customers in multiple ways has enabled businesses to significantly streamline operations and improve overall customer engagement.
If your business is considering cloud adoption, where do you start?
Seeking out a reputable cloud provider is key. While there are major players in the public cloud space, Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform offers unique benefits that make it a popular choice to consider. Since its release in 2010, Azure has been a leader in cloud solutions comprised of more than 600 products and services. Azure offers building, testing, deploying, and managing applications and services through data centers run and managed by Microsoft. Its robust platfrom offers IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS that can be leveraged for virtualization, storage, networking, analytics and much more. It can be used to replace or supplement your existing on-premise servers (for a private or hybrid model), or it can replace your on-prem hardware entirely if you're looking to be fully deployed on the cloud.
Some key benefits of Azure are:
Speed of deployment and Cost Effectiveness
One prime benefit to migrating to Azure is the ability to deploy resources very quickly and efficiently with minimal disruption to regular business operations. There is no upfront capital investment, thus eliminating roadblocks such as lead time for equipment to arrive, set up time, etc. With flexible, subscription-based pricing models, you only pay for what you use.
Integration with Microsoft 365
As an integral part of the Microsoft family, Azure works seamlessly with other Microsoft applications. It easiily integrates with Active Directory (AD), Microsoft's Identity Management system, allowing users to easily access Azure resources.
Support Beyond Windows
Another characteristic that makes Azure an attractive choice is its versalitiy. With the ability to support open source technologies, you have the ability to use the tools and technologies you prefer, on your operating system and device of choice.
With Azure, there is no need to size for 3-5 years. There is no longer a need to oversize a server so that it can last longer. Virtual Machines (VMs) can be created for the current demand and increased when the workload grows. Resources can be added and/or removed on the fly. This greatly reduces the risk of changing requirements.
Temporary Workload Demands
Proof of Concepts (POCs), can be accommodated without purchasing infrastructure. The environment can be removed once the testing is complete. DEV/Test environments can be shut down when not in use to reduce costs. Autoscaling can dynamically increase and decrease resources for unexpected changes in demand.
Azure comes with multi-tiered security across its physical data centers backed by a global team of cyber experts armed with the knowledge and expertise to ensure your data in the Azure cloud is safe and secure. Web servers can be hosted in Azure with internet traffic staying off your local network. Azure also offers several options for enhancing security on web applications. You can also test new applications in isolation and there is no need to install new software on your existing infrastructure until you are comfortable with how it operates. You can also allow Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) authentication to AD for other (non-Microsoft) SaaS applications. Leveraging your existing identities on other cloud services reduces password management and complexity for your end users.
Of course, there are plenty of other benefits to adopting Microsoft Azure, but overall it remains a popular choice among what is available in the industry. To learn more about migrating to Azure or about cloud adoption in general, feel free to contact us.