The move from an old-fashioned hardware server to a cloud computing system like Azure cloud services is a no-brainer for many businesses. But what are the tangible benefits a system like Azure can bring you? In what ways does Azure cloud work for your business, and how can you make the most of it? Here are some of the key ways in which we have found Azure cloud services bring benefits to our clients.
What is Azure cloud?
Microsoft Azure is a public could computing platform environment that is great for developing or running applications. It can be used for executing analytics, storing data, and much more. It is an advanced IT tool that can be a powerful business asset when in the right hands. Globally, 95% of Fortune 500 companies are using Microsoft Azure to drive their business. (source) – you are in good company with Azure!
Using Azure can help you leverage software as a service (SaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), and infrastructure as a service (IaaS) capabilities for your business.
Makes it easier to manage your computing infrastructure
Azure makes it a lot easier to create virtual servers and networks. It also makes it easier to secure your network, add SSL certificates to websites and applications, manage DNS and gateways, and provide more stable network security.
Why does this matter?
Having a better cloud infrastructure makes it a lot easier to securely manage websites and applications. You will use your technical resources more efficiently and be protected against costly IT and cybersecurity errors.
The speed of a cloud system like Azure is also unmatched, meaning you can quickly get going with your tech operations.
Performance benefits through load balancing
Through features such as load balancing and re-routing, Azure is constantly improving its own performance capabilities. With Azure, you can reap the benefits of Microsoft’s huge resources.
One especially useful feature is dynamic load balancing where Azure will automatically add more server space and duplicate servers where needed. This kind of ongoing reactive load balancing means that your business can continue to operate and scale with minimal performance knocks or down time.
Scalability is also built into how businesses can leverage Azure, as the platform quickly scales from startup to enterprise applications. Azure Storage provides efficient and safe storage services in the cloud.
Azure insights and data diagnostics for ongoing knowledge
Tap into the smart cloud with Azure’s in-built analytics tool. Azure insights is a powerful self-diagnostic tool where you get to leverage the wealth of telemetric insights collected by Microsoft.
This will help you measure the overall performance of websites, look at the queries that are being sent to your websites and applications, interrogate any microservices or functions that are taking too long (e.g. signing in), and provide proactive fixes.
It will also give you vital information on what has gone wrong.
Interrogating the same metrics manually would take a lot of time, but Azure allows you to reap the benefits with their dynamic and reactive system that works 24/7 in the background.
Azure also facilitates SQL and NoSQL data services and offers exciting possibilities as a cloud platform, including Blockchain as a Service (BaaS), Machine Learning, Bots, and Cognitive API. It’s a good place to be for innovative businesses.
Data and security insights
Azure gives you a lot of flexibility – which in turn can help you manage your services and applications in a safer way. For example, you can manually decide where you want your servers to be located and where data is stored. In days of GDPR, this is very important.
As well as compliance, Azure also places a lot of emphasis on security and disaster recovery. You will get insights on security threats and breaches, as well as proactive suggestions on how to manage them. There is also a robust platform and end-user security protocol that makes Azure suitable for high-compliance industries such as the medical and governmental fields. Having a good disaster recovery system adds that extra level of reassurance when you need it the most. Restoring business data quickly is paramount and can have a big impact on your bottom line when things go wrong.
You can also use Azure to help you manage your identification processes, enhancing organisational security.
Operational benefits: flexibility and integrations
Azure is a useful tool when it comes to business operations. Whether it’s about scaling up or down, Azure is a flexible tool for when you need to manage complex business operations.
Azure allows for things to be put into different places so that you can keep your different services and platforms separate and secure. With the kind of flexibility offered by Azure, we can make up environments to client specifications. The ability to customise and also use existing infrastructure makes Azure a cost-effective tool for both agencies and businesses.
For example, Azure allows us to create single sign-in services for all different company websites and platforms, creating a better end-user experience.
Azure supports an extensive range of other programming languages, frameworks, operating systems, databases, and devices, so you can continue to use your existing infrastructure and tried-and-tested tools. The integrability of Azure is a big selling point as many of our clients have complex data and software architecture that they are unwilling to change.
Hybridity and Microsoft integrations
One of the obvious benefits of Azure is the fact that many businesses use Microsoft tools, and staying within the Microsoft infrastructure can bring fringe benefits when it comes to synergy and integrations. Shared virtual machines with Windows and Linux can make IT systems easier to manage. Azure is also capable of fostering hybrid connections such as VPNs, CDNs etc. For development in a microservices model, Azure is a good match.
The future is serverless
The future will probably look different in the sense that we may have no servers at all. Serverless platforms like Azure Functions will change the game so that there will be no need for a server or data: coding will be done straight into the service. This will make things leaner and easier to maintain. In some ways, the future is already here. When you are working with Azure you have a lot of innovative developments that are ready right now, as well as the possibility of testing them out in the near future.