Why businesses are switching to Microsoft Azure
The Cloud is increasingly indispensable for all kinds of modern businesses. Cloud storage ensures that critical data is regularly backed up, while cloud software includes everything from daily productivity apps to customer-facing applications. Every business has some kind of digital presence, and if you use the internet, you’re probably using the Cloud.
Public clouds are perhaps the most popular entry point, and not without good reason. If you’re looking for a public cloud platform, there are few better or more trusted that Microsoft Azure. Here’s why thousands of businesses have already switched to Microsoft Azure, and why Azure is such a boon to developers, system architects, and IT admins.
What is Microsoft Azure?
Microsoft Azure is a public cloud platform. It’s perhaps easier to describe what Azure doesn’t do than what it does, such is its scope. Azure offers a range of services hosted from its own managed data centres, including software-as-a-service (SaaS), platform-as-a-service (PaaS) and infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS). All of these essentially rent computational resources and hard drive space to businesses to perform key business functions.
SaaS uses the Cloud to host cloud applications used by the business, such as Microsoft 365, or apps you’ve built yourself. PaaS involves the creation of platforms that can be used to create, test and launch applications or websites, without worrying about the underlying infrastructure. IaaS meanwhile allows you to build and utilise virtual infrastructure such as virtual machines, essentially a computer within the computer.
Why businesses are switching to Microsoft Azure
Azure isn’t the only option out there, but it’s one of the most widely used, most feature rich, and most trusted cloud computing platforms available. Here are just five reasons why Azure may be the right choice for your business, and a snapshot of exactly what it is that makes Azure so popular.
As a public cloud platform with enormous capacity and ridiculous underlying infrastructure, Azure is eminently scalable. When you invest in an Azure package, you will only ever pay for what you need. This is as opposed to some other options, where you will be paying a flat rate for capacity that you might never need or utilise.
Say for instance that you commonly experience spikes in demand, such as peaks around big sale events, or dips during certain seasons. In these cases, the amount you pay for Azure will vary depending on those season differences in traffic. While this is only one example, every aspect of Azure can be scaled up or down as and when it’s required. This makes it much easier to dip your toe in the public pool and try things, testing out which level of Azure implementation is right for you.
Cloud computing has garnered a bit of a negative reputation when it comes to security. High-profile data leaks have led people to believe that data stored in the Cloud is unsafe, as it’s vulnerable to hackers. In reality, almost all data is vulnerable to hackers. In fact – and somewhat counter-intuitively – data that’s stored in public clouds is often safer than data stored in private ones.
Data on your own server in your premises is often particularly vulnerable to physical access, and often lacking in the cybersecurity department too. The same may go for some private cloud providers, who don’t always uphold the highest standards.
By contrast, Microsoft’s data centres benefit from the latest and greatest cybersecurity protections, and a huge array of physical ones, including proxy card access readers and hand geometry biometric readers. Plus, if something does go wrong, there’s a 24/7 response team on-hand to deal with it – meaning no wait until office hours, and no added burden on your own IT personnel.
Investing in your own server infrastructure can be extremely expensive, particularly with ongoing supply chain issues. Computer hardware is expensive at the moment, as is the electricity needed to run it around the clock. Add in the maintenance and upkeep costs, and running your own servers may not seem worth it. The same could go for private cloud providers, many of whom are raising rates to reflect increasing costs.
Azure eliminates the issue of investing in your own hardware. Instead of sinking money into new servers that then have to be periodically replaced, you’re essentially renting high-spec servers directly from Microsoft for a small monthly fee. Not only is there no capital investment and no operating costs, but you get the benefits of new hardware upgrades immediately, without having to worry about another lump sum.
It’s great for data backup
One of the simplest and most compelling reasons to invest in cloud computing is backup and disaster recovery. Most businesses now collect and maintain huge swathes of data, from customer and client information to site and product analytics. In the event of a cybersecurity breach or hardware failure, this data could be lost or compromised – setting back projects, impacting your reputation, and costing huge amounts of money.
Azure allows you to backup your data to the Cloud in a straightforward and affordable way. Instead of worrying about manual backups to offsite drives or tapes, Azure can be configured to store periodic, automatic backups of your important data. Not only does Azure guarantee 99 years of retention, it also offers disaster recovery, allowing you to recover your data at another site, or straight into the Cloud.
It enables hybrid deployments
Cloud providers are often split into three camps: public, private, and hybrid. One of the great benefits of Azure is that it allows for hybrid deployments as well as public ones. Using this feature, you can combine both the resources available to you on-site and the benefits of the Azure cloud, sharing features and harnessing the strengths of private and public clouds.
A hybrid cloud solution allows you to only use the public cloud for the functions you require, while connecting it directly to those that you are hosting yourself. This not only provides a more secure link between the private and public cloud than would otherwise be possible, but also gives your admins more control over your cloud services – all while harnessing the power and scalability of Azure.
Microsoft Azure is a platform that’s being trusted by more and more businesses, and little wonder with the reasons outlined above. Going public doesn’t mean going without dedicated local support, however. Our specialist expertise in Microsoft Azure guarantees that your systems and data are migrated to your new cloud platform smoothly and efficiently.
Our engineers will carefully customise and optimise your Microsoft Azure environment, with full SotaCloud integration, if a hybrid configuration is specified. We are one of the select few companies in the UK to be accredited by Microsoft as a Gold Partner for cloud and datacentre services.To talk to an Azure specialist, don’t hesitate to get in touch.