The modern Information Technology industry is heavily reliant on the next-gen IT solutions and services provided by cloud computing. Services ranging from networking, web-based platforms, software as well as hardware solutions in the form of storage, databases and large server farms, and more have been innovatively integrated into cloud services.
Many businesses have already migrated many of their infrastructures into the cloud and many are planning to migrate their infrastructure to the cloud. It should thus come as no surprise, that cloud hosting is more than a trend but a modern necessity. Many businesses are also adopting Microsoft Azure for their cloud management.
While the decision of opting for cloud services to efficiently meet business requirements is no longer a question, making a choice about the ultimate service provider still is. The Amazon Web services (AWS) has been a dominant service provider since the very beginning of cloud hosting. With usage-based pricing, customizable solutions, flexibility, and real-time analysis, AWS is very appealing to businesses of any size.
However, Microsoft is not far behind in extending its cloud-based services to its valued customers. Microsoft leveraged a global network of data centers with Azure, providing reliable and secure cloud-hosted data through its platform-as-a-service (PaaS) model. Recent studies have shown that Microsoft Azure has already surpassed Google and IBM cloud platforms and is closing in on Amazon Web services’ market dominancy in cloud services.
What does Microsoft Azure have to offer?
Microsoft Azure provides state-of-the-art, economical, and increasingly available cloud-based architecture making locally hosted data obsolete. In order to create a global virtual network, Azure has been providing a whole array of services and products to meet business requirements through a user-friendly and easy-to-manage platform.
The advantages of opting for Azure for infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) needs or even platform-as-a-service (PaaS) needs can be evident through the following services that it offers, including:
- Data Storage Flexibility
- Most Economical-Cost Solutions in the Market
- Advanced Disaster Recovery Plans
- Integration with Microsoft Tools
- Open-Source Analytics Support with Azure
- Customizable Solutions for Business Specific Needs
- Enhanced Logging Capabilities with Microsoft Azure
Data Storage Flexibility
Azure’s global infrastructure is one of the best solutions for cloud-hosted data storage with an attractive pricing structure, high accessibility, reliability as well as massive scalability. Businesses greatly benefit from the cost-effective storage plan as opposed to the massive cost overhead in investing in and maintaining a locally hosted data server.
Companies can easily scale their data storage capabilities to meet their growing requirements without worrying about new hardware, provisioning, software purchases, and deployment. Microsoft Azure provides excellent hosting for a huge amount of data scaling up to 5 TB per item, ideal for large unstructured data requirements.
On top of that, the memory limits that Azure provides can be scaled up to 448 GB, which again is the highest limit provided against other service providers.
Most Economical-Cost Solutions in the Market
Scaling businesses to keep up with the requirements and service demand can cost a hefty sum to organizations unless they opt for cloud services. Azure eliminates the cost overhead of hardware devices, personnel to install and maintain the services and the software associated with it by making massive infrastructure and expertise available at only a fraction of the total cost. Reports have shown that the storage cost (per GB) provided by Azure is well below that of other cloud service providers.
Advanced Disaster Recovery Plans
Disasters will always be unpredictable and hazardous to industries that cause great loss to critical data and services. Another aspect of transferring data security risks to cloud service providers is having a well-versed data recovery plan in action.
Azure guarantees uninterrupted, high-speed, and decentralized networks of redundant data sites with minimal recovery time. The combination of advanced DRaaS (Disaster-Recovery-as-a-service) platform provided by Azure sets it apart with less than 4.38 hours of downtime over the course of a year.
Integration with Microsoft Tools
Apart from cloud hosting solutions, Microsoft is already well known for the range of office solutions that it provides such as Office 365, Outlook, and SharePoint. Azure cloud services can be integrated into these office tools without any nuisance.
Azure makes use of VMs(Virtual Machines) that organizations use including popular Operating Systems such as Windows and Linux. The days of a struggle trying to align disparate services and tools are history with the seemingly easy integration of Azure with Microsoft tools saving companies both time and money.
This advantage has substantially increased Azure’s rapid penetration of the cloud service market for clients who extensively make use of Microsoft tools.
Open-Source Analytics Support with Azure
Microsoft offers one of the most powerful analytics tools in the form of HDInsight which in Microsoft’s own words is “the only fully-managed Apache Hadoop”. This optimized open-source analytic tool is backed by a 99.9 percent service level agreement to deploy big data technologies and manage enterprise-level monitoring as well as security.
The technology that has been deployed in Azure services is the Cortana Intelligence that as mentioned, includes the Apache Platform HDInsight. Thus there is the provision of real-time data analysis and processing using Stream Analytics.
Customizable Solutions for Business Specific Needs
Azure has quickly risen to the top when it comes to both IaaS and PaaS and allows businesses to use these platforms that benefit their requirements. The cost model of Azure’s Iaas services is also flexible as companies are only required to pay for the services they opt for.
Next, the PaaS services are particularly useful when the requirement is to build and develop applications as well as services without having to invest in the underlying hardware/software infrastructures. Clients can even create and customize their own cloud software similar to Office 365. This allows companies to creatively solve their own specific requirements with customized solutions that meet the business needs.
Enhanced Logging Capabilities with Microsoft Azure
Companies need to extract critical system logs, infrastructure metrics, and more from their applications as well as personnel’s activities. Azure provides integrated health monitoring and state-of-the-art alert capabilities. Azure also provides diagnostic infrastructure logs, Windows IIS logs, crash dump data and the techniques to troubleshoot them, and finally, custom error logs to help improve the system efficiency.
Overall, Azure simplifies networking needs for companies, providing exceptional computing solutions with cloud-based architecture. The outstanding technical and resource superiority that Azure provides its clients has indeed boomed its popularity in the cloud hosting domain.