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Unlock the Microsoft Cloud Ecosystem with Microsoft Azure

With the explosion in remote work since the Covid-19 Pandemic started, more and more businesses are relying on cloud solutions to store, manage, and process data across dispersed physical locations. Microsoft cloud solutions are one of the primary players in this growing field thanks to the large number of organizations that have already integrated the Microsoft 365 suite into their day-to-day operations.

With Microsoft Teams and Sharepoint proving to be the backbone of internal collaboration and communication for decentralized business teams, the Microsoft’s Azure cloud computing platform is an invaluable tool for IT teams virtually hosting applications and services without the added management burden of physical servers.

What is Microsoft Azure?

Microsoft Azure is a cloud computing platform that lets you store and access data on virtual servers hosted at hundreds of Microsoft data centres around the world, rather than cumbersome physical servers at your office. 

Not only can you eliminate the expenses of installing and managing physical server infrastructure, but Microsoft Azure lets you benefit from enterprise-grade data security solutions and pay-as-you-go billing. 

What is Microsoft Azure used for?

Microsoft Azure is much more than just a data storage solution. There are a variety of possible applications for Microsoft Azure, from facilitating Software as a Service (SaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS) environments to running machine learning models that can help you empower your business with artificial intelligence. 

Some more possible examples of how organizations of all sizes can leverage Microsoft Azure include:

  • Fast and reliable e-commerce and app hosting.
  • Disaster data recovery.
  • Virtual software development and testing.
  • Internet of Things (IoT) device integration.
  • Using Virtual Desktop Infrastructure to give employees remote access from any location.

Microsoft Azure: Advantages and Disadvantages

As discussed already there are a variety of advantages to using Microsoft Azure – especially if your organization already uses other products in the Microsoft Cloud ecosystem, such as Sharepoint – however there are numerous other factors to consider that might make another cloud computing platform a better option for your business, such as Amazon Web Services.

Microsoft Azure Advantages

  • Scalability: with virtual cloud services, it’s easy to dynamically scale resources up and down depending on current demand to either provide more bandwidth in busy periods or to save costs when traffic is low. In particular, Azure Virtual Machine Scale Sets, Azure App Service autoscaling, and Azure SQL Database auto-scaling are all tools that make it easy to automatically adjust resources based on dynamic conditions.
  • Hybrid Cloud Approach: Not ready to fully jump on the cloud just yet? Microsoft allows you to enjoy the best of both worlds with hybrid cloud capabilities that give you the option to combine your business’s onsite server infrastructure with Azure’s cloud services. This gives you and key stakeholders in your organization full control over how much or how little you’d like to leverage the cloud to store your data.
  • Global Presence: With Microsoft Azure data centres in countries all across the globe, you can be sure you will be delivering applications and services to international consumers with minimal latency.
  • Comprehensive Services: With tools and solutions for server infrastructure, platforms, software development, AI and machine learning, Microsoft Azure is a powerful all-in-one solution for enterprise-level organizations that want to evolve their product offerings and operations through the cloud. 
  • “Pay as You Go” Cost Structure: With the ability to only pay for actual cloud usage, your organization could see considerable cost efficiencies through Microsoft Azure – especially when combined with the scalability tools that allow you to reduce resource usage during quiet periods. 

Microsoft Azure Disadvantages

  • Unexpected Costs: While useful, Microsoft Azure’s “Pay As You Go” pricing plan can be a double-edged sword if you run into periods of high activity or your organization’s inexperience with the system results in unexpected cost overruns. When considering Microsoft cloud solutions, it’s important to have IT resources who understand the cost structure and are thus able to maximize efficiencies and minimize those instances of unexpected costs.
  • Technical Issues: As everyone knows, technology breaks down when you need it most and cloud computing platforms are no different. However, whereas when your IT provider can investigate when a local server goes down, you don’t have the same luxury when a data centre in Belize goes offline and takes down your network infrastructure with it.
  • Data Privacy and Security: While Microsoft Azure does offer a robust suite of privacy and security features, depending on the governance model of your business, it may not be practical to store certain information on the cloud. In particular for organizations in the health industry and government, it’s important to remember that Azure is still fundamentally a public cloud platform and you can’t always be sure who has access to sensitive client data. Luckily with Azure’s hybrid capabilities, you can gain the benefits of the cloud while keeping sensitive data safely stored onsite.
  • Complexity: While Microsoft Azure offers considerable flexibility, that also means there’s a high degree of complexity to its systems and server architecture that firms new to cloud computing may not have the IT resources in place to handle.

Wondering whether Microsoft Azure is the right fit for your organization or looking for a partner who can help you implement Microsoft cloud solutions? Yoush Consulting can connect you with experts who can unlock the potential of the Microsoft cloud ecosystem through their knowledge of cloud computing and cloud server architecture. Book a consultation today to find out how we can help you fill the cloud computing knowledge gap in your team.