Companies across the globe are moving to Cloud IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) providers to meet all of their business needs in a rapidly expanding virtual space. There are a number of reasons why companies are making this move such as flexible storage needs, easy accessibility for everyone, lower operational costs and higher efficiency, and various others.
Cloud IaaS services are ideal for companies that prefer hosting their applications in a third-party cloud center and don’t want to manage the physical infrastructure of the service themselves, instead of focusing on development, monitoring, and other productive tasks.
Some of the most popular Cloud IaaS services are Microsoft Azure, Google Compute Engine, and Alibaba Cloud. However, out of these, Microsoft Azure has made the biggest strides in providing creative and practical business solutions. In fact, Microsoft Azure has pretty much become the go-to Cloud IaaS service for successful companies.
Microsoft Azure is a set of cloud services that can help large organizations meet all of their business needs. It gives you the ability to establish, manage, and execute applications on a wide global scale.
While Azure has a stellar reputation as a market leader in providing business solutions, that’s not enough for other companies to jump in as well. In order for anyone to embed Azure into their business operations, they need to know exactly how it can help them scale up, solve their current issues, and provide a strong ROI.
In this article, we’ll discuss Microsoft Azure products and explore all of the key reasons companies are utilizing Azure.
Azure’s Products and Services
The following is a brief overview of all of Azure’s current products and services.
AI & Machine Learning
Azure gives you access to products and services with which you can incorporate AI, machine learning, and complex computing into your organization. The primary services they offer within this product are knowledge mining, machine learning, and app development.
This product offers businesses distributed analytics and storage services to handle real-time analytics, machine learning, business intelligence, data streams, HDInsight, data factory, data warehousing, and data lakes.
Azure gives users access to cloud computing, virtualization, and the ability to scale rapidly. Some of the services within this branch include virtual machines, cloud services, container instances, app service, azure functions, and service fabric.
With Azure, you can choose a cloud platform that can handle your container needs. You have access to the end-to-end developer and CI/CD applications to develop and manage your containerized solutions. You can also handle your applications in a fully-managed container platform.
Microsoft Azure has a wide range of intelligent database services to unlock your data’s ultimate potential. It supports accelerated growth so you can incorporate secure, enterprise-grade, fully-managed services. It automates all database management processes so you can focus on building solutions for your users instead of managing your data. You can also easily expand and achieve global distribution without expensive downtime. All things considered, Azure enables you to get your products to the market in the shortest time possible.
You can use any platform to establish and debug your cloud applications. You have a wide range of development tools so you can code with your preferred language using a variety of SDKs. Azure also gives you access to full-featured integrated development environments and industry-leading debugging capacities to speed up your app development process.
Azure gives you access to a simple set of reliable tools that handle innovations on a global scale. Regardless of the current stage of your DevOps implementation, you can establish an end-to-end continuous delivery pipeline for your applications and technological offerings. Instead of worrying about your toolsets and technicalities, you can focus on providing value to your customers.
Identity and Access Management (IAM)
Azure’s Identity and Access Management (IAM) solutions protect all of your applications and defend them against external threats and login attempts by deploying advanced identity protection tools, access controls, and authentication options.
You have the ability to perfectly and continuously integrate all of your applications, processes, and data in the cloud. This allows you to bring your business together into a cohesive and scalable whole.
Internet of Things (IoT)
You can incorporate the Internet of Things capability into all of your offerings without changing your current infrastructure. You can connect all of your current devices and products to the cloud in order to access untapped data and chart valuable data insights to provide more integrated and advanced customer experience and increase your revenue stream.
Management and Governance
Azure has a number of inbuilt tools to manage and secure your hybrid cloud products and services. Your system administrators can manage your resources to ensure they are secure and compliant. You can also monitor your current applications, resources, threats, etc, in order to take necessary precautions, build disaster recovery solutions, and apply management policies for smoother governance.
Azure allows you to ensure reliable content delivery on a global scale, store and stream multimedia, deliver live streaming solutions, and gauge multimedia and video insights. This allows you to enhance your media capabilities to attract viewers and users.
Azure Stack is basically an extension of Azure itself. It allows you to build and run a wide range of hybrid applications across various aspects of the cloud boundaries.
Azure is incredibly unique because of their migration services. Microsoft’s Azure is the only IaaS cloud provider that gives you cost-effective and flexible solutions to migrate to other cloud destinations. If you need to make a switch, you can move all of your products, apps, and data with considerable ease and no data loss.
With Mixed Reality, Azure offers a wide range of solutions for spatial intelligence to create mixed reality experiences in the form of holograms that respond to commands and real-world physical objects.
Azure allows you to create some of the most advanced mobile applications to enhance user interaction with your business. You can create iOS, Android, or Windows applications and power them via intelligent backend services. You can create and distribute time-sensitive web apps, host backend, consume cloud APIs, and handle a wide range of other app-based features and services.
With Azure, you can connect cloud and on-premise infrastructure to provide the best experience to your users. You have the ability to globally expand your content, host DNS domain, connect to on-premise data-centers, establish a secure VPN gateway, and so much more.
Azure has some of the most advanced security services and products such as Active Directory, Information Protection, Key Vault, Security Center, DDoS Protection, and Sentinel, to name a few. These features provide security intelligence that involves the detection of security threats, suspicions, and insight on how to upgrade security solutions.
Azure provides the world’s most scalable and secure cloud storage solution at a relatively low cost.
Azure gives you access to a fully-managed web platform to build intelligent web applications, cloud applications, and mobile applications without having to manage the infrastructure.
Benefits of Using Azure
Now that you have a brief overview of all of Azure’s products and services, here’s a complete list of reasons why companies are utilizing Azure.
Azure uses some of the most advanced security measures in the technology industry currently, ensuring that your data will be protected and safe at all times. It uses advanced state-of-the-art infrastructure and security solutions to ensure the integrity and safety of their cloud environment.
Some of the primary security tools Azure uses include Multi-Factor Authorization, Threat Intelligence, Advanced Threat Analytics, and Azure Information Protection.
Multi-Factor Authorization is an advanced means of authentication in which you can only sign in to your account after presenting at least two different means of verifying your identity. This minimizes the possibility of account breaches through malicious third-parties.
Threat Intelligence provides you with a detailed map of security-related issues. It can give you the following information:
- The nature of the threat
- The point of origin of the threat
- The threat’s motivation, i.e., was it executed to retrieve specific information from your organization or was it a random attack
- A complete overview of systems that have been compromised and measures to avoid such a threat in the future
- Gauge the sensitivity of compromised files
Advanced Threat Analytics goes even beyond Threat Intelligence. It doesn’t simply provide analytics after an attack, but it can detect impending or potential threats, giving you the chance to avoid an attack altogether. This feature has the following benefits:
- It can detect threats through behavioral analytics and self-learning so you don’t have to focus on programming yourself
- The tool continues learning and advancing in order to stay ahead of the attackers.
- Provides a timeline of suspicious activities
- Receive alerts only after the suspicious activity has been confirmed to reduce false positives
- Investigation and remediation steps to enhance security protocol
Azure Information Protection allows you to classify and protect your documents by applying labels when they contain sensitive information.
These tools and features provide some of the most advanced security solutions to businesses. Furthermore, these tools are always in the process of becoming smarter in order to stay ahead of the curve in a rapidly developing virtual landscape.
Azure gives you complete control over the ownership and distribution of your data. Microsoft is completely transparent and you get an in-depth overview of how your information is handled, including access points and the geographical location of its storage. Furthermore, Microsoft is adamant against government instigation and it doesn’t disclose your information to any law officials unless it’s mandated by law or done with your consent.
The speed of access is crucial for all businesses. When it comes to Azure, they provide fast deployment, operation, and scalability, making them one of the fastest cloud service providers on the market.
Microsoft Azure promises greater business agility and stronger development cycles than on-premise solutions. When you develop your applications with Azure, you have access to quick and responsive feedback that meets your business needs. Furthermore, this is possible without having to establish a complex infrastructure, which also makes it a lot more cost-effective.
Private on-premise data centers have trouble expanding data capabilities on a global scale. However, Azure can easily adapt according to a company’s performance and utilization requirements. As such, you don’t need to employ a team of architects to analyze behavioral patterns and they can instead focus on core development. Furthermore, this also means that users don’t have to be geographically restricted.
Azure is currently available in regions across the globe and they are constantly expanding even further.
Investing in new infrastructure can be a massive drain on a company’s financial resources, especially if they have to do it every couple of years. With Azure, you no longer have to operate your own servers, which also saves the time and energy that goes into heating, cooling, powering, and managing your servers. Instead, you can rent your server at a monthly or yearly cost and fold it into your operational costs. This ensures efficiency, saves considerable finances, and you don’t have to worry about managing the servers.
Microsoft Azure is extremely scalable and comes with a wide range of offers so you only have to pay for what you need, nothing more. This is suitable for companies that are constantly expanding, but it’s also suitable for companies that experience period fluctuations in business.
Certain businesses, especially those that are dependent on seasonal events (like annual festivals), experience all of their traffic during a specific period of time. As such, Azure allows those businesses to scale up during their peak months and scale back down to a conservative level every other time of the year.
As such, you don’t have to waste any of your financial resources in managing servers when you’re not experiencing any traffic.
Keeping cloud-based backups is cost-effective and extremely smart. Tapes, hard drives, and all other physical forms of storage are corruptible and suffer from a high level of data loss. With Azure, you get unlimited cloud storage and retention without fear of data loss.
Furthermore, with Azure’s Site Recovery, you can also recover your data either into the cloud or into a secondary or external site. This ensures that your data is always kept safe and within reach. You no longer have to worry about data loss.
As previously explained, Microsoft Azure takes a number of steps to ensure the safety of their data. They have created all of their solutions in accordance with prominent security and business needs.
They also have well-established compliance offerings for cloud service providers. As such, if you’re in a sensitive business related to finance or legal, you can rest assured that all of your data is stored in perfect compliance with all necessary legal and ethical regulations.
Azure incorporates automatic real-time software updates. This means that all of your infrastructure and applications can adapt in real-time so your business can grow in the online space with a minimal carbon footprint.