The race to the cloud continues gaining pace, and many businesses have already enthusiastically embraced the new opportunities and efficiencies the cloud can bring.
But, for those companies with more traditional technology structures and a lack of cloud knowledge or in-house expertise, a move to the cloud can still seem intimidating. Some businesses continue to prop up aging monolithic technologies, rather than risk relinquishing control of database security and availability, and due to concerns over downtime.
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What is Microsoft Azure?
Microsoft Azure is a cloud platform for building, deploying, and managing services and applications, around the globe.
It addresses many of the concerns associated with the cloud, offering an ever-expanding set of services to help organizations meet their business challenges, whether they are looking for partial or total cloud-based architecture.
You can build on Microsoft’s proven architecture to add cloud capabilities to your existing technology set-up using Azure’s Platform as a Service (PaaS) or use them to run your computing and network needs via Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS).
Azure offers a range of useful and innovative tools and services, from which you can pick and choose, depending on your business requirements. These include Virtual Machines, Cloud Services, Managed Disks, Storage Options, SQL Database, Band Width (Data Transfer), Computer Vision, Active Directory, APP Service, Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS), DevTest Labs, and many more.
Azure has a strong focus on AI, analytics, and the Internet of Things. AzureStack shows genuine market innovation. It is a portfolio of products that extend Azure services and capabilities to your environment of choice—from the data center to edge locations and remote offices. The portfolio enables hybrid and edge computing applications to be built, deployed, and run consistently across location boundaries.
Why Move to the Cloud?
Cloud computing platform providers promote themselves as cheaper and more reliable than traditional set-ups, and as offering stronger security than on-premises servers. They are more flexible, enabling you to instantly scale up and down depending on your business usage and storage requirements.
Offloading server management to your provider frees you from maintenance, scheduled downtime, and the risk of theft or damage, as well as eliminating the need to replace aging technology.
As cloud computing runs on data centers around the world, it provides resilience and reliability, as your data can be backed up to more than one geographic location. If required, your IT resources can be delivered from specific geographic locations.
Azure claims to be the only consistent hybrid cloud, with more regions than any cloud provider, delivering unparalleled developer productivity. They offer comprehensive compliance coverage, including meeting General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
Setting up and maintaining on-site data centers is extremely expensive, especially when you factor in additional costs such as staffing, land and building purchase and maintenance, and buying and updating computer hardware.
A move to Azure means that you only pay for the resources you need, and these can be adjusted in real-time to match your business needs.
Focus on Security
Azure has spent 1B+ USD investment in security research and development and boasts a team of over 3,500 global cybersecurity experts, working together to help safeguard business assets and data.
From Microsoft’s perspective, security is foundational. Azure benefits from multi-layered security across physical data centers, infrastructure, and operations.
State-of-art security is delivered in Azure data centers globally. Azure is built with customized hardware and has security controls integrated into the hardware and firmware components. It includes added protection against threats such as distributed denial-of-service (DDoS). The breadth of Azure’s security features allows its cloud platform to provide customers with industry-leading security in-depth.
Azure’s high-speed and geographically decentralized infrastructure means that you have far more disaster recovery options when a problem occurs. Your critical applications and data can run from alternative sites during recovery periods, ensuring that downtime is minimized.
Explore Open Source Software
Azure actively supports open source software, driving innovation through collaboration, and contributing back to the community. Azure enables you to build on open source at scale, supporting newer open source technologies like .NET Core, TypeScript, and Visual Studio Code. They also contribute to projects such as Python, Kubernetes, PostgreSQL, and Linux kernel.
Because Azure supports open source technologies, you can use whichever tools and technologies you prefer. This means you can run virtually any application using your data source, with your operating system, on your device.
How Does Azure Compare to Amazon Web Services (AWS?)
Some of the world’s most prominent organizations have chosen Azure to support their business requirements, for good reasons:
- Competitive pricing – According to Microsoft, AWS is five times more expensive than Azure for Windows Server and SQL Server. Azure matches AWS pricing for comparable services.
- Open source community support – You can use a vast range of open-source operating systems, languages, and tools on Azure. Azure made the most contributions to GitHub in 2017 and is the only cloud with integrated support for Red Hat.
- Enhanced and proactive security and compliance – Azure’s compliance offerings include 90+ compliance certifications. This represents a more comprehensive group of certifications than AWS currently presents.
- Gain value from your existing Microsoft investment – You can maintain your organization’s existing tools and knowledge and achieve a consistent experience across your on-premises and cloud technologies by integrating them with Azure Active Directory. This helps to reduce the effort required by companies following a lift-and-shift strategy to move to Azure.
Percona’s Partnership With Azure
Percona is a proud Microsoft Azure partner, providing software, support, and monitoring and management services for Microsoft’s Azure cloud solutions.
Percona software is an ideal database option to run on Azure Virtual Machines, enabling companies of all sizes to build, test, and deploy applications on Azure’s highly scalable and reliable compute infrastructure.
The Percona DBA Service for Microsoft Azure, as well as other support services, is available to help Azure customers get the most benefit from their open source database environments. Percona can support your Azure environment, quickly resolve issues, and provide proactive updates, oversight, and assistance 24x7x365.
95% of Fortune 500 companies use Azure. It is a popular and proven cloud platform option, providing an extensive array of solutions suitable for all industries, large and small.
Azure supports a wide range of programming languages, frameworks, operating systems, databases, and devices, allowing developers to continue using the tools and technologies they trust. This flexibility is extremely attractive to companies that are increasingly running multiple applications against multiple databases in multiple locations.
Azure’s exceptional track record of investing in and implementing security processes, along with their extensive geographical coverage and Microsoft’s proven technology track-record, brings comfort to even the most cautious companies. The Azure approach to innovation, including AI, machine learning, and Cognitive API capabilities, shows that they are also looking to the future and exploring the opportunities this brings their users.
Credit: Microsoft Azure information obtained from https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/
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