Microsoft Azure

Microsoft Azure is a leading player in the cloud computing domain. Cloud computing is at its peak and many companies like Amazon, Google have released their tools.

Cloud computing allows developers to deploy their apps on several virtual servers without the need of investing in the infrastructure.

90% of the fortune 500 companies rely on Microsoft Cloud to do amazing things in their field.

 

Overview of Microsoft Azure

Azure is Microsoft’s tool in the cloud computing world and it is used to build, deploy and maintain different applications on a massive global network.

The tool provides services like SaaS, PaaS and IaaS, tools, third-party systems and framework. It also provides DevOps, business analytics and Internet of Things services so that businesses can get a scalable and cost-effective solution.

The developers can either choose to deploy and manage their existing application or use a customized solution provided by Azure. The Azure platform incorporates security and privacy ensuring utmost level of trust, transparency and compliance.

Two deployment models offered in Azure include:

  • Cloud Deployment Model: The resources are managed individually and the related resources cannot be grouped together. The resources needs to be tracked manually and managed.
  • Azure Resource Manager: The resource manager has a container called the resource group for grouping resources having a common lifecycle. The solutions can be deployed throughout the lifecycle. Developers can apply access control to all resources falling under the same resource group.

The deployment options offered by Azure include Cloud Services, Container Service, Functions, Batch, and App Services etc

Azure has four classes of offerings:

  1. Data Management, includes database
  2. Compute
  3. Networking
  4. Performance

The above offerings are provided using a combination of Active Directory Federation Services, Azure Active Directory and Multi-factor Auth along with Role Based Access control model.

 

Azure Architecture and Specifications

The Azure fabric controller controls the scalability and reliability to manage the web applications and avoids crashes in the environment.

The application is developed using HTTP, REST and XML. It supports Windows and Linux operating system.

Benefits of Azure

Benefits of Azure

  • With Azure you can run enterprise applications, computing processes and predictive analytics using Cortana.
  • The users can start with less computing resources and scale up as the traffic increases.
  • Hybrid cloud allows companies to deploy their legacy apps without changing anything.
  • Azure is targeted towards enterprise users and the integration with Visual Studio, TFS and Active Directory is smooth.
  • Microsoft supports open source technology and they have also made the .NET Core and PowerShell open-source.

 

Licensing

Azure offers license mobility for a few application servers like the SQL server, Exchange server, System Server, Skype, Project Server. The users are charged for licenses on the basis of usage.

However, if you have already purchased a license for an application server you need to verify if it is eligible for license mobility. Windows server is not included in the list.

 

Pricing

Azure has no upfront cost and users pay only for what they use. The pricing calculator can be used to find out the pricing details.

Azure Reserved VM Instances

The virtual machines can be reserved in advance by making an upfront commitment on the compute capacity. This plan reduces costs by up to 72% compared to the pay-as-you-go prices. You need to specify your Azure region, virtual machine type and term (either 1 year or 3 years). The businesses have the flexibility to change the plan when the need arises.

Azure Hybrid Benefit

It can be used if you have a Window Server License and Datacenter editions. The users can save up to 49% on virtual machines. It is beneficial for users who are migrating few or entire data centres to the cloud.

Azure Dev/Test Pricing

With Azure Dev/Test, the users can get discounted rates to support their ongoing development and testing. The pricing varies for individuals and teams

 

Services Offered in Azure

Hybrid Clouds

Some companies do not have the resources or the time to start afresh in the cloud computing domain. For such companies, a partial conversion to cloud computing is a better option as it lets them retain the use of their legacy apps.

Hybrid Cloud is a popular choice for companies who want to retain their legacy apps and keep some data or apps in-house. Azure offers support for hybrid clouds allowing developers to run their applications on the Azure Stack. There is an option to use computing resources whenever necessary which makes the migration to cloud seamless.

Mobile Services

Mobile engagement feature in Azure is used for collection of real-time analytics and sends push notifications to the app users. HockeyApp is a service allowing developers to develop and test mobile apps.

Automation Services

The frequently repeated activities can be managed by the automation feature of Azure. The Microsoft Service Management Automation (SMA) allows developers to use runbooks to automate IT processes.

Machine Learning

Cortana Intelligence Suite enables developers to use predictive analytics and natural speech recognition to build intelligent apps.

Content Delivery Network

The developers can use CDN for images, audio, videos, applications, gaming software, firmware updates. Azure CDN reduces latency, improves user experience and saves bandwidth. The real-time performance is superb thanks to the seamless integration.

Media Services

The media services offered by Azure enables developers to offer media services with the benefits of content protection, encoding, streaming and analytics.

Data management Services

Azure can handle intensive data queries on datasets up to 1 TB through its SQL Data Warehouse service.

Computing Services

The IAAS service allows developers to launch virtual machines in Linux or Windows operating systems.

Azure Backup

This service is used for taking backup copies of folders, applications and virtual machines. The data is kept in the Azure Recovery Services Vault. The Azure Backup agent takes the backups of files and folders and the agent can be installed in virtual machines. The Azure Backup Server is used for applications, virtual machine or system state backups.

Azure Site Recovery

In case of any failure, the Azure Site Recovery service can restore your entire data centre.

Conclusion

If you feel like you would benefit from outsourced Microsoft Azure services, then fill in the form on the contact page today.

 


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