Things You Need To Know About Microsoft Azure
Things You Need To Know About Microsoft Azure
The Azure platform aims to help businesses manage challenges and meet their organizational goals. It offers tools that support all industries — including e-commerce, finance and a variety of Fortune 500 companies — and is compatible with open-source technologies. This provides users with the flexibility to use their preferred tools and technologies.
Seventy-three percent of organizations have at least one application, or chunk of their infrastructure, in the cloud already, according to a recent report. A further 17% plan to make a move toward the cloud within the next year. Average spend on cloud computing is also increasing, rising from $1.62m per business in 2016 to $2.2m today. And it is not just enterprises who are shelling out to ensure their business is at the forefront of this digital shift; SMBs now typically invest around $889,000 in cloud tech, up 210% on the average 2016 budget.
It might seem like everyone is doing it, but cloud computing is still new phenomenon, and there is still a lot of misunderstanding and misinformation about the cloud. But worry not, we are going back to basics to offer straightforward answers to the questions you were too afraid to ask with our Microsoft technology FAQ series.
What is Microsoft Azure?
Microsoft Azure is a cloud computing service offered by Microsoft. There are over 600 services that fall under the Azure umbrella, but broadly speaking, it is a web-based platform on which applications and services can be built, tested, managed, and deployed.
A wide range of Microsoft’s software as a service (SaaS), platform as a service (PaaS) and infrastructure as a service (IaaS) products are hosted on Azure. Azure offers three core areas of functionality: Virtual Machines, cloud services, and app services.
What is Microsoft Azure used for?
There are hundreds of services available through Azure; practically any cloud computing product that a business could need can be found on the platform. In terms of scope, Azure covers more regions than any other cloud provider and is the only consistent hybrid cloud.
Who uses Microsoft Azure?
Due to its accessible nature and massive scalability, Azure can be and is used by companies of every size and circumstance, from garage startups to Fortune 500 companies; in fact, 90% the Fortune 500 trust run processes on the Microsoft cloud.
In addition to the vast choice of innovative, and business-critical services, there are many other benefits to Azure which make it appealing to organizations across the board.
Azure is flexible; users can add new services, up their storage capabilities, and create new applications as they go, without having to worry about whether they have the infrastructure to support any changes.
As Azure largely eliminates the need for costly hardware like servers, routers, and load balancers—plus the in-house IT manpower to maintain them—it can save companies a lot of money. Many Azure services operate on an on-demand, pay-as-you-go, and users can get a real-time view of how much they are spending through their admin portal, making budgeting IT spend much easier and more precise.
The reliability offered by Microsoft’s cloud services is also a bonus for businesses. Azure’s 99.99% uptime guarantee, huge range of disaster recovery plans, and thorough backup systems mean organizations, their processes, and their data, are in safe hands.
Where is Azure data held?
Azure runs on data centers around the world, enabling the service to cover more regions than any other cloud provider; Microsoft’s datacenters contain enough fiber cabling to reach the moon and back three times over.
Azure currently operates 54 regions—a set of locally-based datacenters dedicated to a particular geographic location—in 140 countries; customers can select the region that’s right for them, allowing users around the world to preserve data residency, maintain compliance and take advantage of a wide range of resiliency options.
Microsoft has invested over $15bn in infrastructure since opening its first data center in 1989 and continues to add new regions to its Azure coverage all the time, expanding the services available to each location. However currently, not all Azure services are available in every region.
Consequently, Microsoft Azure’s capabilities have become increasingly innovative and open, with improved support for Linux and open-source application stacks. Furthermore, many customers that are pursuing a multi-cloud strategy will use Azure for some of their workloads, and Microsoft’s on-premises Azure Stack software may potentially attract customers seeking hybrid solutions.