Microsoft Azure brings enormous scalability, both up and down. This makes this platform interesting for both large companies and SMEs. After all, you do not have to switch completely to Azure. It can also function as an extended data center, for example.
This platform is based on the Compute on Demand principle. Servers can be switched on or off at any time so that you only pay for what you need. So you no longer waste resources on too large of a capacity that you do not actually need. Still, it is important to provide extra server capacity so that performance does not decrease with extra traffic. Azure automatically adds that extra capacity without you having to make that assumption yourself.
Innovation and testing
The infrastructure is constantly available so that applications and new applications can be tested faster. Azure is Fast Provisioning; additional space is quickly added and additional capacity can be delivered at short notice. Microsoft Azure supports a wide variety of programming languages, tools, and frameworks, making both Microsoft-specific and third-party software work well. New web applications and upgrades can be added easily.
Azure presents a combination of Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-service (PaaS) and Software-as-a-service (SaaS). IaaS offers you only the infrastructure of the Cloud i.e. the servers, storage, firewalls and network equipment that you used to buy yourself are now rented as a service. You can therefore leave out your investments in this hardware. This is not recommended because you will have to maintain and update this infrastructure yourself. If you opt for a combination with PaaS, then this is all done by Microsoft. You can then also add, test and market software programs yourself. This service from Microsoft continues to run regardless of the number of users. Azure also offers various applications as SaaS, such as Office 365. Here you pay a monthly fee per user.
Azure provides enhanced security through Microsoft’s constant efforts and updates and available tools. Security is extremely important to Microsoft and their customers. Not only the digital security and logging of all actions but also the physical security of the data centers (e.g. access control, limited number of authorized administrators). The amount of certifications is something that is not feasible for most companies on their on-premises data center.
Azure’s pay-as-you-go principle provides a subscription as a cost rather than an investment in building out your own mini data center. So there are no more heavy investments in hardware, software or maintenance, you pay what you use, just like with water, gas or electricity. This way, advanced software for business applications remains affordable for Everyone and you do not pay the maximum amount for space you will never use.
The advantage of this business model is that costs are transparent (which component generates which costs) and costs are greatly reduced when components are not used and turned off at that time. For example, do you only need access to your database from 8 – 22 hours? Then this application is simply turned off at night. If, for example, you choose to reduce the number of servers in the middle of the month, you will effectively pay a lower price.
With 54 Azure regions and several data centers in Europe, applications can be brought closer to the end user. Azure gives us the tools and the possibilities to build in permanent availability. Applications can be accessed from anywhere as the data centers are located worldwide. Offering the same continuity in your own server room (often a small room with the cleaning equipment) is priceless. All applications and data are in the Cloud. This allows users to easily work mobile as soon as an internet connection is available.
The possibilities for developing redundancy are enormous and not limited to the data center. Data centers in the Cloud contain built-in redundancy. If one server crashes, the request for another server in the data center will be executed automatically immediately. Thus, all applications remain active and all data constantly available.
When you purchased your server, they probably estimated how much capacity you would need in the future. These estimates do not match reality in the majority of situations. In some cases, companies buy too much and do not use the available capacity. On the other hand, companies grow rapidly so that capacity was underestimated and they have to buy additional servers to increase their capacity. This in turn brings additional and large costs. Moreover, they are then responsible for managing their servers when they need to be updated or require maintenance.
If this scenario would take place in the Cloud, a lot of advantages can be listed. The hardware needed to host your data, applications and files are no longer located locally. They are located somewhere in a Microsoft Data Center with servers all over the world. Updates and maintenance are done by Microsoft itself, who also bears full responsibility. When something goes wrong you can always fall back on other servers that take over for you.