Microsoft Azure brings massive scalability, both upwards and downwards. That makes the platform interesting for both large companies and SMEs. After all, you don’t have to switch completely to Azure. This can also act as an extended data center, for example. This platform relies on the Compute on Demand principle. Servers can be turned on or off at any time so you only pay for what you need. This way, you no longer waste resources on too much capacity that you don’t really 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 assessment yourself.
Infrastructure is constantly available so applications and new applications can be tested faster. Azure is Fast Provisioning; additional space is added quickly and additional capacity can be provided at short notice. Microsoft Azure supports a wide variety of programming languages, tools and frameworks, allowing both Microsoft-specific and third-party software to function properly. New Web applications and upgrades can be added easily.
Azure proposes a combination of Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-service (PaaS) and Software-as-a-service (SaaS). IaaS only offers you the infrastructure of the Cloud i.e. the servers, storage, firewalls and networking equipment that you used to purchase yourself. That is now leased as a service. So you can omit your investments for this hardware. This is not recommended because you then have to maintain and update that infrastructure yourself. If you choose a combination with PaaS, all this is done by Microsoft. Software programs can then be added, tested and marketed by yourself. This service from Microsoft keeps running regardless of the number of users. Azure also offers several applications as SaaS, such as Office 365. Here you pay a monthly cost per user.
Azure provides enhanced security through Microsoft’s constant efforts as well as regular updates. In addition, they provide many security components. Security is hugely 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 subscription as a cost rather than an investment in building out your own data center. So there are no more large investments in hardware, software or maintenance; you pay for what you use, just like with water, gas or electricity. This keeps advanced software for business applications affordable for everyone and you don’t 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 expenses 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 a.m. – 10 p.m.? Then this application is simply turned off at night. If you choose, for example, to reduce the number of servers in the middle of the month, then you will actually pay a lower price.
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 more than 60 Azure regions worldwide and several data centers in Europe, applications can be brought closer to the employee. Azure gives us the tools and the possibilities to provide permanent availability. Applications are accessible from anywhere since the data centers are located worldwide. Offering the same continuity in your own server room (often a small room where the equipment is located) is unaffordable. Especially considering the price of power consumption nowadays. By moving all applications and data to the Cloud, users can easily work mobile as soon as an Internet connection is available. This makes working from home secure, productive and efficient.
The opportunities for building out redundant infrastructure are vast and not limited to the data center. Cloud data centers contain built-in redundancy. If one server crashes, the request for another server in the data center will be executed automatically. This keeps your applications running and your data constantly available.