What can MS Azure do for you?

Microsoft Azure provides your business with a collection of Cloud services that guarantees you complete continuity. It gives you the ability to move your IT infrastructure and applications to the Cloud. This has the advantage that you use exactly what you need. The following questions briefly introduce you with our Cloud services.

What can I imagine when talking about the 'Cloud'?

When you work in the Cloud, you do so via an Internet connection that gives you access to remote servers. Your data and software are no longer located locally but in another place. No more high investments in your own server, but services in high-security data centers around the world hosted by Microsoft experts. E-mail, CRM or ERP systems are usually already in the Cloud today, so you are probably already using them. There are several companies that provide Cloud space. We resolutely choose Microsoft, more specifically Microsoft Azure. 

What are the possibilities with Microsoft Azure?

Anything you want can happen on the Azure platform. From Backups and server hosting to containers and databases, the possibilities are endless. Discover Lean application hosting without growing pains or investments, Disaster Recovery without worries and hosted Remote Desktop Services in seconds. Would you like to offer your own solutions as SaaS? You can. Setting up environments for fast collaboration, boosting your website’s capacity for global marketing campaigns, … All these services are offered via the Cloud and can be perfectly integrated within your own network environment. In the Azure platform constant developments take place and changes are implemented quickly. As a result, new features are available at lightning speed. The other side of the story is that guidance and adaptation are very important aspects when switching to Azure.

What are the advantages of Microsoft Azure?

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.

Scalability

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.

Services

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.

What is the difference with a local server?

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.

Do I have to switch to the Cloud right away?

A hybrid solution is also possible. Some applications that are important for the operational functioning of your company may not yet be able to go to the Cloud or are better left local. By analyzing your entire infrastructure, this division can be made efficiently. So you can occupy yourself with the things you are good at; creating value for your company. This without breaking your head about managing or scaling your infrastructure.

How does Azure work for me?

To present the possibilities for your business in the Cloud, it is crucial to perform a thorough analysis or audit of your existing ICT infrastructure. This in order to offer a correct representation of a Cloud solution. This way we can provide you with a personalized proposal comparing on-premises (hardware), the Azure Cloud or a hybrid solution. Safe-Connect stands for complete transparency and therefore an assessment is necessary, partly because the Cloud is a completely different “world” and we need to approach it with a completely different mindset. Finally, this report is evaluated together and we can estimate the costs associated with moving to the Cloud.

Are you looking for an alternative to your on-premises infrastructure?

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