Most organizations and businesses the world over are moving their services to a cloud network. Microsoft Azure continues to gain popularity in cloud storage, with more and more businesses choosing to use it. Azure has about 1,200 new customer subscriptions per month.
Organizations choose Azure Cloud products to help streamline their workflows, to enhance their decision-making process, and to make data storage easier and cost-effective. The cloud computing services industry has been flooded by well-known technology companies and startups that compete for customers. Even though Google has over time taken a large chunk of the market share, Microsoft Azure has proven to be a fierce competitor in providing cloud services.
This article focuses on the notable benefits of using Microsoft Azure Products. Before we dive in, however, let’s get to know what Microsoft Azure is.
What is Microsoft Azure Cloud?
It is a platform that offers more than 200 products and cloud services that are aimed at helping individuals and corporate entities solve contemporary challenges. Organizations use Azure to build cloud data centers which they use to store their data and to build and manage their applications. Through Azure, Microsoft will take care of your networking services and/ or needs.
With Azure, you are assured secure and reliable access to your data. You can use its wide range of products and services to manage your cloud platform.
The main benefits of using Microsoft Azure products include:
1. Data Security
Once you have your data on the Azure platform, only you will have access to such data. Your data is completely protected on your cloud network from interference by third parties. Azure is designed on a security process called Secure Development Lifecycle (SDL) where data stays secure on Microsoft cloud platform.
Besides, Microsoft has a large team of data security professionals who work round the clock to ensure your data stays safe. Microsoft secures your data using tools such as Threat Intelligence and Advanced Threat Analytics. The system has multi-layered, built-in security controls that identify and help protect data against external threats.
Microsoft also uses Multi-Factor Authorization to enhance the security of its cloud platform. This ensures that only authorized users can gain access to your Azure network.
You can trust Azure’s built-in security tools to maintain the integrity and privacy of your sensitive information. You can be sure you will not experience data breaches, nor will you have malware problems or any other evolving threats to cloud services.
2. High Standard Development Tools
Microsoft Azure gives its users the opportunity to use a variety of enterprise-level tools and programming languages such as Java, Python, Kubernetes, among others. Using these tools, organizations can build and manage personal web apps.
Having a variety of tools to choose from gives customers the flexibility to choose what works best for them in creating web apps and applications for mobile devices.
Azure also offers various services for cloud solutions such as VS Team Services and VS Team Applications. Users can also access on-demand storage services. This allows users to save time developing, testing, and deploying their applications.
One of the major reasons why organizations are skeptical about adopting cloud services is the issue of privacy. Here’s some good news for you; you have no need to worry about privacy when using Microsoft Azure.
Microsoft has put in place mechanisms to ensure only you and authorized persons have the power to access and manipulate data on your platform.
Their terms and conditions are clear. They will disclose to you how they will manage your data, and where and how that data will be stored. Besides, Microsoft will never share your data unless and until it is required by law, and this happens on very rare occasions. In such cases, you will be made aware of what is going on.
Another beautiful thing about Azure is the fact that your data will only be used for agreed-upon services and never for advertising or marketing purposes. If you happen to opt-out of using Azure, Microsoft will follow a strict procedure in erasing your data from its systems.
Once you make your subscription, you get a Security Center. It is, however, important to note that only a section of the Security Center is free. Whereas this free tier allows you to see the security status of your cloud data, this is limited in some respects.
Suggested Reading: Data security challenges in cloud computing
4. Scalability Upon Demand
Scalability is a major concern for organizations. Change is inevitable and at one point a business will have to either grow or downsize, making scalability a big deal.
Does this sound like you? Be rest assured that Azure will assist you in either scaling up or scaling down your business according to your business needs. You will only pay for the services you use.
Azure’s public cloud framework allows you to increase your storage space and computer resources on demand. Therefore, your organization can adjust during a short-term upsurge of activities as well as a long-term widening of its scope.
What all this means for your business is that you can always adjust your service agreements in order to avoid disruptions of your applications.
5. High Availability
Compared to other public cloud service providers, Azure offers high availability and redundancy in data centers across the globe. That means you will get a Service Level Agreement (SLA) that ensures 99.95% availability from Azure. That means the annual downtime is below 4.4 hours.
Microsoft operates in 55 regions of the world and is available in 140 countries. This is some good news to organizations that have a global perspective; Microsoft has its data centers well spread the world over.
6. Disaster Recovery
One of the biggest mistakes a company can ever make is the failure to have a disaster recovery plan. You need to be ready for any kind of disaster.
A survey conducted by Information Technology Intelligence Consulting showed that 81% of businesses across 47 markets estimated the hourly cost of downtime to an excess of $300,000. Of the companies that participated in the survey, a third estimated their hourly downtime cost to be between $1 million and $5 million, or even over $5 million.
Microsoft Azure has data centers in virtually all countries. Thus, they offer cloud solutions in a geographically decentralized manner. This helps in creating a disaster recovery plan for your organization.
During the recovery period, your vital applications can run from a backup site, and you can have access to your data. This ensures you stay online during the disruption. You won’t experience any major hiccups in your activities when a disaster occurs.
Organizations try to strike a balance between getting a good cloud environment and the cost of acquiring such services. Azure boasts of its cost-efficiency due to the following reasons;
- Microsoft offers a consumption-based pricing model. Therefore, the infrastructure costs are relatively lower, and so is in-house IT management. Have a look at Azure’s pricing model.
- Users do not incur costs associated with warranty renewals and service calls.
- Users do not make a large initial investment for building a remote data center or a data center on-premises. You won’t also need to buy any extra software for application development.
8. Access to Resources
When using Microsoft Azure, IT departments get access to many resources that they wouldn’t have access to with on-premises data centers.
For instance, using Microsoft Azure, you can incorporate machine learning and automation into your systems. You do not need to be a data science expert or incur very high costs to achieve this.
With Azure, an organization can set up a Linux server in under ten minutes. On normal occasions, this takes a lot of time and one has to follow a set of guidelines.
To make good use of these resources, aim at utilizing these Azure features;
- Azure Machine Learning Services and Artificial Intelligence (AI) Platform- Using these features, you can build artificial intelligence applications.
- Azure Quick-start Templates- Using these templates, you can utilize the resources on Azure more efficiently and consistently. They will also save you lots of time.
- Azure Marketplace- Azure has an app store for its applications. Just at the snap of a finger, you can find and deploy suitable software. There are many software options for you to choose from.
Many companies have adopted cloud technology. By now you already know that Microsoft Azure is the largest cloud vendor.
Given its popularity, Microsoft Azure services have been experiencing tremendous growth in the recent past. It keeps adding to its features, making operations easier and more efficient for its users. Microsoft is keen on meeting the needs of its customers. Therefore, if you are looking to join the league of organizations that are already making good use of Azure, look no further.
Microsoft has the largest global footprint. So, from wherever you are on this globe, it’s got you covered. This helps you tremendously reduce downtime and continue your operations in the event of a disaster.
From the wide variety of services and products, you can be sure to get the best of Microsoft Azure!