Microsoft Azure is an ever-growing platform of integrated Cloud Computing services that enable enterprises to handle their private, public, and hybrid cloud IT and computing needs. Through Microsoft Azure, you can develop modern applications, build your IT infrastructure, set up robust backup and recovery options, and manage your identity and users, among many other use cases.
A one-stop shop for cloud computing, Microsoft Azure now includes over 600 services, and its capabilities are still growing. With so many services, C-Suite executives may be at pains to understand exactly what it is and how to leverage it to improve enterprise-wide productivity and efficiency.
What is Microsoft Azure?
As mentioned, Microsoft Azure is a cloud computing platform which hosts hundreds of integrated cloud computing features and services.
At the core, Microsoft Azure is a public cloud computing framework that hosts solutions as Software as a Service (SaaS), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), and Platform as a Service (PaaS). These solutions may be used for a range of applications including virtual computing, data analytics and science, networking, storage, backup and disaster recovery, among others.
Microsoft Azure may be deployed as a private or public cloud or it may be used to supplement on-premise data centers in a hybrid cloud deployment. Because solutions on Azure are available as-a-Service, it is possible to scale resources up and down to meet changing business requirements.
4 Key Benefits of Azure making C-Suite Executives take Notice
Businesses of all sizes globally have taken advantage of Azure’s services and platform to advance their cloud computing strategy. These businesses have restructured their business operations to create a more sustainable and suitable mode of operation – a secure, flexible, and scalable cloud-enabled platform based on public, private, or hybrid cloud deployment.
As a public cloud computing platform, Azure is open-source and supports most languages, operating systems, frameworks, and tools. Azure is flexible, robust, and fast, with affordable pricing plans and capabilities that set it apart in the public cloud computing space. Common use cases include:
1. Backup and Disaster Recovery
Azure includes inbuilt disaster recovery and advanced site recovery features. It has been built with flexibility in mind, meaning that your data can be backed up in virtually any language, operating system or location. You can set your preferred backup frequency and extent.
Through Azure site recovery, you can enhance tape backups and retain up to 99 years of data with minimal to no capital investment and marginal operating costs. In Azure, you can store up to three copies of your data in three separate locations in an on-prem data center and another three copies in a remote Azure data center. This robust disaster recovery plan ensures that you never lose any of your data.
2. Web and Mobile App Development
Azure is the ideal platform to develop, host, or manage your web or mobile application, thanks to its adaptive and autonomous systems that include AutoScale, Patch management, and integration with on-prem solutions.
Automated patch management allows your teams to focus on app improvement instead of spending valuable time in app management. Azure also includes deployment support so that you can streamline updates on code.
AutoScale is an in-built Azure feature which adjusts resources according to your web traffic. This increases the allocation when you have high traffic and saves money when you have lower traffic. You can also link web apps developed in the cloud with on-premise apps so that you can easily access resources within your firewall from external sources.
3. Active Directory Integration
Azure integrates with an enterprise’s Active Directory to enrich its access authorization and identification features. With Azure, you can enjoy centralized management, robust security, and a global reach for you DNS. Your Active Directory environment can be globally distributed, something no other cloud provider does.
Where you have multiple locations or you have both on-premise and cloud native apps, Azure becomes the centralized tool to give access and manage all other tools, whether on-premise or on the cloud. Through multi-factor authentication, Azure provides an additional security layer to your applications and data without creating extra hassle for system users.
4. IoT Industry Solutions
As a secure, flexible and scalable platform, Microsoft Azure is the perfect platform for companies that wish to invest in IoT and Industry 4.0. Your devices can be connected to the cloud and integrated with existing on-prem or hybrid infrastructure to power data collection. The Azure IoT hub allows you to manage and monitor billions of sensors/devices to inform business decision-making, decrease system complexity, reduce costs, and increase efficiency.
Thanks to Azure’s enhanced security features, your IoT solutions can operate securely, when ordinarily they presented vulnerabilities exploited by hackers for unauthorized access.