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What is Microsoft Azure and how can it benefit your organisation?

Microsoft Azure seems to be the buzz word in the business technology arena – in this article we explore what Microsoft Azure is and how it can benefit your organisation.


What is Microsoft Azure?

Microsoft Azure, formerly known as Windows Azure, is Microsoft’s public cloud computing platform. Users can pick and choose from these services to develop and scale new applications, or run existing applications, in the public cloud.


Why would my business require Microsoft Azure?

Microsoft Azure, like other cloud service providers enables you to instantly provision computing resources on demand. When compared with traditional means where you had the task of planning and building an on-site data centre, along with the mandatory hardware upgrades, maintenance costs, server cooling requirements, electricity costs, and not to mention the use of floor space particularly for offices with rental or lease costs – the savings can add up very quickly.


Below are 5 reasons your organisation could benefit by moving to Azure:


  1. Familiar Microsoft environment – If your business is a committed enterprise user of Microsoft applications, migrating to Azure is the easiest way to integrate your enterprise applications with the cloud. You’ll gain access to analytics and big data services that let you make the most of your SQL Server data. The third-party products and solutions offered in Azure provide additional functionality and are easy to add to your Windows infrastructure.


  1. Disaster recovery is standard – Cloud is an excellent choice for disaster recovery, and with Azure you get the high availability that comes with a robust environment supported by Microsoft. Your business also has the flexibility to customise your disaster recovery options through using different regions and maintaining hot and cold standby servers.


  1. Ability to manage your IT budget – Microsoft Azure offers trials for most of its features giving users the opportunity to gain an understanding of functionality before making any long-term commitment. Servers and storage can be created as and when required. Once you know your exact requirements, you can opt for pay-as-you-go or make a commitment to benefit from cheaper pricing.


  1. Get help meeting security and compliance requirements – Unfortunately, using cloud doesn’t let you completely hand off your security and compliance tasks. But using Microsoft Azure can get you a long way towards satisfying those concerns. With Azure, you can choose environments certified to meet standards like PCI DSS, giving you a head start on your compliance and taking the headache out of configuration.


  1. The benefits of Azure extend beyond cost control, however. The task of administering certain technologies such as Windows Server, Active Directory, and SharePoint can be greatly eased with the combination of Azure and Office 365. This frees up IT staff to work on new projects, rather than spending time on general system upkeep.

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