Microsoft Cloud Services enable companies to manage their Windows computing services in the cloud, rather than maintaining on-premise Windows servers or renting data centres.
Using cloud-based services provides a number of benefits for companies, including reduced costs, increased range of services, and compatibility with other businesses using the same systems.
Known as Microsoft Azure, Microsoft’s cloud services offer a broad range of products to a multitude of business types. Chiefly, they host your company’s applications offsite and regularly back up your data.
Here we’ll run through what types of services are available through Microsoft Azure, and how a Microsoft Azure Management group can help match your business with the right services, assist you with migration to Azure, and help you manage your Azure services.
Microsoft Azure Products
There are over 200 products and cloud services included in the Azure cloud platform. These products and services are grouped into the following categories.
- AI + machine learning
- Developer Tools
- Hybrid + multicloud
- Internet of Things
- Management and governance
- Mixed Reality
- Virtual Desktop Infrastructure
Not every enterprise will need every available Azure product, and therefore many opt to work with a Microsoft Azure consulting group, who help assess which products are essential to your operations, and which aren’t required. Companies only pay for the services they use, so there is no issue of getting a standardised package. Instead, a careful strategy is required to select the right services.
Advantages of Microsoft Azure
Whilst there may have been trepidation in the past from companies considering a move to cloud-based services, it has now become the norm. Some of the largest firms use Microsoft Azure, and now 95% of Fortune 500 companies use Microsoft Azure products.
The picture going forward is that fewer companies will maintain their own servers, and more will opt for cloud services, to take advantage of the following benefits.
Dispensing with on-premise servers can save companies a lot of time and money.
Maintaining servers is costly. There is an outlay for on-premise server hardware, licences for software, and then IT staff to manage and maintain the server environment, and fix issues when things go wrong. At times, servers don’t run to full capacity, and therefore the money spent on them is wasted during this downtime. There are also the factors of power consumption and space.
Conversely, Azure cloud services are charged for on an as-needed basis, meaning companies don’t need to pay for more than they use, which is far more economical. IT staff are also freed up to deal with other types of work.
Previously, there was wariness surrounding the use of cloud services due to security concerns. Companies are naturally focussed on maintaining the security of their own data, and that of their customers and partners.
Hence, the perceived risks of data threats from adopting cloud services was a concern that held many companies, especially those in highly-regulated industries, back from moving to the cloud. They preferred instead to maintain their own servers, so they could better control the environment and their data.
Security for cloud services has come a long way, however, and is now well trusted for its ability to maintain data privacy and prevent data loss. Microsoft boasts a team of over 3,500 global security experts and spends $1 billion US per year on security to protect user data from cyber threats. Azure also offers Azure Sentinel, which is a cloud-native SIEM that provides intelligent, AI-informed security analytics to help secure organisations from cyber threats.
For highly regulated industries, hybrid solutions are available that allow them to mix on-premises solutions with private cloud or public cloud platforms, enabling them to ensure their data security onsite but still having the advantages of the cloud. (See Azure Arc.)
Suits any sized business
Microsoft Azure has the capability to suit businesses of all sizes. Importantly, it can offer affordable services to businesses who don’t have the capacity or budget to host or rent servers.
Also, because Azure cloud services are charged on an as-needed basis, a company can easily scale up or down, based on how their business is growing, their requirements of the Azure services, and their usage.
Ease of deployment
Transitioning to Microsoft Azure is relatively simple, particularly for enterprises who already use Microsoft products like SharePoint. There is no need to wait for hardware or software, as these cloud based Azure products and services are readily available online for immediate deployment, and a simple subscription is all that’s required to access applications.
Why Azure over other cloud services?
Whilst there are other cloud environments out there, Microsoft Azure’s broad range of services encompass everything most enterprises need. Also, being Microsoft services, they are used across the business landscape, making them familiar to many. Such familiarity usually results in an ease of take up by the staff using Azure products.
What Azure products does your company need?
With over 200 Microsoft Azure products available in the suite, it’s not always straightforward to know which products your company needs. This is why many companies choose to partner with a Microsoft certified managed service provider. A managed service provider will be able to review your business needs and make a full technical assessment of what will be involved in migrating your services to Azure.
They can also advise you on the most cost-effective path forward with Azure, so that you only get the services you need. They will be on hand to assist if you need to upgrade your package along the way—adding new services, or removing those you find aren’t being utilised.
A Microsoft azure management provider can also do the following.
Manage your new or existing Azure services
Using an azure consulting service to manage your company’s use of Azure will ensure your investment reaps the maximum benefits, and you won’t waste money on services you don’t need.
Even if your company isn’t migrating to Azure, and has been using it for some time, Azure’s offering is always changing with the times, and expanding. With more people working from home, businesses are adapting to remote working arrangements, which requires new strategies for digital transformation, and Azure is regularly creating new options for remote work.
Manage Migration to Azure
An Azure consulting service, like Technetics, can help your company integrate Azure’s hybrid cloud capabilities into your existing operational infrastructure smoothly, so operations are minimally impacted during the transition, if at all.
An effective Microsoft azure management provider monitors your use of Microsoft Azure in real time. This ensures any technical hiccups are responded to quickly, so business operations are minimally impacted.
An Azure consulting service will keep an ongoing eye on each of your Azure environments to see how they are being used, how they are coping under load, and how much you’re spending on each resource.
They can also monitor for any conflicts between services, or lags in service, if your business is combining Azure with other cloud products. Such data is vital in forming an ongoing strategy for optimisation.
If your business is ready to move to cloud solutions, or already has, but needs support in making a business case for cloud services, and making the most of the Azure product range, Technetics provide Microsoft Azure managed cloud solutions in Melbourne and beyond.
Contact us today to arrange a consultation and discuss your cloud ambitions. With Technetics managing and monitoring your Azure setup, there’s no limit to what your business can achieve.