Microsoft Azure Cloud ? An entire guide

In a survey in 2017, Microsoft Azure was identified as the most used cloud that is public, and also the one that is most likely to be bought or renewed according to 28 percent of the respondents–the highest percentage of any cloud service provider that’s public. With such numbers it’s not surprising that the number of companies interested in Azure is increasing. 


The span data-v-f90e8940 =””>If you’re trying to know more about Azure and how your company can profit from it and make the most of its services You’re at the right spot. This comprehensive guide explains the basics and goes beyond to “What is Microsoft Azure?” to a comprehensive Microsoft Azure tutorial video that provides a brief overview of its features. There’s also a lot more. 

span data-v-f90e8940 =””>Feel at ease to jump over the portions of this lengthy guide you’re interested in with the table of contents below. If you have questions following reading, don’t hesitate reach us via email. We’re more than willing to clarify and answer your questions. 

Basics Of Microsoft Azure 

Chapter 1: Microsoft Azure Introduction

What is Microsoft Azure?

When I’m asked how Microsoft Azure is, the easiest answer is that: Azure is a cloud computing platform that provides everything needed by businesses to run all or some of its computing processes online, which includes servers storage databases, networking analytics, and much more. 

span data-v f90e8940 =””>Traditionally the only choice for businesses was to create and maintain the hardware that was required to run computing systems, such as server, storage for disks, and Ethernet switches. Today, businesses can make use of a cloud-based public platform such as Azure which buys and maintains all computing hardware. That means companies are able to “rent” hardware resources as required. 

Data-v-f90e8940 from span =””>You can select and select from Azure’s services to receive the assistance you require to run your business, including developing, deploying and managing your applications. And because you’re renting computing power, you don’t require the cost and inefficiencies (like an IT department with a dedicated team) related to the physical hardware that comes to these tasks. There are a myriad of advantages that go in addition to efficiency and cost.

span data-v-f90e8940 =””>Many businesses today are utilizing a mixture of both on-premise as well as cloud-based datacenters. Many are using different cloud computing options based on their requirements and needs. So if you’re worried about making a radical change to your computing environment, or are worried that you’re locked into a single service provider for the rest of your life but don’t fret. Instead, you should examine the value of cloud computing with respect to the requirements of your business. Most of the time, creating a combination of cloud computing and an existing on-premises configuration is the best approach to begin the process. 

Who uses Microsoft Azure?

span data-v f90e8940 =””>Businesses regardless of size benefit from using cloud services that are public and a majority of them are opting for Azure. In reality, Azure is used by 85percent of Fortune 500 companies. 

span data-v-f90e8940 =””>Azure It is attractive to numerous small and medium-sized companies. One reason is that it allows SMBs to reduce the cost of capital for equipment. Additionally, it reduces the burden of maintenance and upgrades, since smaller companies may not have internal experts who are readily available to offer support. Additionally, since Azure lets you move or delete computing resources in a matter of minutes in comparison with several hours (or days! ) and provides greater flexibility that companies could not get with an on-premise datacenter. 

What will the location of my information be kept if I choose to use Azure? 

Data-v-f90e8940 from span =””>If you’re using cloud computing, your information is not being stored on your servers. Where is it where exactly? 

Data-V-F90E8940 from span. =””>Microsoft oversees physically storing data of Azure customers, which means that it will be stored within one or more Microsoft’s more than 100 datacenters spread across the world. Microsoft-managed datacenters currently exist in 36 locations (see below for a map) and that number is expected to grow in the coming years. 

Data-V-F90E8940 span =””>You usually have the option of specifying the location in which the data you want to store be kept. It is generally advised that your data is kept near to the area where your users are. The further away the data you store is far from users higher the latency that they suffer. To ensure your data is accessible, Azure will keep and manage multiple copies of your data through a process known as replication. You can choose how replication handled, for instance would you like two copies of your data in the same location or multiple copies to be that are stored in multiple locations? 

span data-v f90e8940 =””>Because that a lot of businesses are subject to strict guidelines for the protection of information, Azure provides a comprehensive range of compliance services such as HIPAA, ITAR, and on May 25 2018 GDPR. Find the full list of compliances on Microsoft’s site. 

Can my information be secure using Azure? 

span data-v f90e8940 =””>Security can be a top priority for all major cloud services which includes Microsoft Azure. Microsoft particularly has been focused on this subject with the recent expansion of Azure Security Center. Azure Security Center. 

span data-v -f90e8940 =””>Azure Security Center is an management tool that lets you keep an eye on the health of your Azure cloud resources to identify security weaknesses and threats. Utilizing the latest analytics technology, it is able to detect suspicious activity within your cloud workloads that are hybrid, and offers suggestions for remediation. Then, you can review these steps and then do the right thing. Security Center comes with your Microsoft Azure subscription, and it can be accessed through the main page.

span data-v -f90e8940 =””>Note However that only a tiny part of Security Center is available for free. Although the free version gives you a glimpse into the security of your cloud-based resources, it’s pretty restricted in other areas. For greater protection against threats it is necessary move to the more expensive “standard” tier. 

span data-v-f90e8940 =””>Azure is also able to provide Data encryption at rest, which is the encryption of data with cryptography while it’s persistent. This is a method of symmetric encryption that allows you to decrypt and encode huge amounts of data rapidly. 

The data-v-f90e8940 span is a part of the =””>As an IT expert in charge of providing security for your company’s data, you’ll probably want to look into a variety of other security options. CSO Online notes that “contrary to what many may think, the main responsibility for protecting corporate data in the cloud lies not with the service provider but with the cloud customer.” Therefore, you should be sure you’ve got a thorough understanding of your cloud security and how to take control of it. Ossisto365 provides Cloud Security to help safeguard the security of your Microsoft Azure Cloud.

With the introduction of Microsoft Azure, we’ll move into the next stage of understanding the benefits Azure can offer your company and you. 

Chapter 2: Microsoft Azure Features

Data-V-F90E8940 span =””>Once you’ve figured out the basics of what Microsoft Azure is and how it works, it’s difficult to see why many businesses are using it. According to my experiences, there are many reasons for companies to move to Azure. Azure offers so many functions that it is almost impossible to cover each one in an article. Below are the six features that are important to the vast majority of companies. 

Disaster Recovery 

span data-v-f90e8940 =””>A Recent research from Information Technology Intelligence Consulting showed that 79% of businesses need a minimum of 99.99 percent time to uptime in “mission-critical hardware, operating systems and main line of business applications.” The study also found the fact that 81% enterprises (across the 47 markets) believe that the cost per hour for downtime that is more than $300,000. One third of respondents said that a single hour of downtime can cost anything between $1 million and $5 million. It’s no wonder the majority of businesses have made disaster recovery a top priority and are looking for ways to make it happen? 

span data-vf90e8940 =””>With Azure Your company will benefit from a robust disaster recovery option that has a lower price than those that come by traditional environments. With Azure you have access to: 

  • Multiple datacenters to store your data This lets you offer cloud-based services to various locations across the globe. 
  • Azure Site Recovery an Azure Site Recovery service that can help ensure your business applications remain operational during an outage or disruption by replicating applications from the primary site to a second. 
  • Azure Traffic Manager, which can automate routing network traffic to various places (predetermined through you) in the event an area-specific problem. 
  • three-time data replication which means that all information you keep in Azure is replicated three times in one or another datacenter. 


The span data-v-f90e8940 =””>Do you operate an online shop that handles huge volumes of traffic during the busy holiday season? Perhaps you run an accounting company that sees significant usage during the early months during the season. Whatever the reason it is essential that the capacity to handle high-volume work loads must be included in the system regardless of. This is especially the case for a datacenter on premises that will require the purchase of extra equipment and keeping it up to date all year. Cloud computing means that you can easily expand your base of resources and reduce it after you’ve finished. Additionally, you only pay only for the resources you use and you don’t waste money when they’re not utilized. 

span data-v f90e8940 =””>Azure includes tools in to analyze and monitor your use of cloud resources. This can assist you in determining the benefits of reducing or changing your computer environment. If you feel that you need to make a change you can change it within a matter of minutes. 

Development Tools 

span data-vf90e8940 =””>Traditionally On-premise computing environments aren’t equipped with a lot of space for development or testing. This often means that businesses require the purchase of new equipment or software for development or delay projects until they can find enough space within the system. This leads to lower efficiency, less innovation and more expensive expenses. 

The span data-v f90e8940 =””>Azure On the contrary is the ideal place to develop! Because you’re only paying only for what you use (known as utility computing) developers are able to create all scenarios and test without needing to purchase new equipment. In addition developers have access to various templates, solutions and services which can speed up the time required for new ideas to go to the market. 

Azure DevOps features include: 

Data-span data-v-f90e8940 =””>* Microsoft’s Visual Studio Team Services (free for up to five users) It is a suite of services which facilitate collaboration among teams of developers. This feature lets teams organize their work and manage source code as well as other things. 

It is easy to integrate with additional traditional DevOps tools, such as Jenkins, Chef, Terraform and Ansible. 

* Azure DevTest Labs, which is a service that assists the developers along with QA teams quickly build low-cost test environments with Azure. 

Cost Efficiency 

Data-v-f90e8940 from span =””>One one of the most significant advantages from Azure (or any other cloud service) is the cost-efficiency. There are three main reasons Azure is an excellent choice in terms of costs: 

The span data-v -f90e8940 =””>* There is no need to make the massive initial investment that is required to construct an remote or on-premise datacenter. Cloud computing removes the requirement to purchase additional software to support development or more workloads later on. It is not necessary to buy new hardware (as most hardware used in computing has a life-cycle of 2 to 3 years). ). 

* You’ll be able to avoid the cost associated with call-outs and warranty renewals. 

span data-v-f90e8940 =””>* It is not necessary to pay for anything apart from those you’ll need to use, since Azure charges per second of usage which is rounded down to the final minute. Visit Azure’s pricing page to find more information. 

This Microsoft Azure features are essential for maximizing savings on costs: 

span data-v -f90e8940 =””>* Microsoft Cost Management is an SaaS solution that is specifically designed for businesses that use multi-cloud strategies. It lets you control, allocate, and optimize the use of cloud resources. (Cloud expenditure is the top issue for companies partly due to the complex nature of cloud billing and pricing. In reality the 2017 study discovered that cloud users have spent around $10 billion in cloud-related expenditure, so this tool can be of huge worth! ) 

span data-v–f90e8940 =””>* Azure Reserved Virtual VMs (RIs) allow you to make reservations for virtual machines (a virtualization of an actual machine) for either a three- or one-year duration. By purchasing a reservation, you can get an opportunity to save money on the running VMs that saves you money. Additionally, it gives you a level of predictability in price to budget your expenses. 

The span data-v-f90e8940 =””>* Azure Pricing Calculator will help you estimate the amount you’ll be paying for Azure configuration. You can alter the variables to find out the impact they have on cost in everything from networking and computing to analytics, databases and development tools. Take a look at the costs you’re paying on your own and begin to calculate ROI. (Here’s an information source on how companies are in the process of calculating cloud ROI. ) 

Easy Access To Resources 

Data-v-f90e8940 from span =””>Azure’s cloud computing solution provides the IT department access to an enormous quantity of resources they don’t normally be able to access with an in-house data center. In particular, many innovative companies are seeking to apply the power of machine learning and automation in their data analysis, enabling better decision-making. By using Azure it is easy to integrate these capabilities into your systems with no knowledge of data science or expensive resources required. You may also want to set up an Linux server in a typical computing environment, needs some rules in order to set up. It can take from a couple of hours to several days to complete. However, with Azure the ability to install an Linux server in under five minutes. 

to increase your business’ agility, check out these options on Azure: 

  • Azure Quickstart Templates assist you in deploying many Azure resources quickly and efficiently every time. 

The span data-v -f90e8940 =””>* Azure Marketplace The Marketplace, which is the app store for Azure’s datacenter apps allows you to discover, test and install any cloud-based software you’d like at the click of a button. The Marketplace is among my favourite aspects of Azure because it’s simple to navigate through and offers many options for software. 

  • Azure Machine Learning Services and Azure AI Platform will help in the creation of artificial intelligence-based apps. 

Now that you’ve a good knowledge of Microsoft Azure fundamentals and how they can benefit your company, let’s take look at the three different types of services that you can avail via Azure and decide which one is best suited to your business’s requirements. 

Chapter 3: How Companies Use Microsoft Azure

The span data-v-f90e8940 =””>No two companies utilize Azure in the same manner and so the best way to implement it in your company is contingent on the specific requirements of your business. After you’ve been able to learn more about Microsoft Azure basics, you might be asking yourself: 

* What should I consider when deciding which tasks to move into Azure? 

* When is the ideal time to start the process? 

* What options do I have regarding Azure service? 

This chapter examines different levels of services to help you choose. 

Microsoft Azure: Fundamentals Of Cloud Service Models 

Infrastructure As A Service (IaaS) 

A basic of the services that is rapidly increasing in popularity is called the IaaS cloud computing concept. 

The span data-v-f90e8940 =””>Let’s look at the IaaS model in comparison against traditional datacenters on premises. On-premises, you have the duty to oversee every aspect of the datacenter including business applications, virtual devices and networking. 

span data-vf90e8940 =””>By making use of this Azure IaaS Service, you’re effectively placing data in the cloud which you are able to fully manage. The maintenance of the hardware becomes an issue since Microsoft manages servers on your behalf. It also doesn’t have to fret about the costs that are associated with failed hard drives or maintenance of hardware. All you have to keep track of is control and maintain your virtual machines as well as their operations, which is why it’s still a highly personal arrangement. In a nutshell, IaaS is the cloud service model that is similar to the typical on-premises setup, but offering you the freedom to run applications you’d like to run. 

Platform As A Service (PaaS) 

The span data-v -f90e8940 =””>PaaS can be considered the following stage in cloud-based service models. It’s the platform that you develop your apps. When using PaaS it is your responsibility to manage the specific application as well as the database and database, while Microsoft handles all the other services necessary for running your application (including middleware operating system, middleware, VMs, servers, storage , and networking). Thus, the your responsibility for the performance of your app is shared between your company and Microsoft as both are responsible for providing key components. 

span data-v f90e8940 =””>A switch to PaaS allows you to devote more time in the development of your application, instead of managing the functions that are required to support it. Many companies that make use of PaaS are interested in converting an old, monolithic and console-based software (e.g. the ones that are operate in an additional console window, rather than a browser such as Word and Outlook,) to a web-based application. 

span data-v.f90e8940 =””>But regardless of whether you choose to change to PaaS you’ll need to take into consideration the investment required. Based on the size of your application and degree of complexity of your application the change could require an in-house development team to manage the change. 

Software As A Service (SaaS) 

span data-v f90e8940 =””>A SaaS agreement with Azure covers the entire IT and infrastructure functions while leaving the SaaS software to operate on the cloud and on the top of Azure. It’s not a system, it’s an application in itself. Think Microsoft 365, Salesforce, Basecamp and more. Everything that runs underneath is automated, e.g. patches for the VMs. 

Data-V-F90E8940 span =””>Your business may consider changing away from PaaS to SaaS in order to remain completely hands-off. Moving to SaaS could be a great option when your application is completely automated and available over the internet and doesn’t have remaining dependencies on a particular operating system (OS) or a specific kind of middleware. For instance when your application is based upon an earlier OS which isn’t compatible with Azure (like older versions that Windows 2008 R2), it is more complicated development is needed to ensure that the transition to PaaS to SaaS effective. 

Transitioning Between Cloud Levels 

span data-v -f90e8940 =””>Moving between one level of cloud to another requires time and effort and therefore there isn’t a single particular event or scenario that can dictate a transition across cloud levels to another. The key to this decision is knowing the requirements of your application. Here are a few things to take into consideration in deciding the best option for you: 

  • Are you in a governance of your personal data? 
  • Are there any compliance requirements you have to adhere to in relation to your personal data? 
  • Would you be more interested in committing your time to developing software than server applications? 
  • Do you require to alter the hardware or software used in the application you are developing? 
  • How big is your IT team? 
  • Is your company a start-up or a small business with a brief development timeline? 

span data-v-f90e8940 =””>Keep your mind in the present that Azure services may be mixed matched, which is one of the advantages of Azure. It is possible to change your workloads gradually in time and have some remaining IaaS applications, while others go to PaaS for instance. Each business’s approach to cloud is different. 

span data-v-f90e8940 =””>It’s important to remember that the further you move up the cloud-level stack (from IaaS to SaaS) and the greater automation becomes involved. This makes your apps less vulnerable for human errors. If you’re using the IaaS application, say however, you’re not keeping on top of OS patches, the app will fail at some point or another, and may eventually have security problems. If however, Microsoft is in charge of patching, this will be automatic and leave little space for error. 

span data-v -f90e8940 =””>Now after you’ve mastered the fundamentals of Azure Are you prepared to take an Microsoft Azure tutorial? We’ll guide through the best features of Azure and provide you with an insight into the ways that Ossisto365 can assist you in making the switch to Azure efficiently. 

Chapter 4: Microsoft Azure Tutorial

For a brief glimpse into the Microsoft Azure portal, resource groups, and the Marketplace check out this brief video. 

Chapter 5: Microsoft Azure Best Practices

When you begin using Azure There are a few best practices to adhere to in order to get the most benefit from Azure’s platform. 

To get the most from your money, you should consider the way you’ll deal with all of your Microsoft Azure fundamentals below before you begin your journey towards Cloud computing. 

* Data migrations. It is more likely that you will have success with your migrations if are aware of the details of your business apps, and also the features Azure can offer. Certain applications can be built in the cloud, instead of being migrated, such as ones that support front-end services, but don’t hold any actual information. For example, you might take time and effort to move an existing firewall onto an Azure IaaS service, but it would be better to utilize the firewall PaaS offered by Azure Marketplace. Knowing the available options can help you make your life simpler, and ultimately help you save time in the longer term. 

* Cloud access management. Administrators require the ability to access your Azure resources, however some kind of gatekeeping is essential for the protection of data. With many experts discrediting traditional one-factor authentication as untrustworthy an additional security level is needed. Azure Multi-Factor Authentication is Microsoft’s two-step authentication solution. It requires at least two of the following methods to verify identity for users who request access to your application: something you are familiar with (like the password) and something you own (like phones) as well as something that you are (like fingerprints). We recommend that you enable the feature within Azure to control accessibility to the application. 

* Resource management. Microsoft defines resources in the form of “a manageable item that is available through Azure,” which includes a database, virtual machine as well as a virtual network. It is essential to track all your resources , by setting their parameters. To accomplish this, you can utilize Azure Resource Manager. It offers the tools needed to track and manage your resources. For instance, Resource Manager provides the capability to create “resource groups”–think about them like containers which house associated resources for different Azure solutions, regardless of whether they’re IaaS, PaaS or SaaS products. The resource groups are organized so that you are able to easily manage access, monitor access and manage billing with each other. The majority of applications comprise of multiple resources, each of which has the full transparency. 

* Cloud security. Security is an essential consideration for your company and you should have to have a plan in place prior to when you move to cloud. Cloud-based platforms like Azure and AWS protect their servers and datacenters with physical hardware with tools such as Microsoft’s Security Center to assist you in securing your workloads, it’s your responsibility to ensure that you keep those virtual servers and apps running. The Ossisto365 Smart Firewall for Azure provides an even greater level of security which is simpler to manage. The intuitive application combines the configuration of firewall rules along with billing, logging and configuration into a single console without Azure’s Azure portal. The process of creating and implementing firewall rules using Ossisto365 can be 5-fold faster than other security products. The firewall, when combined and Ossisto365 Cloud Security, assists you in meeting the requirements of security compliance by using the retention of logs and analysing. Find out more information about the security solutions offered by Ossisto365 on our site. 

Beyond The Basics Of Microsoft Azure

The span data-v-f90e8940 =””>Microsoft Azure is seeing exponential growth, and is expected to continue to innovate new services and features. If you’re interested in joining the thousands of businesses making use of Microsoft Azure, hopefully you’ve enjoyed this article. 

The span data-v-f90e8940 =””>As one of the top Microsoft Cloud Solutions provider, Ossisto365 can aid your company’s success with Azure. Our management and security application is robust and simple to use. It was specifically designed to provide the IT as well as virtualization team a more efficient approach to manage security, monitor and secure cloud resources. We are also able to assist you to quickly and efficiently transfer your existing virtualized machines onto Azure. 

In case you’ve got any questions regarding any of our software solutions, or like to know more about how we can assist your business grow, do not be afraid to contact us. 

Editor’s note: This article was first published in March 2018 , and was completely redesigned and revised to ensure precision and completeness. 

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