Before ‘cloud’ even became a thing, businesses only had an on-premise solution. However, with times changing and technology having come a long way since then, most companies have adopted a cloud-first approach as a must-have, rather than a ‘nice to have’. We’d like to introduce you to Microsoft Azure.
In a 2017 survey where nearly 200 IT managers took part, it was revealed that 79% were committed to cloud projects like Microsoft Azure Services or Azure Cloud Services. In addition, 58% among the participants using a cloud-based system like Azure said that it delivered real business value.
A 2018 study revealed that Microsoft Azure Services offer up to 93% better energy efficiency and capable of generating up to 98% less carbon emissions, compared to traditional or on-premises servers. Now, we’re not downplaying on-premises servers by any means – they do have their uses, although drawbacks like lack of scalability, solutions too expensive to implement, inherent security risks, and staffing requirements have made it a less-than-popular choice today among businesses of all scales.
What is Microsoft Azure?
Microsoft Azure is a cloud computing service used to build, test, deploy and manage applications and services through Microsoft’s in-house data centres. Azure cloud services contain over 200 products and services which can help businesses solve emerging challenges by handpicking the tools and frameworks which best fit their needs.
How is Microsoft Azure different from on-premise? 3 common distinctions
There are a number of key differences worth noting between Azure and on-premise servers. These include but are not limited to:
In on-premise servers, resources are deployed in-house using a company’s physical IT infrastructure equipment, where the company maintains the services and related processes.
With Azure cloud services, resources are hosted on Microsoft’s dedicated servers, with companies accessing as much of the resources as they need at any point in time, while not having to worry about having ownership rights to equipment, hardware or software.
With an on-premise solution, enterprises are responsible for bearing the cost of the servers (e.g. upgrading equipment, warranty renewals etc.), and power consumption. With a cloud service, enterprises pay only for the resources they consume, and they bear none of the maintenance and/or upkeep costs.
With physical servers, there are ‘real world’ security risks to deal with such as fire, damage, destruction, water damage, natural disasters, theft, etc. If not that, then physical wear and tear also poses a risk of data loss.
Azure cloud services, however, are far less vulnerable to the above risks as Microsoft has proactive measures in place to provide best-in-class defences for their physical server environments. Furthermore, Azure Active Directory ensures that only the designated or authorised individuals have access to highly sensitive information.
Key reasons why Microsoft Azure is better than on-premise
Azure migration is a major business decision, no matter what your industry or scale, and it certainly can’t be taken lightly. With that said, it is still a vastly better solution, and in many cases, superior to on-premise:
Azure is scalable
Microsoft Azure services let you dynamically scale apps according to your ever-changing demands. This kind of flexibility is not available in on-premise solutions without significant investment in upgrading the equipment, however Azure can quickly scale to meet your business needs at any point in time.
Cheaper than on-premise
In nearly every use case, Azure beats on-premise in terms of cost and by a significant margin too. Azure cloud services require no investment in infrastructure, servers/hardware, new machines, replacement of ageing servers, etc. The flexible expenditure model that comes with Azure means you can pay more to get more, you pay as per your needs, and you save a lot on space, energy and cooling costs.
You simply pay for what you use, nothing more.
More secure than on-premise
Businesses believe that by having on-premise servers and hardware, they have better security; unfortunately, this is more of a myth than reality. Azure’s Active Directory, for example, is a cloud-based, multi-tenant directory with a dedicated identity management service – giving employees single sign-on access to multiple apps in the cloud like Office 365, SharePoint and more.
Additionally, the identity management service within Microsoft Azure services offer a number of security-boosting features such as app usage monitoring, multi-factor authentication, device registration, and more, to provide an unparalleled level of security.
Better for remote working
Azure offers a superior remote working solution through Azure Virtual Desktop, a cloud-based app with integrated security and compliance features, providing a completely virtual desktop infrastructure and interface to a company’s end users. Authorised personnel can sign in from any device anywhere in the world, which means companies have a highly flexible and scalable option at their fingertips to help significantly reduce operational and capital costs.
First Solution: A Certified Microsoft Partner to help you with Azure Migration
First Solution is proud to be a Certified Microsoft Partner and a “cloud first” IT Managed Services Provider (MSP), specialising in bespoke Azure and cloud migration services.
We recently helped one of our clients, Thompson Taraz, with Azure migration – helping them save costs, gain tighter legal compliance and hassle-free remote working ability:
“The cloud migration project has helped transform our business. Keeping our customer’s data secure is a top priority for us, and with our new Microsoft-powered cloud infrastructure, this has never been easier to manage. Plus, these new foundations have made a whole host of innovative solutions possible, enabling us to grow our business by staying ahead of the technology curve.” – Martin Heffernan, Chief Executive Offer, Thompson Taraz
The time to embrace the power of Microsoft Azure Services is now. Get the desired business outcomes, be more competitive, cut costs significantly, and much more. Let’s get acquainted for a free initial consultation.