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Build, test, launch and manage application stacks across multiple clouds, on-premises, and at the edge, with customisable tools and frameworks to suit your needs.

Microsoft’s Azure cloud computing platform is an accumulation of more than 200 products and cloud-based services that are designed to help you find new solutions to your old business challenges, solve today’s problems, and invest in your future.

Enterprises, start-ups and governments around the world have trusted Azure for years. Microsoft Azure is known for having the best security protocols and digital defences in the industry to keep all of their cloud data safe and protected. Their platform, supported by a team of experts, offers users multi-level protections, wide compliance certifications, threat mitigation practices and cybersecurity that are built by decades of industry experience.

Wherever you need your data stored and accessible, Azure’s hybrid cloud opportunities give you control. On-premises, across multiple clouds or at the edge, integrate and manage your various digital environments from anywhere with ease.

Microsoft Azure is committed to open sourcing and support for all languages and frameworks to make their cloud platform accessible to any organisation and any person. Build the cloud storage you want and deploy it where you want – all on your terms.

Azure have shown impressive scalability and flexibility in their data storage and sharing capacity with room to evolve and expand. Microsoft are continually innovating and scaling their cloud computing services to support your development today and your vision for the future.

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Microsoft on Azure

IaaS and PaaS capabilities

Microsoft have leveraged its constantly-expanding worldwide network of data centres to create Azure, a cloud platform that allows you to build, deploy and manage services and applications, anywhere. Some of Azure’s most exciting cloud features are their combined Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) capabilities.

Azure IaaS systems allow developers to access, monitor and manage their cloud platform from the comfort of a remote data centre with all the necessary tools and infrastructure available. Their PaaS systems offer a framework to help developers and programmers build, test and launch their custom-built applications, easily and efficiently. Both options provide secure, reliable access to your digital database inside Microsoft’s proven cloud architecture.

Choosing Microsoft’s Cloud Computing Services

Many businesses are still hesitant about migrating their applications and storage to the cloud. There are palpable fears about network security, availability and indecision about which provider is right for their organisation. Unfortunately, organisations are being paralysed by indecision and losing ground on the incredible strides that could be made with existing tech.

Enter Microsoft Azure and their industry-leading cloud computing services; helping build seamless and cost-effective cloud-based architecture. Azure provides its users with actionable insights and clear visibility into their aggregated logs and digital infrastructure metrics that allow you to improve almost any aspect of your business.

What does Microsoft Azure offer your business?

Microsoft is constantly adding to the ever-expanding array of products and services offered by their Azure platform. All the elements necessary to design and build your perfect cloud network are made available through Azure. Below are some of the capabilities and services that are afforded to every user of Microsoft’s Azure products and services:

Virtual machines

You can create Microsoft or Linux virtual machines (VMs) in minutes, using a wide selection of marketplace templates or your own custom machine designs. These cloud-based VMs are able to host and manage your enterprise’s applications and services as if from your own, private data centre.

SQL databases

Microsoft Azure allows you to utilise and manage SQL relational databases – from one to an unlimited number – as a service. This helps your business save on overhead and expenses on hardware, software, and maintenance as well as in-house expertise.

Azure Active Directory Domain Services

Microsoft Azure’s Active Directory Domain Services have been built on the same proven technology that made Windows Active Directory so powerful. These services let you manage all of your group policy, authentication and everything else, remotely. This makes moving or adapting an existing security structure to the cloud, partially or totally, as simple as a few clicks.

Application services

Azure has made it easier than ever to design and create applications that are compatible with all major web and portable platforms and ready to be deployed globally. Their reliable and scalable cloud platform accessibility means that you can respond quickly to the ebbs and flows of your business operations, saving you time and money. By introducing Azure WebApps to the Azure suite of services, businesses are more capable of managing the building, testing and deploying of web applications that can keep up with the growth of your business. Prebuilt APIs for popular cloud services, like Office 365 or Salesforce, can greatly accelerate the development and production of your company’s web applications.

Azure DevOps Services

An add-on service offered by Azure are their celebrated DevOps Services, formally Visual Studio Team Services, which offers complete application lifecycle management (ALM) solutions inside Microsoft’s cloud environments. Developers can share and track code changes, perform load testing and deliver applications to production while collaborating with programmers and designers from all over the world in Azure. For companies, big and small, Azure’s DevOps Services will make app development and deployment easier than ever.

Storage

The incredible size of Microsoft’s global digital infrastructure can be counted on to provide you with highly secure and accessible data storage. Microsoft Azure’s ever-expanding data storage capacity and intelligent pricing structure make its scalability and affordability unmatchable in the market. You can store infrequently-accessed data at a huge reduction or save money by buying cloud storage in bulk, helping your enterprise build a safe and cost-effective data storage plan.

Why are people trusting their workloads to Microsoft Azure?

The future of on-premises data centres is all but secured. Like the mainframes and dial-up modems that came before them, self-hosted data centres are becoming obsolete as the emergence of increasingly affordable and accessible cloud-based solutions continue to replace them. Significant players in the cloud computing services game, include Amazon Web Services, Apple’s iCloud and Google’s Cloud Storage and Cloud Computing Services. So, why is Microsoft Azure the most popular cloud infrastructure for companies to move their workloads to?

Flexibility

Microsoft Azure has made it possible to add new services and geometrically scale your data storage capacity on the fly. You can manage your entire digital storage system from anywhere and adapt it ay any time. Compared to an on-premises or static data centre which would require new hardware and new operating systems every time you decide to deploy additional space and power to solve an IT challenge or limitation. Azure’s modern flexibility and adaptability makes it a possible solution for all organisations, of any size and any industry.

Cost

Azure cloud computing solutions do not just make it easier and faster to scale up or add to your existing infrastructure, they make it more cost-effective too. Physical server resources and infrastructure (like routers, load balancers, hard drives and onsite expertise) can quickly up add up to thousands in additional and unnecessary expenses. By leveraging Microsoft’s existing massive infrastructure and expertise, Azure can help to cut annual data storage and IT costs by head-turning percentages.

Disaster recovery

There are times where the unthinkable becomes your reality. Another advantage of Microsoft Azure’s cloud-based storage solution come from their high-speed and decentralised data infrastructure which provide limitless disaster recovery opportunities. You can ensure that critical applications and data storage can operate from any number of redundant sites during recovery periods or for data backups. Lost time is lost business and, with Azure, you can guarantee continuous service delivery even when disaster strikes.

Applications

Microsoft have managed to make developing and testing mission-critical applications as easy and quick as possible. A la carte services like their DevOps Services and Azure’s Application Insights, combined with their scalable, on-demand cloud storage, have helped to speed up and refine the app building and releasing processes. Move an application through the building and testing phases and into production mode across an accessible and versatile global network, easily. In addition, Microsoft offers substantial licensing discounts for migrating your existing apps to Azure’s platform and easy-to-follow guidelines for how to make this transition smoothly – representing even more savings.

Logging capabilities within Microsoft Azure

The secret recipe for any digital infrastructure or service solution is ongoing operational and security visibility. This comes down to extracting and analysing critical log data and infrastructure metrics from your applications and underlying stack. Knowing that your logs are showing a healthy, secure and operational application or system is vital. Microsoft Azure offers integrated health monitoring and real-time alert capabilities that allow you to notice if and when there are any performance issues that are impacting your business. These logging capabilities include:

Azure diagnostic infrastructure logs

Get real-time insights into how your cloud network and service is performing and react quickly to resolve slowdowns, bottlenecks, or service failures with these insights.

Windows IIS logs

You are able to view all activity on your virtual web servers and analyse traffic patterns, downloads or log-in anomalies with the data provided by Windows IIS logs.

Crash dumps

Even virtual machines can ‘blue screen’ from time-to-time and other virtual equipment crashes can cause huge disruptions to your daily operations. With Microsoft Azure you can record crash dump data and troubleshoot any issues to avoid repeated problems.

Custom error logs

You can set Azure’s alerts and notifications to inform you about specified or defined error events. This is especially helpful when hosting private applications that generate internal intelligence about your operations. Azure allows you to add these errors to a virtual health checklist to help maintain your cloud networks. Microsoft Azure gives you all the basic tools you need for error logging and identification, diagnostics and monitoring, and troubleshooting to ensure uninterrupted service delivery in your cloud environment.

Gain full visibility into Azure with the unified logs and Metrics

Even with Azure’s native logging and analytics tools, the vast amount of information flowing through your network and application’s operational data can be overwhelming. The volume, variety and intensity of cloud data should not be underestimated.

By adding the services of Sumo Logic, a trusted Microsoft partner, management of that data is simplified and data analysis is made simple. The Sumo Logic platform unifies logs and metrics from the structured, semi-structured and unstructured data mined from across your entire Microsoft cloud environment.

Machine learning algorithms process the vast amounts of log data, looking for anomalies and deviations from normal patterns of activity, and alerting you to them when appropriate.

With Log Reduce, Log Compare and Outlier Detection, you are able to extract continuous intelligence from your application stack and proactively respond to operational and security issues as they occur. Sumo Logic has service-specific apps for Microsoft’s Azure Audit, Azure Web Apps, Windows Active Directory, Internet Information Services (IIS) and the very popular Performance App. These additions to your Microsoft cloud infrastructure will make ingesting machine data in real-time and rendering it into actionable insights a smoother process with better data outcomes.

The combination of Microsoft’s vast digital infrastructure with their consistent service and service development have made Azure the choice of over 60 percent of the world’s Fortune 500 companies without deterring its use by smaller businesses across industries. Before long, the on-premises data centre – with its extensive hardware and costs – will be lost to the technological graveyard. Fortunately, considered and well-researched investment into cloud capabilities like those provided in Microsoft Azure will help your enterprise overcome tomorrow’s bold technological challenges while creating new business opportunities.

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