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Why Microsoft Azure?

The cloud for modern business. Move faster. Save money. Integrate on-premises apps and data.
Azure is Microsoft’s cloud computing platform, a growing collection of integrated services—analytics, computing, database, mobile, networking, storage, and web—for moving faster, achieving more, and saving money. 

It delivers unmatched productivity

Any developer or IT professional can be productive with Azure. Azure’s integrated tools, pre-built templates, and managed services make it easier to build and manage enterprise, mobile, web, and Internet of Things (IoT) apps faster, using skills developers and IT professionals already have and technologies they already know. Microsoft is also the only vendor positioned as a Leader in Gartner’s Magic Quadrants for Cloud Infrastructure as a Service, Application Platform as a Service, and Cloud Storage Services for the second consecutive year.


It’s open and flexible

Azure supports the broadest selection of operating systems, programming languages, frameworks, tools, databases and devices. Run Linux and Docker containers; build apps with JavaScript, Python, .NET, PHP, Java, Node.js; build backends for iOS, Android, and Windows devices. Azure supports the same technologies millions of developers and IT professionals already rely on and trust.


It works with existing IT

Some cloud providers make you choose between your datacenter and the cloud. Not Azure, which easily integrates with your existing IT environment through the largest network of secure private connections, hybrid database and storage solutions, and data residency and encryption features—so your assets stay right where you need them. You can even run Azure in your own datacenter with Azure Stack. Azure’s hybrid cloud solutions give you the best of both worlds: more IT options, less complexity and cost.


It’s built to protect your data

We know some organizations are still wary of the cloud. That’s why Microsoft has made an industry-leading nt to the protection and privacy of your data. We were the first cloud provider recognized by the European Union’s data protection authorities for our commitment to rigorous EU privacy laws. Microsoft was also the first major cloud provider to adopt the new international cloud privacy standard, ISO 27018. We also launched Azure Government, a stand-alone version of Azure designed to meet the rigorous compliance requirements of U.S. public agencies.


It’s ready for any business


From small dev-test projects to global product launches, Azure is engineered to handle any workload. More than 57% of Fortune 500 companies rely on Azure, which offers enterprise grade SLA’s on services, 24x7 tech support, and round-the-clock service health monitoring. Customers include 3M, AccuWeather, Condé Nast, Diebold, GE Healthcare, HarperCollins, Heineken, LG, NBC, Pier 1 Imports, Real Madrid, Saab, Samsung, Trek, Xerox…and many, many more.

"With Azure Active Directory, Royal Dutch Shell provides fast, highly secure access to external vendors, cutting onboarding time from months to less than a week. “With SaaS solutions, you gain speed-of-change. Moving to the cloud is the overall Shell strategy to obtain a much more agile, fast-moving environment than we could with an on-premises space.”
Royal Dutch Shell

Johan Krebbers, IT Chief Technology Officer at Royal Dutch Shell

Azure Best Practices

While there are many considerations for implementing a cloud-based Disaster Recovery solution, the best practices for designing a DRaaS include:

  • Analyze cost and ROI, comparing public clouds like Azure to secondary data centers
  • Determine RPO/RTO and performance requirements, then assess applicability of replicating to Azure vs replicating to other DR locations
  • Assess your organization’s DR tenant location, to ensure it’s located in a different region than your core data center to protect against regional disasters
  • Ensure security (policy, identity/access, VM and network security, monitoring/alerting)
  • Model dependencies and sequencing, to configure in which order the applications and supporting services should be failed over (i.e. SQL may need to be failed over and activated before an application server).
  • Plan for capacity and bandwidth, not only for initial replication, but also for delta replication and peaks
  • Test frequently. You can use Azure Site Recovery’s to create a copy of your environment, on an isolated network mirrored test environment where you do DR drills as often as you want, without impacting production. The replication continues in production while you're testing your DR in its sandbox.
  • Ensure complete replications.

Gartner's Magic Quadrant

Gartner 2018 Azure 

 

Gartner's Recommended use cases: Microsoft Azure appeals to two types of customers, but for different reasons.

  • Type 1 | customers tend to value the ability to use Azure to extend their infrastructure-oriented Microsoft relationship and investment in Microsoft technologies.
  • Type 2 | customers tend to value Azure's ability to integrate with Microsoft's application development tools and technologies, or are interested in integrated specialized PaaS capabilities, such as the Azure Data Lake, Azure Machine Learning or the Azure IoT Suite.

Recommended uses: All use cases that run well in a virtualized environment, particularly for Microsoft-centric organizations.

Microsoft Azure's core strength is its Microsoft heritage — its integrations (both current and future) with other Microsoft products and services, its leverage of the existing Microsoft ISV ecosystem, and its overall strategic importance to Microsoft's future. Azure has a very broad range of services, and Microsoft has steadily executed on an ambitious roadmap. Customers that are strategically committed to Microsoft technology generally choose Azure as their primary cloud provider.


Microsoft Azure's capabilities have become increasingly innovative and open, with improved support for Linux and open-source application stacks. Furthermore, many customers that are pursuing a multicloud strategy will use Azure for some of their workloads, and Microsoft's on-premises Azure Stack software may potentially attract customers seeking hybrid solutions.


Microsoft has sustained a very high growth rate over multiple years, and Gartner estimates its end-of-2017 revenue run rate for integrated IaaS+PaaS at more than $4 billion. Microsoft is leveraging its tremendous sales reach and ability to bundle Azure with other Microsoft products and services in order to drive adoption; Office 365 customers often decide it is most logical to adopt Azure. Microsoft is steadily growing the size of Azure customers; many are beginning to spend more than $500,000 a year, and a growing number exceed $5 million in annual spending.

For the Access Management Gartner Report

You can get a free trial of Azure AD Premium to test these features, and our experts at Enabling Technologies can help you get them set up.

For a visual explanation of Azure AD, check out the 11-minute video. Many new capabilities have been added since its recording, but the fundamentals are still sound. 

Resources

Azure Active Directory SSO Integration with Salesforce

This article goes through the steps to integrate Azure AD identity with Salesforce.com, enabling end users with SSO and IT better control of corporate identities. This article goes through the...

Azure AD 3rd Party MFA Integration with DUO

3rd Party Multi-factor authentication Integration with Azure Active Directory and Conditional Access is available to allow administrators to use an alternative Multi-factor authentication provider...

Azure Assessment

 If you've been wondering:

How can my organization best leverage the public cloud?
Which workloads might run more efficiently in Azure?
What workloads can be safely moved, and when?
Will our network support moving applications offsite?

We can help!

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