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How Microsoft's Azure Cloud Option Stacks Up in the Modern Workplace

30 Aug 2016 by Jessica Hall

Before we address the greatest benefits to hybrid cloud computing with Azure, we must resolve the repeat question we’ve had about the correct Azure pronunciation. Maybe you haven’t thought about this at all, or maybe you’re like me and assumed it’s a new fancy word. But the design geeks out there know, in fact, it is a color. The subject came up in one of our recent podcasts about data centers, where you can hear the pronunciation and our philosophy behind why Microsoft chose it.

Scale and shift in a few clicks.

Agility and scalability are an impactful competitive advantage for the modern business. Offering flexibility, Azure enables you to both scale applications to any size with ease and use any language, framework or tool to build applications.

From large, worldwide product launches to minor dev-test projects, Azure is designed to support any workload. Operating on a global network of data centers, Azure provides optimal customer performance, allowing you to scale your operations easily.

Azure management portal increases availability.

Any solution that can ensure improved productivity and uptime is an asset in today’s business world. Delivering a 99.95% monthly Service Level Agreement (SLA), Azure allows your organization to run and develop highly accessible applications without focusing on the infrastructure.

The Azure management portal, seen in Figure 1, allows users to build, deploy and manage cloud resources in an easy-to-use hub. You and your team can manage web apps, databases, virtual machines, virtual networks, storage and Visual Studio team projects. Businesses can personalize their dashboard based on work style and priority.

Azure Management Portal screen shot
Figure 1

The enhanced architecture ensures servers and applications experience fewer delays and offer improved availability. Scalability around virtualization is much greater, too — users can access a terabyte of memory virtually with Azure.

Cloud certification level protection shows industry leadership in data security.

Although according Figure 2, security is one of the greatest benefits reported by midsize companies using the cloud, it’s still a new option to many organizations, and security concerns can hold companies back. A recent National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) survey found cybersecurity is the top priority of CIOs.

Our partner Microsoft, which announced Aug 3, 2016, that it obtained the ISO/IEC 27017:2015 cloud certification, has made an unprecedented commitment to the defense of its customers’ data.

Effortlessly integrating with your current IT environment, your assets can continue to live where employees are accustomed to accessing them. With Azure Stack, you can run this hybrid cloud solution in your own data center, creating efficiencies and, thus, addressing a major concern in today’s modern workplace.

Cloud Top 3 Benefits bar graph
Figure 2

It's fast and low-cost to start up.

The modern workplace moves quickly, and cost is always top of mind. Solutions that offer the rare combination of swiftness and affordability provide real business value. Traditional servers can take days — even weeks — to set up internally. "If you move to Azure, you could be up and running within less than an hour after approvals," says Jeromy Siebenaler, vice president and chief cloud architect at Insight.

Startups, and any business that would prefer to allocate more resources to staffing, often find solutions like Azure desirable, as it offers low startup costs. In addition to being a quick solution and an economical choice, this approach to hybrid cloud computing provides organizations with more IT options and less complexity.

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