Here at Tisski, we have the knowledge and skill to help organisations of all sizes move to the Microsoft cloud – but what exactly is Azure and how can it benefit your organisation?
Our Guide to Microsoft Azure answers these questions and more to help you understand a bit more about the platform, its purpose and why you might want to invest.
Put simply, Azure is Microsoft’s cloud computing service for the build, testing, deployment and management of online applications and services, including storage, networks and analytics. Users can opt to create applications of their own by picking and choosing from Azure services that will help them do this, or they can access existing applications available on the platform.
Azure consists of servers, racks, networking devices and storage; all of these elements are managed using virtualisation technology. Virtualisation centres around the application of a software that simulates hardware functionality to create a virtual system.
In Azure, this could take the form of a virtual network, virtual machine, SQL database or web app service, to name a few.
Azure users are provided with access to a portal; from this portal, they can manage any and all of the applications and services they have purchased and/or created using the platform.
The Azure platform contains countless services spanning Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), Software as a Service (SaaS), Function as a Service (FaaS) and Container as a Service (CaaS), so its scope is far too broad to sum up in a sentence or two.
To understand the full scope of the Microsoft Azure offering, visit Microsoft’s dedicated Azure webpage; the ‘solutions’ and ‘products’ tabs should prove particularly useful.
Microsoft Azure can be used by anyone, but it is most often used by organisations with five or more employees. Statistically, Azure services are accessed predominantly by the automotive, information technology, healthcare, finance and retail sectors.
Everyone who has a valid Azure subscription tied with a Microsoft account can use the Azure portal to start deploying Azure services, but for proper implementation, a certain level of computer science knowledge is required.
Azure services can also be accessed through other tools, such as PowerShell, Azure CLI, Azure Cloud Shell and Bash. With so many tools available, Azure resources can be accessed from systems operating on Linux and Mac OS, as well as from Windows-based systems.
As one of the largest cloud computing providers globally, Azure currently has data centres scattered around the globe in 60+ regions across 140 countries, making it one of the largest interconnected networks in the world.
Those who make Azure their cloud platform of choice will benefit from:
Reliability – The Azure platform is one of the most reliable cloud providers, guaranteeing at least 99.9% availability of the Azure Active Directory Basic and Premium services in the Service-Level Agreement (SLA).
Scalability – Services can scale up or down automatically to match demand and accommodate workload.
Integrated environment – The majority of organisations worldwide are dependent on tools like Microsoft 365, Azure Active Directory and many more, which integrate seamlessly with Azure.
Security – Azure meets all the international industry standards, such as CSA STAR Certification, ISO 27001 and more. Here, you can access full details on Microsoft’s compliance offerings.
Cost-efficiency – Microsoft offers a pay-as-you-go billing model on a per-second basis where you can start and stop a service at any time and only be charged for what you use.
The cost of Azure depends entirely on the services you choose to access, but there are several support plans available to help organisations minimise the cost of Azure resources.
Take a look at Microsoft’s handy Azure pricing calculator and choose the elements you’re interested in to get an idea of the costs involved.
Absolutely. Microsoft delivers the highest levels of security, privacy, compliance, and availability to private and public sector organisations. They’ve invested a large sum of money in making the Azure infrastructure resilient to attack, safeguarding user access to the Azure environment and helping keep customer data secure using various encryption methods, protocols and algorithms.
Microsoft don’t share data with advertiser-supported services, or mine it for any purposes, such as marketing research or advertising.
Microsoft Azure was the first cloud provider to receive the ISO 27018 standard for cloud privacy. Azure data centres are audited for compliance at least once a year by an accredited, third-party certification body.
Should you leave the Azure service, or should your subscription expire, Microsoft follows strict standards for removing your data from its systems.