Are You Aware of These Microsoft Azure Features?
In today’s hyper-connected world, the question is not whether you should be migrating to the cloud or not – it is, when are you adopting the Cloud? Many companies have already shifted to Cloud, and those who have not, are already evaluating the right Cloud provider for their business needs.
According to the RightScale 2017 State of the Cloud Report, 30% of enterprises have multiple projects or applications deployed in the cloud, 75% workloads are running on Cloud and 85% of enterprises already have a multi-cloud strategy in place.
Increasingly, Cloud is becoming an indispensable tool for enterprises. Microsoft Azure, Amazon AWS, Google are some of the prominent Cloud providers in the market. The choice of the provider clearly depends on the business goals and objectives.
Microsoft Azure is one of the most-used Public Cloud platforms with a very high user satisfaction rates. While the most prominent businesses use cases of adopting the cloud include temporary projects, disaster recovery, development and testing of new applications, hosting of high-performance applications or eCommerce applications with experience frequent spikes and drops in the traffic, there are several other features of Microsoft Azure, which are being appreciated by businesses. Let us have a look at those –
Business Intelligence and Analytics
Microsoft Azure offers Power BI, a business analytics service which allows the business users to analyze structured or unstructured data – using an easy-to-use drag-and-drop interface. With live dashboards and moving charts which get updated with real-time data streams, Power BI offers the most current state of business affairs, allowing the business users to take real-time quick decisions based on data.
Microsoft Azure Machine Learning is a service that allows businesses to easily build, deploy and share predictive analytics solutions. Using the Machine Learning Studio, even people with no background in data science can build data models – thanks to its simple drag-and-drop interface and data flow diagrams. For experienced and seasoned Data Scientists, Azure ML offers R support. They can leverage their existing R code or develop new code using the supported 350+ R packages.
Internet of Things (IoT)
Using Microsoft Azure IoT Suite and Cortana Analytics Suite, businesses can capture, collect and analyze the data and take advantage of the IoT related data for their business. The Azure IoT Suite can connect with a wide range of devices and operating systems. Useful data such as temperature readings and operational data generated by the devices can be sent to Azure IoT backend which processes and stores the data. With the help of Power BI, business users can analyze this data which is presented in the form of dashboards and BI reports to them. Azure IoT offers a set of preconfigured solutions which are extensible – these solutions, which include remote monitoring, asset management, and predictive maintenance, address some of the most common IoT scenarios.
Available as a fully managed Platform-as-a-Service, Microsoft Azure App Service allows mobile developers to build applications for iOS, Android, Windows and Mac devices. They can also build cross-platform solutions using Xamarin and PhoneGap. This highly scalable and globally available mobile application development platform offers several features such as auto-scaling to handle incoming customer load, virtual networking to connect to on-premises resources, and staging environment for A/B testing etc. Corporate applications on mobile devices can easily authenticate users via Azure Active Directory. Developers can also build offline-ready apps which offer data sync when connectivity is present.
Developers are increasingly shifting to a microservices architecture. This architecture allows them to build and use independent components in their applications. In line with this trend, Microsoft Azure offers Azure Service Fabric, which supports stateless and stateful microservices and offers more control to the developers over their applications. Azure Service Fabric is designed to deliver highly available and durable services at cloud-scale. Depending on the available infrastructure and the resource needs of the applications, Azure Service Fabric automatically enables auto scaling, upgrades rollout, and performs self-healing from faults. Developers can use the programming model and language of their choice to build their microservice and container-based applications.
Microsoft Azure has a very serious approach towards security and compliance in the cloud. Microsoft regularly undergoes verification by third-party audit firms. The findings, compliance packages, and reports are shared with the customers. On a regular basis, Microsoft creates, implements, and improves security-aware software development, operational, and threat mitigation practices. Through continuous intrusion detection and prevention systems, penetration testing, denial of service attack prevention, Azure appropriately handles the security risks. Apart from the 24-hour physical security, the datacentre infrastructure also includes constant monitoring and logging, integrated systems for patch management, antimalware for anti-virus and anti-malware protection, firewalls for blocking unwanted traffic, and encrypted communications.
Microsoft Azure is gaining popularity for being an open and flexible cloud platform that allows businesses to build, deploy and manage applications quickly and easily. It is no surprise that Azure is an integral contributor to Microsoft’s Commercial Cloud business. Going by Microsoft’s recent initiatives, it is clear that for its Commercial Cloud segment, Microsoft is on its way to achieving $20 billion in an annualized revenue run rate by 2018.
If you would like to know how you can leverage Azure for your business, speak to our Azure experts.