The Pros and Cons of Microsoft Azure: Cloud Services for Businesses

Gartner named Microsoft Azure a Cloud Infrastructure as a Service space leader. In the video below, iCorps' VP of Technology Jeff Lauria, explains the business benefits of Azure and the potential disadvantages for businesses. As an increasing number of businesses continue to migrate to the cloud, providers vie for the top spot.

Here are the Pros and Cons of Microsoft Azure:



1. PRO - High Availability

Unlike other vendors, the Microsoft Azure cloud offers high availability and redundancy in data centers on a global scale. Because of this, Azure can offer a service level agreement, or SLA, of 99.95% (approximately 4.38 hours of downtime per year), something that most businesses cannot achieve.

2. PRO - Data Security

Microsoft Azure strongly focuses on security, following the standard security model: detect, assess, diagnose, stabilize, and close. Paired with strong cybersecurity controls, this model has allowed Azure to achieve multiple compliance certifications, establishing Azure as a leader in IaaS security. The platform is protected, and the end-user is covered with Azure. This multi-level of protection is essential as security threats multiply daily across the globe, targeting end-users and putting your business’ data at risk. Azure provides simple, user-friendly services for increased protection, such as multi-factor authentication and application password requirements.

3. PRO - Scalability

Scalability is the backbone of any good cloud provider, and Azure is no different. For example, consider the following: a firm runs SQL reports daily for 28 out of 30 days of the month, using minimal computing power. On the last two days of the month, there is an increase in report activity, requiring more computing power. Microsoft Azure makes it easy to scale compute power up or down with nothing more than clicking a button. With this scalable structure, businesses can pay only for what they use.

4. PRO - Cost-Effective

It’s imperative to keep IT budgets in mind when choosing a cloud provider, which is why the Microsoft Azure platform is attractive to many organizations. Azure’s pay-as-you-go pricing allows SMBs to better manage their IT budgets, purchasing only as much as they need.  Additionally, the cloud environment allows businesses to launch both customer applications and internal apps in the cloud, which saves on IT infrastructure costs while reducing the hardware and maintenance burdens on in-house IT management.

Socialimage_eBook_7 Data Security Questions to Ask Your Cloud Provider

1. CON - Requires Management

As with anything, Microsoft Azure has a couple of potential cons. Unlike SaaS platforms where the end-user consumes information (Office 365), IaaS (Azure) moves your business’ computing power from your data center or office to the cloud. As with most cloud service providers, Azure needs to be expertly managed and maintained, which includes patching and server monitoring.

2. CON - Requires Platform Expertise

Unlike local servers, Azure requires expertise to ensure all moving parts work together efficiently. A common mistake by business administrators not fully engaged in how well (or poorly) their cloud servers are operating is to over-provision cloud services. While a common mistake, on-premise servers’ computing power does not translate equivocally in the cloud, potentially costing businesses thousands of dollars annually.

Azure Cloud Computing

As more businesses move their data to the cloud, tracking which provider is best can be difficult. As an IT consulting company serving small and mid-size businesses, iCorps had to conduct its own proof of concept, migrating core business applications to Azure to ensure maximum efficiency. With a seamless migration and continued usage, iCorps hasn’t looked back, saving nearly $4,000 monthly on licensing, hardware, and support. Ensure you're making the right decisions for your company. Learn more about the pros and cons of using Microsoft Azure by requesting a free consultation today!

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