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Microsoft Azure Explained - The Cloud For a Modern Business

On-premise data centers are slowly fading away as more and more businesses are using the cloud to build, store, or run their business applications or infrastructure. Many organizations are using Microsoft Azure, one of the most popular cloud services and leader in the cloud tech industry, as their platform.


But what is Microsoft Azure? How is it used? What are the benefits? In this article, we’ll answer all your questions regarding Azure and show you how JourneyTEAM can help you make the transition to the cloud with ease.



What is Cloud Computing?

Before we discuss Azure, we need to start at the very beginning and review the basics of cloud computing. In its most simplest form, cloud computing refers to on-demand computing services like developing applications, storage, or data processing that are available through the internet. Rather than having these services or software available only on a computer, they can be accessed from anywhere so long as you have a secure internet connection. Examples of cloud computing include Microsoft OneDrive or Google Drive where you can store documents on one of Microsoft’s computers rather than on your own device.


What is Microsoft Azure?

Microsoft Azure is Microsoft’s most popular cloud computing service. It’s a set of public cloud services that enable you to build, deploy, scale, and manage services and applications using Microsoft’s massive, global network while still using your favorite and familiar frameworks and tools.


When you use Azure, you have access to a huge directory of various services that you can use, including databases, backups, virtual machines, file storage, and services for web and mobile apps. Users are able to pick and choose from these services to build new applications or scale existing ones from this public cloud.


From a high-level, Azure can be broken down into three managed data centers:


  • Software as a Service (SaaS): This is the most popular form of cloud computing. SaaS has all the functions of a traditional application, but its services are provided through a web browser. Essentially, you can log into your online account or web browser and access services.


  • Platform as a Service (PaaS): This service allows users to run existing applications or run new ones on virtualized servers. You’ll also have access to all the tools and resources necessary to develop the applications you need without having to build the underlying infrastructure.


  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS): This is a virtualized machine that runs directly in the cloud and is designed to replace or augment the function of an on-premise data center.


Pizza as a Service

To help you understand how cloud computing works when compared to on-premise computing, Albert Barron developed the Pizza as a Service comparison:



  • Made at home: When you’re making a homemade pizza, you’re responsible for the entire process--gathering the ingredients, assembling the pizza, and baking it. This is similar to on-premise computing. You’re responsible for every layer of the infrastructure from the networking stack, application, internet, data center, power, service, and any other underlying aspects.


  • Take and bake: This method is similar to how Papa Murphy’s provides their pizza--you tell them what you’d like on it, they assemble it, and you go home and bake it. This is similar to the IaaS service where you’re responsible for the operating system while the cloud vendor operates services starting from networking and finishing with virtualization.


  • Pizza delivered: The pizza place is responsible for assembling and baking the pizza while your only responsibility is providing a place for the pizza to be eaten. PaaS is similar in the sense that the cloud provides a number of networking services while your IT team manages the applications and the data.


  • Dining out: Everything regarding the pizza--the assembly, baking, and place to eat--is provided for you. SaaS is similar to dining out in the sense that the cloud provider is responsible for the entire technology stack.


How is Microsoft Azure Used?

As a public cloud platform, there are a number of ways Azure can be used in an organization, including supplementing or entirely replacing your on-premise servers or for storage, networking, virtual computing, and analytics. Here are some other common ways to put Azure to work in your business:


  • Host, develop, and scale web and mobile applications

  • Backup and disaster recovery

  • Migrate to IoT solutions

  • Distribute and supplement active directory

  • SQL databases

  • Visual team services

  • Storage


Microsoft is always adding new services to Azure, providing you with the tools and resources you need to build applications and deliver services.


Why People Love Microsoft Azure

Many professionals have said that on-premise data centers have no future and will fade away just like dial-up modems and mainframes. The flexibility and affordability of Azure are just some of the reasons organizations are trusting their data and application to the cloud. Other benefits of Azure include:


  • Scalability: Azure is designed to work with every business--from start ups to large corporations. The pay-as-you-go pricing model ensures that you’re only paying for the services you want, helping you to stay within budget.


  • Expands your current IT structure: Azure makes it easy to build and deploy applications with little maintenance and downtime.


  • Leader in IaaS and PaaS: As one of the most popular cloud computing services worldwide, Azure ensures rapid deployments. Additionally, businesses can choose whether they want to operate through a public cloud or autonomously.


  • Tight security and disaster recovery: Azure’s security ensures your data is always protected and provides sophisticated disaster recovery services that can recover data within a few hours.


  • Industry-specific applications: Whether you work in government, healthcare, finance, or law, Azure provides a number of applications that can be used in virtually any industry.


Make the Move to Azure with JourneyTEAM

Whether you’re interested in saving on IT costs, protecting your data, or moving to the cloud, JourneyTEAM can help you make these services work for you. From AI and machine learning to analytics and DevOps, you’ll have access to it all with JourneyTEAM’s cloud services. Contact us today to learn more or to get started.












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