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An Introduction to Microsoft Azure

An Introduction to Microsoft Azure

When it comes to utilizing cloud services, we prefer to utilize Microsoft products. Some of the reasons for this are functionality and familiarity. With Microsoft being the dominant operating system for computers, it just makes sense for businesses to continue working with a company they are already familiar with and most likely use their software daily. This blog is written assuming you have a basic understanding of the concept of the cloud and how it works. If you don’t, you can learn more in Pros and Cons of the Cloud.

What are some of the benefits of using Microsoft Azure?

Microsoft Azure has hundreds of different applications companies can use to get better results including virtual machines, cloud storage, sql databases, app creation tools, machine learning tools, operation management tools, contextual ability utilizing AI, and cost management. With all the tools there is bound to be something that can make managing your business easier.

In addition, these resources are highly scalable. For instance cloud storage can be anywhere from 32 GiB( GiB=approximately 1.07GB) to 32,767GiB (or almost 32TiB) per disk with up to 9,999 disks. That’s quite a bit of storage given the size of most files.

Another benefit is being able to manage costs of IT resources. Microsoft’s Cost Management Tool created a 286% ROI and saved over $800,000 on cloud spending for a fortune 500 company with over $4.5 Billlion revenue.  In addition, it saved over 320-manhours. The case study is available to download.

This sounds complicated…

What are the risks of using Microsoft Azure?

Every technology has risks and some of the risks include cybersecurity and managing the costs of utilizing the platform. Fortunately, Microsoft takes some precautions to reduce some of the risks associated with utilizing Azure.

We’ve all heard that most hackers target Microsoft systems because they are easier to gain access, but Azure has a team of over 3,500 cybersecurity professionals working to protect their systems. In addition, they include security features such as multi-factor authorization and machine learning that updates all their cloud clients’ security features when a single client is attacked by a new threat. These are precautions that would be quite costly and time consuming if each company had to have people managing them.

Every business tries to forecast their revenue and expenses. Utilizing the cloud can be very costly if controls aren’t put into place. Fortunately, Microsoft offers tools to help companies manage their cloud spending. First, they offer a calculator to estimate what your costs will be before ever signing up. Then their cost management software allows you to track resources and implement usage policies that prevent overage and allow you to apply the costs directly to the department utilizing them. To learn more about their cost management software, go check out their documentation. Another way they help people save money is giving discounts to people who are currently using non-cloud services such as server clients can get a 44% discount compared to clients not currently using their servers.

As you can see Microsoft tries to take business needs in to consideration when offering their software. Despite some of the approaches the company takes to reduce risks, it is always important to make sure the person or company assisting you truly understands the software they are using. For instance, the multi-factor authorization must be selected before using it. I’d like to see it implemented as a default setting, but that is not currently the case.

How do I get started with Microsoft Azure?

Before getting started with Microsoft Azure, you should establish what business goals you want to achieve. This will dictate what features you want to include and will also give you the ability to measure and adjust your strategy during implementation. Don’t worry if you don’t know exactly what you need to accomplish your business goals, at Maryland Computer Service, we are more than willing to help you figure out what you want to achieve, assist you in developing a game plan, then implementing and managing the strategy to help you get the results you want.

After you’ve developed a plan, it’s time to implement it. Microsoft has an extensive library of free training modules that can help you work through the setup process, but I’ll warn you it is almost a week of learning modules. I’d recommend saving your valuable time and letting our team at Maryland Computer Service manage your account so you can focus on better serving your clients needs.

To learn more about what Maryland Computer Service can do to help you leverage the power of Microsoft Azure, visit our Azure support page. If you’d rather talk to someone, you can call us at 301-202-6521, Monday through Friday from 7am to 5pm and we will be happy to schedule  and appointment to meet with you. Our trained team of professionals proudly serve the Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia areas.

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