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Azure Defined

Azure Defined Microsoft’s Cloud Platform

Adopting cloud technologies has become essential for businesses to compete, keep up with consumer demand, and embrace remote working in the digital age. Cloud computing has allowed companies to reduce capital expenses and IT costs, improve organizational speed and productivity, and expand their operations in a secure manner. Most companies are aware of the need for cloud technologies, with analysts reporting up to 90% of businesses are utilizing the cloud. 

But, what is “the cloud”? Let’s start with an example.  

Microsoft Azure is a pay-as-you-go cloud computing platform where businesses can host their data as well as build, manage and deploy their applications anywhere. This enables your employees to securely work remotely and for your customer data to be accessed from any location. Simply put: Azure is a simple, secure and cost-effective solution to store and protect your business’ data. Its scalability accommodates rapidly increasing amounts of data and allows you to grow or shrink your storage according to your needs.  

You can also protect your data with Azure whether it is in the cloud or on-premises. Azure Backup is implemented in three easy steps on virtual machines, ensuring you have the latest backup of your data whenever you need it. Built-in protection against ransomware alerts you to an unauthorized request, and multifactor authentication stops cyber threats from accessing your data. If you need a data restore, you can view your backups from both Azure and on-premises in one centralized location, allowing you to determine what needs to be recovered to keep your business running. In addition to storage, security, and backup, Power BI creates reports for you to understand the information about your backups, revealing whether you are meeting compliance standards for your industry. Neat, huh? 

Now that we’ve discussed the basics of Azure, what are the key components of Azure that make it a top choice for cloud services? If you’re currently using Azure, are you leveraging the full extent of its capabilities to help your business grow and operate at optimum levels?

Let’s take a look at some of the fundamental features of Azure that empower businesses to improve business operations, secure their workloads and decrease IT spend.

Azure Active Directory

Once businesses are considering moving their workloads to the cloud, one of the first concerns is the security of data. Cyber-attacks are a continuously growing threat and the increase in remote working has heightened awareness around end user security.

Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) is a cloud-based identity and access management service, which helps protect your business data by requiring employees to securely sign-in to access resources. It also provides features like user and group management, on-premises directory synchronization, basic reports, self-service password change for cloud users, and single sign-on across Azure. The basic level of Azure AD services is free.

You also have the option to implement additional security measures by purchasing premium features. Some of the extra security capabilities include multi-factor authentication, conditional access to apps and company data. What about security risks in your customer facing apps? Microsoft offers Azure Active Directory Premium licenses which help customers enable single sign on with some of their Software as a Service line of business applications.  Extending the identity management features to your customer apps allows your clients to receive added security benefits.

Azure Cloud Services Models

Every business has its own unique needs when it comes to managing their business operations and IT infrastructure. When you add cloud computing to the mix, having the best cloud implementation strategy and cloud service model is important to ensure your IT environment supports your business needs. Azure offers three types of cloud service models that when managed by a cloud services provider, like NexusTek, will help your business thrive in the cloud. Here are the three models and what it would like to have the Azure cloud managed by NexusTek:

Azure Infrastructure-as-a-Services (IaaS)

Azure Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS)

Azure Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)

Azure Backup

Critical business data is vital to business intelligence, customer relations, as well as business operations and process optimization. If your data isn’t backed up, it can be lost during a cyber-attack or even an outage. Azure helps you retain and backup rapidly increasing amounts of data in the cloud, while keeping storage costs low. It makes it easy for you to backup and restore your most important information when the unexpected happens. Azure gives you a cost-effective, simple and secure backup solution that protects your data.

NexusTek is a national cloud services provider and Microsoft Gold Partner that ranks in the upper echelon of all Microsoft partners. Our Microsoft experts and technology consultants have numerous Microsoft certifications, and can help you decide how Azure can help your business. Contact NexusTek today.