5 MIN. READ
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.
The Microsoft Azure cloud computing platform enables businesses to build, manage and deploy their applications anywhere. Many business professionals are familiar with Azure…but 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)
- NexusTek manages your infrastructure, while you; purchase, install, configure, and manage your own software— middleware and applications
- Avoid buying and managing your own physical servers and other datacenter infrastructure
- Quickly scale up and down with demand, only pay for what you use
Azure Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS)
- NexusTek manages the same infrastructure as IaaS, plus; development tools, middleware, database management systems, and more
- PaaS is designed to support the complete web application lifecycle
- You manage the applications and services you develop
Azure Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)
- NexusTek helps customers connect to SaaS solutions like Office 365
- Additionally, NexusTek helps manage and protect the content you have in the cloud (with the appropriate service agreement)
- Quickly get setup and running with an app with minimal upfront cost
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.