Before we start talking about Microsoft Azure, let’s see why such a service exists. It the modern world, almost every company needs their server. They have plenty of tasks to do, computing, data management, storage and more. However, having a massive server in a single location might not be the best option for the company. It means expenses for hardware, for IT specialists and future upgrades. The computing power gets concentrated in a single place, so it is more vulnerable. A solution is a cloud computing service like Microsoft Azure.
What is Microsoft Azure?
Microsoft Azure is a service that provides cloud computing for building, managing, deploying and testing applications and services. It supports various programming languages. As you expect, it supports Microsoft-specific software, but also different third-party software. It provides three options – infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS) and software as a service (SaaS).
Infrastructure as a service (IaaS)
IaaS is a kind cloud computing where a company provides a part of the computer’s resources through virtualization. The user can rent a part of the computer (server) and use it as own. The machine won’t show the complete resources it has, but it will show only the shared with this user resources. Different users can use the same server separately.
The advantage is that users can use a high-end server without purchasing it. Also, it is very easy to upgrade if the user needs more resources.
Platform as a service (PaaS)
PaaS is an environment in which developers can create different applications. It supports many program languages, and it provides the hardware so users can develop and test applications.
The advantage is that it is a complete environment, which lets developers jump into the action by giving them all that they need, including testing tools. It is secure too.
Software as a service (SaaS)
You are probably familiar with this one. There are plenty of well-known applications that you are using daily like Dropbox, OneDrive and more that deliver services over the internet. Users can access them through an application or the web browsers, thanks to APIs.
Advantage, the multi-platform approach where users can access their data on different devices.
Microsoft Azure provides a huge versatility. You can use it in many different ways. It is relatively easy to set up (depending on the complexity of the task you need), and it is easy to scale. Azure doesn’t require a purchase of hardware, but it uses a subscription model that might be expensive for some.
It also has some disadvantages. It is an ecosystem that has many services so it can take a long time before you train your IT staff. Also choosing this platform, you might have a hard time in the future if you decide to migrate to another similar service like Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Google Cloud Platform.
You really need to know for what do you need Azure. It is big, and it might be expensive. Take your time thinking about your need first, before you take a decision.