You may well of heard of Microsoft Azure and all the benefits it’s supposed to offer you and your small to medium-sized business here in London. Then this won’t be the first time a technology platform, application or device has been carried on a wave of hype. But beyond all the talk about Azure having limitless potential and possibility, it can provide genuine benefits and added value for your business. And in today’s highly competitive markets – especially those still suffering from the impacts of the Coronavirus pandemic – Microsoft Azure matters. So in this article, we’re going to highlight what Azure is, what it does and four ways in which it helps you get the most out of this platform, plus the right Microsoft Azure support in London, can deliver a real difference for your enterprise.

Our Microsoft Azure support in London – helping you get the most out of this platform

First released in February 2010, rebranded as Microsoft Azure in March 2014 and usually referred to simply as Azure, this is a Cloud-based computing service that’s beneficial to business users of every size and sector, especially when you match Microsoft Azure with the right support in London to enable you to get the most out of it.

What is Azure and what it can do for your business

As we said above, Azure is a Cloud-based computing service for building, testing, deploying and managing applications and services through Microsoft-managed data centres.

As a public Cloud computing platform with solutions that include Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS), it can be used in a variety of roles such as analytics, virtual computing, storage, networking and much more. It can also be used to replace or supplement your on-premise servers, saving you the space and cost such equipment consumes.

What’s more, it supports many different programming languages and frameworks, including both Microsoft-specific and third-party software and systems, so it’s highly versatile and flexible.

A snapshot of Azure’s business benefits

There’s no doubt that Microsoft Azure is a fast, flexible and affordable platform. When you factor in it’s pricing and capabilities, many tech observers rate it as the best public Cloud offering out there. Put simply, the key benefits Azure offers you, your colleagues and your business, include:

Flexibility

You can evolve and grow your computing resources as your business evolves and grows.

Future proof 

Azure is what’s known as an open resource so it supports almost any operating system (OS), language, tool or framework you use, so you shouldn’t have to waste any previous investments in your IT infrastructure.

Reliability

Microsoft promise 99.95% availability with service level agreements (SLAs) and 24×7 technical support, so you can enjoy business continuity and peace of mind.

Global 

Your data is housed in geo-synchronous data centres across the globe, so the platform has genuinely international reach for consistency of service wherever you’re working in the world.

Economy

Like with many Cloud-based solutions, Microsoft Azure means you only pay for what you use, usually on a monthly pay-as-you-go subscription basis.

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How to put Azure to work for your business

Now the above might sound all well and good, but if you’re still wondering what Microsoft Azure can actually do for your business, take a closer look at these four operational benefits:

  1. Data backup and disaster recovery made simple

All sorts of circumstances can play havoc with your data. These range from a serious IT malfunction or theft and fire and flood at your offices to a data breach or malware attack.

If you don’t backup regularly and have rapid access to retrieve and reload it with an effective disaster recovery process, your business continuity could be badly impacted by any loss.

So if your backup discipline isn’t good, Azure is a solution you should definitely consider due to its flexibility, advanced site recovery and built-in integration.

What’s more, Azure can back up your data in almost any language, on any OS and from any location so it’s got all your bases covered. In addition, you can set your own backup schedule, from daily and weekly to monthly.

Azure’s site recovery solution can add to whatever backup service you already employ with offsite replication and minimal onsite maintenance, capital investment or operational costs. Plus it can safeguard up to 99 years of data, should you need it to.

Crucially, Azure goes further than the 3-2-1 rule of data backup. That’s because it does more than storing three copies of your data, in two different places including one off-site. In fact, Azure stores three copies of your data in three different locations.  These include the data center you use and then another three copies in a remote Azure data centers. The result? Minimum worry and maximum peace of mind.

If you’re already working in a Windows virtual environment, Azure’s built-in integration provides a fast, painless and additional backup solution. Azure site recovery integrates with System Center and HyperV architectures, creating a robust and seamless cohesion between all three.

  1. Host and develop web and mobile apps

If you want a platform for hosting, developing or managing a web or mobile app, Azure makes those apps autonomous and adaptive with patch management, as well autoscale and integration for on-premises apps.

For example, with automatic patch management for your virtual machines, you spend less time managing your infrastructure and more time on focusing on improving your apps. Azure also comes with continuous deployment support, which allows you to streamline ongoing code updates.

Returning to autoscale for a moment, this feature built into Azure web apps adjusts your resources automatically based on customer web traffic. So you always have the resources you need when traffic is high, and save money when outside of peak times.

One more highly useful feature of Azure is that you can seamlessly link your web app to an on-premise app through the platform. Connecting apps in both locations lets you, your team and any business partners you work with securely access resources inside your firewall—resources that would otherwise be difficult to access externally.

  1. Distribute and supplement active directory

For added safeguarding of your IT, data, IP and private customer information, Azure can integrate with your Active Directory (AD) to enhance your identity and access capabilities. This gives your domain name system (DNS) a global reach and centralized management but with robust security.

With Azure, you can globally distribute an Active Directory environment that is direct connect enabled. No other Cloud-based platform provider can extend the reach of your domain controller and consolidate AD management like Azure.

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This is especially useful if your business or your team work from a number locations or use on-premise apps or Cloud apps, like Microsoft 365. In such setups, AD integration with Azure will be the central tool for managing and maintaining access to all of the resources your people use.

As an added bonus, Azure also enables you to utilise multi-factor authentication (MFA), which adds another layer of security to your data and applications without any extra work for your people. You can also easily implement single sign-on for Windows, Mac, Android and iOS cloud apps.

  1. Innovate with IoT industry solutions

With the roll out of 5G, the Internet of Things (IoT) is rapidly turning from vision to reality. The good news is that the scalability, flexibility and security that Microsoft Azure delivers makes the platform the perfect resource if you want to move toward using IoT solutions. For example, you can connect your devices to the Cloud using solutions that integrate with your existing infrastructure and start collecting new data about your enterprise.

Within the Azure IoT Hub, you can monitor and manage numerous devices to glean valuable insights to help you make better business decisions, improve customer experiences, reduce complexity, lower costs and speed up development.

IoT solutions have always been a security weakness that hackers, scammers and threat actors have only been too keen to exploit. But the enhanced security of Azure is a huge asset if you want to use IoT solutions.

Other benefits of using Azure include remote monitoring and predictive maintenance and analytics. What’s more, getting started is easy with Azure IoT solution accelerators, which are basically pre-configured templates you can tailor to your needs.

The most effective ways you might use Azure

The four benefits and services we talk about above are just a tip of the iceberg that is Azure and what it can do for your business.

 

Besides Microsoft’s defined services, it’s packed with Cloud-computing potential that you can exploit in ways that are only limited by your imagination.

 

We believe Azure can have a very positive impact on the efficiency, productivity and profitability of your team and your business. Also on the plus side is that you can try Azure out in your business virtually risk free as Microsoft offer a great value, cost effective trial.

Exceptional Microsoft Azure support in London

If you’d like to know more about this innovative platform and the benefits it could deliver for your small to medium-sized business, the totality services managed Microsoft Azure support team in London is geared up to match the qualities of the platform itself, so you can be sure you’re in highly experienced and expert professional hands.

After all, we’re a Microsoft Partner and hold sought after industry certifications, such as Cyber Essentials and ISO 27001, for your complete peace of mind.

What’s more, our exceptional customer service levels have enabled us to earn two consecutive Feefo Gold Trusted Service Awards, Five Star ratings from both Trustpilot and Google and a 98% client retention rate.

So please feel free to give us call for a confidential, no obligation discussion about the benefits Microsoft Azure could deliver for your enterprise.

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COVID-19 Update: Face-to-face IT meetings have been temporarily replaced with Microsoft Teams sessions, and our engineers will be able to carry out IT assessments remotely.