Managed cloud services make running your business easier by offloading costly and complicated IT needs. This enables your current team to work more effectively without the need to hire more people. Many businesses also rely on managed cloud service providers for the security required to keep their business running, protected, and compliant with regulations.
Managed cloud services for Azure are some of the most needed in the industry. In fact, LinkedIn reports that about 90% of Fortune 500 companies leverage Microsoft Azure. But with over 600 services to choose from, it can be daunting to select a starting point. In this guide, we break down some of Azure’s most impactful services and how managed cloud services can set your business up for success.
What Is Microsoft Azure Used For?
Microsoft Azure is a cloud computing platform that businesses can use to store, access, manage, and develop their applications and services. So, is Microsoft Azure a cloud service? Yes—that means Azure services increase your team’s capabilities while reducing the need for on-site equipment and servers. Microsoft Azure, like other outsourced IT services and SaaS providers, exists to help businesses scale while keeping costs manageable.
What Is the Overview of Microsoft Azure Services?
When looking at an Azure services overview, you’ll see several key benefits that consistently pop up across different services. These benefits include, but aren’t limited to, the following:
- Increased security
- Lower overhead costs/pay only for what you need
- Increased accessibility for team members
- Integration with your current systems
- Organized data that enables more effective analytics
What Are the 3 Service Categories Provided by Microsoft Azure?
The three categories of service that Microsoft Azure can provide for businesses are:
- Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
- Platform as a Service (PaaS)
- Software as a Service (SaaS)
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
IT IaaS provides businesses with the infrastructure—both hardware and software—they need to operate efficiently and at capacity. Microsoft Azure offers IaaS in the form of cloud-based databases, which allows businesses to alleviate themselves from the burden of managing and maintaining physical, on-premise servers. The benefits of IT Infrastructure as a Service are reduced overhead costs and bandwidth spent handling infrastructure needs. Key features of IaaS cover servers and storage, security, and your data center.
Platform as a Service (PaaS)
PaaS gives developers the workspace and tools to do their best work. Essentially, PaaS includes IaaS features with the addition of development tools, business analytics, and operating systems. With a sophisticated, cloud-based platform, your developers can easily collaborate through building, testing, deploying, managing, and updating web applications. PaaS allows your business to expand capabilities without needing to grow your team, collaborate with team members across physical distances, and cut coding time.
Software as a Service (SaaS)
SaaS provides businesses with hosted applications that the service provider continues to manage and upgrade. SaaS is the broadest service category that Microsoft Azure offers, including the capabilities of both IaaS and PaaS. Essentially, by ‘renting’ the software your business uses to operate, you only need to pay for what you use, and it’s easier for your team to work from anywhere with sophisticated applications.
What Are the Top 10 Most Used Microsoft Azure Services?
- Azure DevOps (Development Operations)
- Azure Virtual Machines
- Azure Blob Storage
- Azure AD (Active Directory)
- Azure Cosmos DB (Database)
- Logic Apps
- Azure Data Factory
- Azure CDN (Content Delivery Network)
- Azure Backup
- Azure API (Application Programming Interfaces) Management
This is by no means an exhaustive list of what Azure can do. In fact, Microsoft Azure offers businesses over 600 different services! Fortunately, partnering with a managed cloud services provider like InterVision can help you sort through your options. To get started evaluating which may be right for your business, let’s take a closer look at this Azure services list and a description of each entry in the top 10:
- Azure DevOps: This service helps developers write, test, and deploy code. It also includes project management features, such as:
- Azure Boards for tracking deliverables and coordinating team members
- Azure Pipelines to build, test, and deploy with CI/CD
- Azure Repo for building code
- Azure Test Plans to access exploratory testing tools
- Azure Artifacts to share projects with your entire team
- Azure Virtual Machines: This service makes it easier to manage virtual desktops, so your business can scale operations without sacrificing efficiency or security.
- Azure Blob Storage: This service makes it easier to store, sort, and access unstructured data. As your business grows, so will the amount of data that is difficult to categorize (photos, scanned documents, media files, etc.). Azure Blob Storage helps you manage and analyze that data.
- Azure AD: This service increases security by controlling who can sign into your systems and from where. Azure Active Directory includes multifactor authentication, condition access, and helps guard against 99.9% of cyber attacks.
- Azure Cosmos DB: This service helps your team build and modernize applications. Key benefits of Azure Cosmos DB include 99.999% uptime and single-digit millisecond reads.
- Logic Apps: This service enables businesses to create and run workflows. The advantage of Azure Logic Apps is that they require little to no code.
- Azure Data Factory: This service simplifies hybrid data integration by integrating your data sources in a centralized, no-code location. Businesses can also benefit from pay-as-you-go data management services.
- Azure CDN: This service makes it easier for your business to deliver content to your audience by reducing the time it takes for your website, mobile apps, and streaming media to load.
- Azure Backup: This service helps your business prepare for the worst. Data loss can grind business to a halt, but with secure, scalable, one-click backups, you can prepare your business to take cyberattacks in stride.
- Azure API Management: This service provides a single, cloud-based environment to manage all of your application programming interfaces (APIs) from, which streamlines workflows and allows your team to observe progress across multiple projects.
To explore all of the 600+ services that Azure offers, you can browse their website here. Or, you can get in touch with one of our Microsoft Azure experts at InterVision, who can work with you to identify your business’s cloud computing goals and which services will help you accomplish them.
How Can You Make the Most out of Microsoft Azure? With InterVision.
At InterVision, we understand how beneficial Microsoft Azure’s services can be for growing your business. We also understand that cloud services can be difficult to navigate. That’s why we partner with businesses like yours to ensure they are investing in tools that will yield the best returns.
We are Azure Gold Partners, so when you work with us, you’re partnering with professionals who are up-to-date and knowledgeable about Azure’s entire ecosystem. Ready to see where your business can grow to? Contact us today!
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