Microsoft Azure is one of the premier cloud computing platforms on the market. Used in many industries—such as retail, government, and healthcare—Azure provides various IT services that businesses and organizations need to function. These include things such as data storage, security, and analytics. Azure offloads operational needs onto a reliable third party, meaning their clients can rely on experts in managed cloud services rather than hiring an in-house IT department. And if you found this article, chances are you’re wondering “What is Azure, and do I need it for my operations?”
Many organizations can benefit from using cloud services like Azure, and even hiring out managed cloud services for Azure. But what is Azure cloud service, exactly, and is it worth using for your organization? To help you find the answer, let’s look at some of the ways Azure services can be used, and how cloud computing can make operations more efficient.
What Is Azure Used For?
Azure provides off-site IT infrastructure, software, and platforms. Azure cloud services focus on functions that companies, businesses, and similar organizations need to operate. And oftentimes, these services require targeted expertise. Some examples of these functions include:
- Data storage & management
- Data analytics
- AI & machine learning
- Networking services
To more easily visualize this, imagine you’re starting a new brewery and need a reliable source of clean water to make your beer. You essentially have two options: find and process your own water source, or get your water from a supplier of some kind. In almost every case, it makes more sense to get your water from a supplier, such as a utility company. While it might technically be possible for you to collect and filter your own water, doing this will require a massive amount of knowledge and experience to do effectively, and you may not be able to always get the amount of water you need, when you need it. What’s more, there may be requirements or standards you’re unaware of that might jeopardize your operations or unknowingly put your customers at risk.
In this brewery example, Azure is the water utility company. They provide you with a service that you need to run your business while eliminating the massive amount of resources you’d need to dedicate to do it yourself. They also make it possible for you to get (and pay for) the exact amount of that service when you need it, rather than overpaying for unused services or not having enough when the time comes.
What Is the Benefit of Using Azure?
Platforms like Microsoft Azure help your operations run more smoothly and efficiently, while also providing limited support from experts in cloud management. Ultimately, though, having a managed cloud services provider like InterVision will maximize your use of cloud platforms.
There are almost two dozen categories of services that Azure offers, each of them providing varying levels of benefit to each user. Four commonly used categories include:
- Analytics: This includes (but is not limited to) real-time analysis, machine learning, business intelligence, and tracking key data trends.
- Development: Using this service helps if you need to share code, test an application, or other software product creation needs. This also includes services such as blockchain.
- Networking: Many vital functions fall under this umbrella, including diagnostics, gateways, traffic management, and even security needs such as firewalls, email protection, and more. Security is becoming increasingly important with cloud services, which makes networking one of the more common reasons clients turn to managed cloud services.
- Storage: Almost every organization needs cloud storage of some kind. In addition to providing storage space, Azure ensures you are only paying for the amount you are using. This is beneficial not only for saving money but also for reliably having the storage you need, when you need it.
All of these services can be made more impactful with a company like InterVision by your side. Through us, you’ll have access to experts in cloud management that can operate your services, all while developing a long-term plan for savings. You also won’t need to worry about hiring an IT department to manage your essential operations.
What Are the Different Types of Azure Services?
Azure (and similar platforms) provide three types of services, which mainly differ in the amount of responsibility you have as a client. They are as follows:
- Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)—In this model, Azure provides storage, compute, and network resources for applications and operating systems, while the client still takes responsibility for operating (and using) those systems.
- Platform as a Service (PaaS)—A middle ground between IaaS and Saas, PaaS provides the client with a computing platform and one or more applications, but leaves them to use that infrastructure on their own. This might be great for organizations with some in-house expertise to develop software, but not enough expertise (or time) to do the infrastructure by themselves.
- Software as a Service (SaaS)—With SaaS, the entirety of the service and its management is provided by a third-party. This arrangement is most helpful for organizations with a low number of staff that can’t easily allocate their human resources, but still need IT infrastructure to operate.
Learn More About How Azure Can Benefit You
Each client’s use case is different, and cloud computing platforms are flexible enough to fit the specific needs of your situation. A great starting point for learning more is reaching out to managed cloud service providers like InterVision. Through this, we ensure our clients can operate confidently without the difficulties of managing complex IT infrastructure alone.
Contact us today to find out more!
Knowledge is power
Explore the latest news stories, blogs, webinars, success stories, and industry insights.