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5 things you should know about Microsoft Azure

Microsoft Azure is an umbrella term for a program that encompasses several cloud computing services, including but not limited to managed and hosted versions of Microsoft’s proprietary technologies and open technologies.

Azure includes various Linux distributions that are designed for deployment inside virtual machines.

Launched in February 2010, Azure stands out as one of the most flexible and easy-to-implement systems in the world of modern cloud computing.

Here are five things every cloud computing specialist should know about Microsoft Azure, and how useful it could be for your organization:

Azure is broken into multiple instance “types”

Azure’s primary goal has always been to provide companies with the freedom to select the features and services that suit their unique needs.

Currently, there are more than 80 instance types available on Azure, although the platform breaks them into the following categories:

  • A-Series. These are Azure’s general-purpose instances. A-Series offerings guarantee consistent processor performance and decent amounts of storage and memory. They’re some of Azure’s lighter instance types but can handle increased core numbers and compute-expensive issues.
  • D-Series. These types offer more storage because they have more cores and more memory on each of their cores. They also offer SSDs for additional temp storage.
  • Dv2 Series. One of Azure’s newer types, Dv2s offer 35 percent more processing power than the D-series types.
  • G-Series. This is known by Azure enthusiasts as the highest-capacity series.

There are many instance types outside of these, as Azure is a comprehensive platform. In fact, Azure’s incredible elasticity is one of its most popular features, thanks in large part to the fact that it frees companies from running a 24/7 server for 9-5 apps. This, in turn, makes it easy for companies to match resources allocated to resources needed and ensure that companies are getting what they need without consistent maintenance.

Azure doesn’t present upfront costs

Unlike similar platforms, Azure is free from upfront costs or time delays during resource provisioning. It’s available on demand and offers a very flexible billing format, based on use rather than a preset price structure.

This makes it an attractive option for enterprises and other companies that are looking to transition from on-premise systems to servers that are based in the cloud instead.

What’s more, Azure can be used by companies at any growth stage, as it’s incredibly scalable. Ideal for small, lean startups and Fortune 500 companies alike, Azure is suitable for the needs of a wide variety of businesses.

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Azure offers other services as well

In addition to storage, CDN, and all its Windows-related offerings, Microsoft Azure provides other services as well. These include the following:

  • IoT Suite. Azure offers an IoT Suite designed to provide various options for monitoring and connecting devices, and providing a variety of analytics and telemetry functions.
  • Media Services. As it stands today, Azure Media Services offers cloud-based video, transcoding, indexing and a variety of content protection services
  • Data Structure Server. Azure Redis Cache is a managed version of Redis data structure server, which is open-source and very popular. Azure also offers a hosted database and an OData-based managed search platform.

Microsoft Azure claims a 17% share of the IaaS/PaaS market

As if this weren’t enough, 80 percent of Fortune 500 companies are on the Microsoft cloud, and Microsoft Azure claims 31 percent of the total cloud market.

Meanwhile, 40 percent of Azure’s total revenue comes from startups or ISVs, which goes to show precisely how functional the platform is, and how ideal it can be for companies of all shapes and sizes.

Microsoft currently has about 33,000 Mobility customers, and its projected commercial cloud annual run rate should hit nearly $20 billion by the end of 2018. Meanwhile, Azure Government Cloud currently has more than 6 million users.

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Azure always maintains at least three copies of data

Part of the reason Azure is so popular is that it is committed to always maintaining at least three copies of data.

This ensures durability and availability whenever you need your material. These three copies are kept either within the same data center, at a second data center, or in read-access geo-redundant storage.

Ideal for protecting your data against hardware failures, Microsoft Azure’s data backup plan allows you to access at least three replicated copies at any moment.

From startups to enterprises, Microsoft Azure is a smart solution for everyone

While there are dozens of intelligent cloud solutions out there, Microsoft Azure is quickly becoming one of the most popular cloud providers in the world.

In addition to providing several unique services, Azure is also a hybrid cloud strategy equipped with on-premises data centers for the clients who want them. This is a unique cloud solution that has the potential to be incredibly useful for clients of all shapes and sizes.

Beloved for its many benefits, flexible price schedule, and unparalleled predictability and scalability, Microsoft Azure stands out in the world of cloud computing.