Microsoft Azure

Microsoft Cloud for modern business

Get started with cloud computing

Nowadays, companies accelerate the implementation of innovative solutions. However, investment in the latest software is becoming more and more expensive. Persisting with the old system when your competition is investing heavily in the latest innovations means you will drop behind. With a competitive advantage based on modern technology, your competitors are able to predict, adjust and respond to ongoing changes instantly, thus strengthening their market position.

The Microsoft Azure cloud platform enables you to maintain your competitive edge without blowing your investment budget. With Microsoft Azure, you will be able to provide products and services faster and cheaper. It is all you need to expand your business fast, control it effectively and operate worldwide. Moreover, you can reduce your operating costs, as you only pay for the actual usage. By eliminating hardware purchase and maintenance expenses, you can spend more on critical business needs. In addition, on Microsoft Azure, your data is protected by top-level security software that is also used by the largest global organizations.

Break the limits, not crashing your budget

You want to focus on business growth, not on maintaining your IT infrastructure and monitoring your IT costs. Microsoft Azure enables you to create and implement applications, as well as manage them in the cloud, which helps you avoid purchasing new server hardware. When needed, you can increase or decrease your IT resources easily, working without any disruption and knowing that your data is constantly protected. Your data is stored in multiple backup copies in Microsoft’s data centers.

Do not miss opportunities

Many companies lose critical data, because they do not use reliable software for backup. Microsoft Azure enables you to create backup copies easily, ensuring safe storage of your backup copies and applications. And you pay only for the actual usage, which makes the solution an attractive offering. This way, you can avoid typical infrastructure costs or fees charged per server and data transfer. Microsoft Azure ensures the highest security for both your data and applications, no matter whether you are a small company or the largest worldwide financial institution.

Outstanding customer service

Each company can hosts its own website. However, is bearing the risk of low efficiency, insufficient security and increasing costs worth your efforts? The Microsoft Azure platform enables you to host scalable cloud-based sites. Using multiple data centers worldwide, Microsoft Azure ensures a reliable and secure environment and enables you to implement apps your company or your customers need.

Introduction to Microsoft Azure

Microsoft Azure is a public cloud offered by Microsoft. At any time, it gives you access to cloud computing resources, including additional services you can use to maintain your applications, increase the capabilities of your data centers or use as an end-to-end IT environment. Currently, cloud computing is the fastest growing IT service. The permanent demand for solutions that reduce business management costs and increase computing capabilities stimulate the growing popularity of this model for IT resources management.

Microsoft Azure is a platform that enables you to launch cloud computing solutions. The architect that develops the solution can use a virtual environment that offers unlimited scaling possibilities and incomparable efficiency, as well as being a giant container for data storage.

a flexible and very efficient cloud platform, which helps your company grow and react fast to changes;

an opportunity to use any language, architecture and tools to build your own applications;

unlimited capability, outstanding efficiency and increased data storage capacity;

the platform ensuring the highest level of security that is used by numerous large organizations worldwide;

limited hardware purchase and maintenance costs and fees charged only for resources actually used.

With flexible pricing, you pay only for the actual usage.

The Microsoft Azure service provides all the financial benefits that public cloud technology offers:

fees charged per minute

payment for the actual resources used

automated scaling of machines and services

the lack of fees for inactive services e.g. stopped virtual machines and inactive applications/websites

Microsoft Azure offers more than 60 services and functionalities

Windows and Linux virtual machines

Microsoft (Sharepoint, SQL, BizTalk, NAV, other) applications

partner applications from Oracle, SAP, IBM and others

dozens of CMS, CXM, WEB App solutions

Visual Studio On-Line and services for mobile applications

Azure ActiveDirectory, Azure RMS, multimedia services

Visualized applications (Azure RemoteApp)

Big Data and BI (HDI/Hadoop + MS SQL)

Security of the cloud

Many customers who have not had any experience with the cloud are concerned about data security and protection. Microsoft and its data centers worldwide ensure better standards for data security and physical protection mechanisms than typical on-premise environments. The Microsoft Azure platform is a guarantee of security for each company, because all applications and data are protected at the same level as for corporate customers of Microsoft, including the biggest financial institutions worldwide.

As Microsoft Azure is compliant with EU Data Protection Directive (95/46/EC) and Safe Harbor Framework, it enables its users to store and process the personal data of European Union citizens.

Microsoft’s cloud computing policy has been approved by data protection inspectorates in multiple countries.

Microsoft data centers are controlled within recurring Security Audits performed by independent agencies. Customers can gain a complete insight into reports and analyses.

Before it is uploaded to the Microsoft cloud, data can be encrypted using a x.509 v3 certificate 2048-bit key. The key is managed by the customer and the key can be stored outside the Microsoft cloud.

The Microsoft infrastructure fulfills requirements for multiple certifications including: ISO/IEC 27001:2005, SOC 1/SSAE 16/ISAE 3402 and SOC 2, Cloud Security Alliance (CSA), FedRAMP, Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standards (DSS), UK G-Cloud, HIPAA BAA, UE model clauses, IRAP, MTCS, GxP compliance and others.

Increased service and app availability

Microsoft guarantees a 99.90% uptime percentage for purchased services. The uptime percentage is set for each component of the platform. The following uptime values are guaranteed by Microsoft for customers using Microsoft Azure:

Above 99.95% - for connection (services are linked and web connectivity is ensured, the WebRole component has an active external link, web connectivity is ensured).

Above 99.90% - the uptime percentage for the Data Base (the base is linked and web connectivity is ensured).

Above 99.90% - the uptime percentage of the Data Warehouse (the warehouse is connected and web connectivity is ensured, REST is active, operations are performed properly).

Above 99.90% - the uptime percentage for services (ServiceBus is active, an external connection is maintained, messaging operations are performed properly).

Open Microsoft Azure platform

Moving solutions and services to the Microsoft Azure cloud environment you can work with languages and systems that you know:

multiple programming languages including PHP, Java, .NET, Node.js, Python, Ruby…

Linux, CentOS, Oracle, SAP, IBM, MySQL environments

integration capabilities for Git, TFS, GitHub and other portals

Microsoft Azure

Cloud computing for modern business

Comparing Business Models Cloud computing and on-premise servers

If Cloud Computing services are used, fees are proportional to the actual usage of platform components (based on the pay-as-you-go model), including disk space, computing capabilities and bandwidth used (cloud data transfer). This payment scheme ensures high flexibility and does not require any investment in your own infrastructure (hardware licenses and maintenance). For example, an organization planning a promotional campaign can increase its resources for the campaign period (even for a specific number of hours or minutes), and after the campaign traffic peak, it can reduce the package, thus decreasing the fees.

Traditional model

In the traditional model, an organization or company that launches a business service using its own IT infrastructure has to cope with the cost of purchasing servers, network infrastructure and software, etc. However, for a long time, the company may not need to use the infrastructure (such as disk space, computing capabilities) to the full. This usually happens in the initial phase of the launch of a new business service. It has to bear the maintenance costs of the hardware including power supply, cooling and repairs.

However, this is not the end. In the following period, to accommodate its growth the company will have to expand its IT infrastructure, investing even more.  Eventually, it may turn out that the growth of the company is faster than expected. The investment made and capabilities increased may not be sufficient to ensure the required availability of resources within the IT infrastructure. The inefficiency of the IT infrastructure means the loss of possible demand for products and services offered by the company. The company may lose its prospects and make them turn to competitive offerings, which can result in lower revenues and KPIs.

To prevent this, the company may bet even more on its infrastructure. However, if such a decision is made too late, this can generate negative implications in terms of brand and product recognition among potential and existing customers. It is also important to take into account the regularities on the commercial market. It is obvious that after a successful period, the demand for the product slumps to the pre-increase level. At this point, the increased capabilities of the infrastructure can be redundant, whereas operating costs related to the maintenance of IT resources have become relatively high.

Cloud-based model

Business experience shows that companies that are able to adapt to changing management requirements are more successful than their competitors. Difficulty in adapting to a rapid increase in demand, meaning an inability to serve more customers in a shorter time, usually ends in customers being lost. When you are not able to deliver on time and meet their needs, customers and contractors choose your competitors, which means losing your market position. Companies that base their operations on the traditional model of using IT resources can easily fall into this trap. Switching from the traditional approach to IT resources management to the Cloud Computing model is one of the best ways to prevent this.

The company that moves its resources into the cloud achieves real economic benefits in a very short time. First of all, when starting its operations, it does not have to invest in its IT infrastructure, which means initial savings. The company gets the money invested back very fast, in contrast to the traditional model, which ensures earnings on your investment in the longer term. As the use of IT resources increases, the company does not need to spend more on its own hardware and software infrastructure. Cloud providers offer highly scalable solutions that enable you to make fast decisions and allocate resources flexibly at any time you actually need them. This prevents inefficiencies that may occur in the traditional model if the resources the user possesses are not sufficient to meet surging demand for a product or service. By implementing Cloud Computing, you can prevent the risk of losing potential revenues and customers. The ability to respond flexibly to any changes enables the company to maintain its competitive advantage and minimize its operating costs.

An ERP system in the cloud

Cloud computing is becoming more and more popular. It is used not only in business but also in private life. As a natural consequence of this trend, the cloud is also becoming a development opportunity for ERP systems. The software-as-a-service model has many advocates, but still remains very controversial.