Inside Microsoft’s Azure Cloud
Written by ADS Business Intelligence on September 22, 2016
Cloud computing is today’s hottest trend, and Azure is Microsoft’s offering in this rapidly growing area. Cloud computing is expected to grow at a robust pace in 2016, carrying into 2017. Why though? In part, due to the cost benefits of being able to outsource the hardware and software required for technology based services. Cloud based services are broken down into three segments: Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) – all three of which are projected to see rapid growth in the coming years.
Microsoft, through its Azure offering, checks the box in two of those segments: Iaas and PaaS. Microsoft has SaaS offerings via Azure with applications such as Office 365, X-box Live, Bing, among others.
Launched in 2010, Microsoft’s Azure platform has seen triple digit growth and shows no sign of slowing down. Azure services are built out on the public, private or hybrid cloud, and some of the services are available under different cloud umbrellas.
- Infrastructure services: Using a pay-as-you-go model for pricing its IaaS allows a client to pay according to the usage of services. The basic tier could run you as little as $13 per month, with the top tier reaching as high as $3,646 for high-end solutions. Azure also provides multiple machine virtualization services running on both Windows and Linux operating systems. A step further, Azure provides cloud storage solutions through StorSimple and Storage.
- Platform services: The Azure platform provides the ability to build and deploy a wide variety of modern applications for Android, iOS, and Windows that all take advantage of the cloud. Web, mobile, media and line-of-business solutions all taking advantage of the cloud. The tedious operation system details are handled by Azure cloud services so the development team can steady its focus on building applications for its users. The pricing can range from zero dollars…yes zero dollars thanks to the freeware version, to $300 dollars.
- Software as a Service: Azure is extensively used for developing and deploying applications that can be used as Software as a Service applications and hosted through 3rd party vendors. Microsoft is currently using the Azure platform to power Office 365 as well as Dynamics CRM. Azure Websites can serve as a SaaS offering as well meaning that a web developer can use exiting modules from Drupal or WordPress to deploy websites without the hassles.
Traditionally Microsoft’s revenue stream stemmed from sales or perpetual software licenses such as Windows OS, Windows Office and SQL server to enterprise clients. Now that cloud computing is gaining more attention has forced Microsoft to extend its services in the cloud domain. It’s a combination of declining demand for PCs and servers coupled with price sensitivity. Clients are on the lookout for cutting their costs to only pay for services that are rendered. Microsoft’s vision of cloud services allows customers to offer not only standalone applications, but also to interact seamlessly with Microsoft Infrastructure and on-site apps such as Hyper- V, Windows Server and System Center. Through constantly and rapidly introducing new features, as well as its competitive pricing, Microsoft is trying to narrow the gap to become the premier cloud provider.
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