According to an article by Forbes.com, 23% of IT workloads are now in the cloud, and that number is expected to grow to 43% in three years.
Companies across the globe are scrambling to take advantage of the benefits of the cloud and that includes making difficult decisions about which cloud vendor has the most to offer. All organizations big or small experience unique sets of requirements and challenges which may benefit from a different cloud provider. It can be a difficult landscape to navigate.
In early 2020, CNBC reported that Microsoft continued to lead the pack as one of the most popular suppliers of public cloud services, especially with larger companies. It touts more than 50 regions around the world and offers an appealing free 12 months of service for new customers (restrictions apply). And, of course, it is backed by one of the largest corporate enterprises in the world.
But that’s not the only reason IT organizations are flocking to Azure. Here are the seven main reasons companies choose this versatile platform:
- High Availability: Microsoft has a significant global footprint which means Azure can provide a Service Level Agreement (SLA) of 99.95% for its customers. If your company has hundreds of worldwide locations or even just one obscure location, Azure might be the right way to go.
- Existing Microsoft Investments: Large companies that are already using Microsoft products usually have an existing Microsoft Enterprise Agreement, which means they receive discounts on bulk licensing and other cost-saving benefits. They are also likely already developing in .NET and using other Microsoft platforms like SQL Server and Office 365 that easily integrate with Azure.
- Hybrid Flexibility: Azure offers unmatched flexibility for small or large companies that may not be ready to go all-in on the cloud. Companies can pick and choose which databases and applications provide the best cloud benefits, while remaining on-premises everywhere else. This “pay-as-you-go” design allows companies to manage their Azure consumption, and only pay for the services they use. Another way to test the waters before diving-in completely is via a pilot project. These are usually easy to run so organizations can test their cloud-readiness in specific areas before making a final decision.
- All-in-One IaaS, PaaS, SaaS: Azure offers Infrastructure, Platform, and Software-as-a-Service capabilities, making it extremely versatile. Customers can migrate their entire infrastructure to Azure, develop and host applications and software in Azure, or access and configure Microsoft SaaS applications in Azure – or any combination of those three options.
- Continuous Innovation: As of this writing, Microsoft has built over a thousand new capabilities in Azure in just one year, keeping it on the cutting edge of analytics, artificial intelligence, and virtualization. This includes innovations in machine learning for IT Ops, updates to Azure Resource Manager (ARM), greater storage efficiency, and the soon-to-be-released Azure Chaos Studio. You can follow their blog to stay up to date on the cutting-edge changes and releases.
- Unlimited Scalability: The Azure cloud platform provides hyperscale relational databases and a fast NoSQL database with open APIs for any scale. This includes high-performance horizontal scaling on Postgres using Hyperscale (Citus), integration with valuable Postgres features including JSONB, geospatial support, rich indexing, and dozens of extensions, and intelligent performance recommendations generated from a custom analysis of your database. This elastic framework provides the infrastructure companies can leverage to scale to meet increased user demands.
- Instant Insights: Azure combines big data analytics and data warehousing—from serverless or provisioned resources—through a single, cloud-native analytics service, delivering critical insights for businesses. You can innovate with the latest advancements in areas including machine learning, AI, databases, and virtualization.
In addition to all of these benefits, it’s also a cost-friendly option with many available resources to help manage your usage and spend. And, of course, there’s the standard cloud benefits of mobility, accessibility, flexibility, reduced infrastructure costs, and regular platform updates.
With so many upsides, it’s easy to understand why Azure continues to move towards the front of the pack.
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