Microsoft Azure As an Alternative to a Data Center

Azure is a public computing platform owned by Microsoft and used for data backup, disaster recovery, and as an alternative to a data center. Azure hosts a variety of cloud services, including those for analytics, computation, storage, and networking and offers users the ability to select any of these services to develop and scale new applications or run existing applications in the public cloud.

Datavail’s latest white paper, Investigating SQL Server Database Backup Options in Azure, discusses the benefits of backing up to Azure virtual machines in the cloud. Since many organizations now utilize Azure as an alternative to a data center, this blog post takes a deeper dive into the features, benefits and ways of using Microsoft Azure as an alternative data center.

Global network of data centers

Azure data centers are located in 22 regions across the globe and supported by a $15 billion investment in infrastructure. This ensures the following beneficial aspects of Azure:

  • High availability
  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Worldwide scalability
  • Operational excellence

Benefits of Azure

  1. Faster development

Incorporation of unified services, tools and solutions in Azure cloud enables faster development of enterprise applications for any device or platform. Azure also supports a variety of databases, frameworks, operating systems, tools, and programming languages.

  1. Worldwide availability

Since Azure operates in a global network of data centers, it provides multiple options for running applications and guaranteeing excellent customer experience and performance.

  1. Flexibility in productivity

Azure supports a wide variety of operating systems, programming languages, frameworks, tools, and devices including the latest containerization technology, Docker. Azure is integrated with Docker to run Linux containers, offering access to the latest technologies.

  1. Seamless integration

Azure can be easily integrated in the enterprise’s existing IT infrastructure using a vast network of safe private connections, therefore maintaining data security and encryption, and easily accessing data whenever needed.

  1. High level of security

Through Azure, Microsoft extends its commitment to maintain and protect data privacy in the cloud. For instance, enterprises are able to reliably and securely back up very critical data (SQL server, file servers, etc.) using the Azure cloud backup feature.

  1. Business Intelligence (BI) predictive analysis

Azure’s predictive analytics services like Cortana Analytics, Stream Analytics and Machine Learning offer solid BI decisions and better customer experience, and explore new business avenues from all your data and streaming IoT.

Ways of using Azure cloud services

  • Creating web apps
  • Building Virtual Machines
  • Scaling to thousands of SQL databases
  • Building mobile backends
  • Delivering remote system applications

Azure Cloud as an alternative data center gives flexibility to enterprises to grow with better efficiency and have more responsiveness to the ever-changing advanced technology. Azure cloud services enable enterprises to be up and running within the shortest amount of time possible compared to the on-premise infrastructure. Also, Azure offers easier up/down scalability as needed and enables enterprises to run with more cost-effective plans within their resources utilization, therefor avoiding high capital costs and paying only for the resources they use.

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Andy McDermid
Principal SQL Server DBA
Andy is a MCITP certified MS SQL DBA who delivers and manages delivery of DBA services to many diverse clients. He enjoys helping his clients by finding and deploying pragmatic and practical solutions for their database issues. Andy is always working to improve and expand his DBA skills and he likes to share the experience via writing.

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