Cloud computing has ushered in a new era of computing. They allow users to access data and programs over the Internet, through a cloud-based application platform. Among the many offerings out there, Microsoft’s Azure platform boasts of many excellent features. Here’s why you should consider moving your applications to the Azure platform
1. Industry Leader in IaaS + PaaS
Azure has been rated by Gardner as the industry leader for Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) and platform-as-a-service (PaaS). What developers gain from PaaS is a framework they can build upon to develop or customize applications and what they gain from IaaS are self-service models for accessing, monitoring and managing remote data center infrastructures. This powerful combination lets you create, deploy and monitor applications, however you choose.
Azure understands that babysitting equipment is dissatisfying work and therefore provides a service level agreement backed environment. In ordinary terms, computational resources will be available to you 99.5% of the time. Furthermore, all data stored is replicated three times, to avoid accidental loss.
3. Easy on the purse
Azure offers organizations & developers data center resources on a pay-for-use model. Taking advantage of these resources allow you to drastically decrease the costs of building and maintaining dedicated on-premises utilities.
4. Scalability & Flexibility
Using Azure, you can easily create applications that run reliably and scale from 10 to 10 thousand or even 10 million users - without any additional coding. It achieves this by using a “pay as you go/grow” approach for letting you dedicate more resources to your project, depending on the scope and requirements.
5. Rapid Application Development & Testing
Azure frees organizations from the enduring team down-cycles (for approving, procuring and installing new resources) at the beginning of any project. It does so by providing a ready and usable RAD environment with developer tools to allow teams to get prototypes and early versions of applications up and running quickly and cheaply. If the project fails or needs to be moved to a more tightly managed environment, the cloud resources can be shed just as quickly with no wasted and unused equipment standing around
With Azure, you can develop hybrid applications that allow your on-premises applications to use cloud services, such as the cloud database and storage services. Azure supports open standards and Internet protocols, such as HTTP, XML, SOAP, and REST. There are SDKs for Java, PHP, and Ruby, for applications written in those languages, and Azure tools for Eclipse.
7. Geographical Distribution
Since Azure is hosted in data centers all across the world, you can easily deploy your cloud-based application in any of the ever-increasing set of centers that dot the globe. By doing so, the constraints set down by geographical distribution can be get rid of completely.
8. Support Resources
Microsoft’s prevalent support structure comes into play here, since Azure uses the same tools & technologies employed in other Windows platforms. Basically, there will always be someone to turn to, if you have a burning question.
Understanding that flimsy security is the chief deterrent for organizations to shift to the cloud, Microsoft has made it a point to make Azure as watertight as it can. Some of the features include the .NET Access Control Service that provides a way to integrate identities and the Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) tokens that are used by applications to determine whether a user is allowed access.
Azure supports a large and growing base of open-source applications, frameworks and languages. Essentially, it puts the best of Windows and Open-Source environments at your disposal for use. Hence, developers can use the tools they are experienced & comfortable with, to build applications on the platform.
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