What is Azure?
How much will Azure Cost?
Azure is a pay- per- use based platform with a very clear pricing mechanism with web & storage services available from a couple of dollars a month. What you need and how you intend for it to be delivered, will determine the end price. The more leveraged Platform as a Service (PaaS), the more cost effective your solution becomes.
For more info, please visit https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/pricing/calculator/
Can my Business use Azure?
Absolutely – any business can. Azure offers connectivity models over the internet (VPN Gateway) or directly via your private network (ExpressRoute). To get the most value out of Azure, it’s more efficient to define the problem you’re looking to solve and then investigate if Azure is the correct fit.
Where is my data stored in Azure?
With Datacentres in Sydney (Equinix) and Melbourne (NextDC), you can choose which datacentres you would like your data to reside in.
Is Azure secure?
Azure is on the most highly certified public clouds on the public and developed a resource to aid customers in navigating common security questions (microsoft.com/trustcenter/).
In our experience it’s not usually the platform that is a cause for concern but the architecture of the application placed on the platform. Azured works with our customers to ensure the right level of security is applied to your applications within Azure.
Why should I use Azure?
Azure offers a faster path to what the vast majority of businesses are really looking for; a service. As we tell our customers, you don’t want a server – you want the service! Azure puts the tools in front of you to conveniently construct the services you need without having to invest in the underlying infrastructure.
Why shouldn't I use Amazon (or any other cloud)?
Microsoft has constructed a cloud that’s very easy for any business to consume, especially for those with an existing investment in Microsoft products. Many of our customers find that Microsoft offers a very simple means of extending their existing infrastructure into Azure, enabling them to start small and add additional services into Azure when it makes sense to them. For Microsoft’s take on the head to head see https://azure.microsoft.com/en-au/overview/azure-vs-aws/
When shouldn't I use Azure?
The primary constraints against using Azure (or any public cloud for that matter) are when your needs cannot be met by their platform. Typically this is due to an app working in a way not permitted within Azure or the absence of cost effective and reliable connectivity – a key requisite for any cloud platform. It is always wise to check this list to ensure your key software is supported within Azure https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/2721672/microsoft-server-software-support-for-microsoft-azure-virtual-machines
Alternatively, it could be because a business is better serviced by an existing Software as a Service (SaaS) offering and only a data and user migration is required to begin realising the value of this service. Azure is an excellent platform but it exists within a larger eco-system known as the Microsoft Cloud which is inclusive of many excellent SaaS offerings. Combined with identity management products, our customers find that they can use a single username and password to access any SaaS delivered app, providing a seamless experience between cloud services.
Azure is expensive, why don't I just buy the hardware outright?
You could, but Azure offers what you need with an underlying guarantee as to its availability. Additionally, within Cloud many more of the costs of delivering the service are exposed and included within the price you pay. Within on-premises workloads much of this can be hidden (as much as 60% by some reports) in power, hosting, infrastructure and staffing costs.
Commercially Azure offers a pay as you go model, removing large upfront capital purchases and enabling you to buy the capacity you need for day 1, not day 1000 as it would be if you purchased the infrastructure on-premises. This offers a cost effective model that scales (or shrinks) with your business, as its often difficult to pick what your business will be doing in 3 years and sizing infrastructure accordingly.
Are there any hidden charges within Azure?
Not really, but there are variable charges to be aware of such as egress data charges that can vary month to month depending on your usage. With proper design such charges will be much more known and less variable as we can architect the optimal delivery model.
What's the biggest problems with Azure?
Rapid evolution of the Azure platform has occasionally left web-based documentation unable to keep up with the pace of change. What this can mean is that unless you spend all of your time within Azure (like the folks at Azured), you can often find the documentation lacking or non-existent. Moreover, Azure requires a blend of Development and Infrastructure skill sets with the bare minimum being a proficiency with PowerShell. We at Azured cannot emphasise enough the importance of investing in training and becoming familiar with what Azure is and its every day operational needs.
From a commercial perspective without adequate controls its easy for a subscription to begin to sprawl and start to eat into your budget when you have many different people working within a single subscription and absence of centralised control and accountability.