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Microsoft Azure is a cloud computing service from Microsoft. With Azure, businesses and organizations can build, manage, and deploy applications on Microsoft’s global networking, using customizable tools and frameworks.
Azure supports any tool, language, or framework, providing access to 100+ services to provide a comprehensive cloud computing platform. Azure has as broad set of hybrid computing capabilities, with support for working in the cloud or on-premises.
According to Microsoft, Windows Server, SQL Server PaaS, and SQL Server IaaS are significantly more affordable alternatives to other software in their categories. Users can lower costs if they have existing licenses, reserve resources in advance, or move specific workloads to Azure, all dependent on the particular organization’s situation.
An example of some of the service areas Azure covers:
AI + Machine Learning
Internet of Things
Windows Virtual Desktop
Frequently Asked Questions
- Over time, Microsoft has established itself as a reliable technology partner, providing useful analysis tools such as compute, bandwidth, and memory usage statistics.
- I prefer Azure Functions over AWS because it is cheaper and easier to use than AWS for ready-to-go services. It's simple to ship Node.js functions without any additional dependencies.
- Using Microsoft's tuning techniques, its applications are always improving in terms of both functionality and usability.
- The UI is intuitive and includes multiple Microsoft tools, and the service integration and implementation for various solutions are excellent.
- The cost of resources is difficult to determine, technical documentation is frequently out of date, and documentation and mapping capabilities are lacking.
- The documentation needs to be improved, and some advanced configuration options require research and experimentation.
- Microsoft's licensing scheme is too complex for the average user, and Azure SQL syntax is too different from traditional SQL.
- Cloud Computing
- Integrate different services in one platform
- Application management
- Data management
- Increase the mass accessibility by increasing speed of the server
- Add more customization button to their dashboard
- Create access of large number of ports
- Cloud Networking
- SD WAN access with Azure
- Cloud Computing | Pools/Farms for Virtual Desktop Infrastructure
- Azure AD for authentication and extending domains
- Subscriptions model
- Phone Support / Technical Support
We are using MS Azure platform to host clients mobile apps, users can access and distribute application from same platform making it really easy to use, maintain and update.
- User Interface
- Ease of Learning
- Virtual Desktop/Environments
- Consistency of location of settings
- Networking Diagrams and settings
- Azure simply provides end to end life cycle. Starting from the development to automated deployment, you will find [a] bunch of options. Custom hook-points allow [integration] on-premise resources as well.
- Excellent documentation around all the services make it really easy for any novice. Overall support by [the] community and Azure Technical team is exceptional.
- BOT Services, Computer Vision services, ML frameworks provide excellent results as compare to similar services provided by other giants in the same space.
- Azure data services provide excellent support to ingest data from different sources, ETL, and consumption of data for BI purpose.
- The reliability of hardware is low as [compared] to AWS. Sometimes processes of allocation, deallocation of resources take quite a long time without having any intimation. If the instances are costly, such delay in stopping incurs extra cost.
- Overall cost is much higher for ML and BI Services. Basic storage and compute cost is also bit more as compare to AWS.
- Azure can surely do better with overall DevOps support. Cloud formation needs [a] lot more maturity and features.
- Granularity of Configuration
- IoT Offerings
- Azure Functions is the easiest serverless service to work with in my experience. Easy to ship Node.js functions without bundling dependencies.
- Proactive and responsive support. We've worked with most other cloud providers - Amazon, Google, Oracle. Amazon Web Services' customer support is a black hole and their documentation is worthless. Google and Oracle are better, but Azure's support is responsive and their docs are pretty good.
- Azure's Web UI is pretty easy to work with
- Azure REST API is a bit difficult to use, which made it difficult for us to automate our interactions with Azure.
- Azure's Web UI does a good job of showing metrics on individual VMs, but it would be great if there was a way to show certain metrics from multiple VMs on one dashboard. For example, hard drive usage on our database VMs.
[Microsoft] Azure has allowed us to quickly and reliably connect to information across our network in a seamless fashion. We are able to share links and data very quickly. It also allows us the advantage to use PowerBI to access data from many different departments because they are all in one place.
- The product is constantly evolving both in terms of features and user-friendliness.
- Microsoft effectively tunes for their own applications
- Microsoft Azure functions can run be hosted and run inside of Kubernetes. This allows solutions based on Azure functions cloud agnostic.
- Could be easier to setup redundancy
- Feels as if there are too many options, bells, and whistles you could add.
- Microsoft Azure functions does not have a "Configure Services" method. Programming Azure functions has a slightly different programming model than does a "normal" API application. I would prefer that the startup process be identical.
- Azure Active Directory is the top of the list. No organization can be without a robust and capable identity management system for the users. having the identities managed in the cloud means that your people can potentially be authenticated to more systems everywhere, allowing more work to get done more securely.
- Azure in general is strong because of how it can scale - not only in terms of scaling up capacity of an individual service, but also scale out to include more connected services to drive more value and solve more problems in the business. The scaled-out solutions with other products will just flat out work with the rest of what you already have in Azure, making the journey easier.
- During our initial stages with Azure (years ago), we had several hybrid scenarios going, where we had portions of a service on-premises while other portions were in Azure. Active Directory was a good example. The Hybrid story got better and better and made "jumping to the cloud" less of an abrupt jump and more of a careful walk. The Hybrid ease has probably only gotten better since then.
- While not unique to just Azure, the truth of the matter is, no on-prem data center at any organization can match the power, speed, and expandability of a cloud service like Azure. If you are a Microsoft shop with lots of Windows, Office, and other related systems running already, moving to Azure (and Office 365 as well) is worth considering.
- I know cost is a barrier for many organizations. The retail prices may seem high and may be out of reach now, but with careful planning and negotiation, along with a realistic sense of what you can do now verses what you could be doing in the future, the costs should even out.
- The Learning Curve. While possibly daunting and new, the general concepts of "the cloud" can be easily mastered. Diving deeper into any given service will provide a normal amount of learning challenges (high, but can be overcome). The biggest thing about the learning curve is learning about all the changes and the speed at which those changes are happening. Managing any of the Azure services is different than managing the equivalent on-premises service. There may be some slight differences, but the pace of change and enhancements and capacity of the Azure equivalence can be very difficulty to wrap your mind around. "Keeping up" is probably a better term than "learning curve" here.
- Although getting better, there is still a sense or fear of an organization "putting all their eggs in one basket", with a single vendor handling so much technology. More support for integration with other cloud services is ramping up, which is good.
- PAAS and SAAS services
- networking is some times a bit complicated
In case you do it because it could be cheaper - leave it - most times you first have to spend money to be able to save some money in the future.
- From what I've seen, resources like VGPU are more accessible than other services.
- For windows VPNs they are perhaps the most affordable.
- Sales is present but not pushy.
- Billing information is scarce to the point of negligence.
- Cost analysis and per-service cost is misleading, if not outright false.
- Billing support is in no hurry to answer specific questions, let alone resolve anything. Expect an automated email with links to vaguely similar documentation topics.
- Windows Licensing Fees are not present most services.
- Powered by Microsoft the organization behind Windows.
- Month to month newsletter about training materials and certifications.
- Easy Signup process than others just add number, address, identify and done.
- Bandwidth Alerts and management.
- Packages for VPN services which use enormous amount of data.
- Simplified control panel, as it looks so confusing to untrained eyes.
- Hard to get used to and often need to search for items instead of them being visible.
- Integrate with programs.
- Automate process.
- Super secure cloud.
- Learn how to use it.
- So many options that we could miss one.
- Ease of use
- Easy implementation
- Smooth functionality
- More extensive video library instead of written documentation
- More customized reporting ability
- Longer "included" vendor support
- Hybrid Cloud
- Intuitive UX & HMI layout
- Native & No SQL database Support
- Express Route Connection
- Less flexibility about non-Windows server platforms
- Improved Customer service
- Pricing Model
- Capability for developers and users to create, maintain and deploy applications
- Fully scalable cloud computing platform offers open access across multiple languages, frameworks, and tools
- Total support for Microsoft legacy apps
- Greater awareness of enterprise needs
- Easy one-click migrations in many cases
- Conversion of On-Prem licenses to the cloud environment
- Support for mixed Linux/Windows environments
- Advanced support and telemetry capabilities
- Intuitive UI integrated with multiple tools from Microsoft (i.e. Visual Studio, PowerShell)
- Fantastic scalability and performance
- Great integration capabilities across all services
- Rapid implementations speed for multiple solution types
- Fast pace of tech advancements means that technical documentation is often outdated
- Some advanced configuration options require research and experimentation
- Azure SQL syntax is a too far of a departure from the classic SQL
- Infrastructure documentation and mapping capabilities are lacking
- Microsoft's licensing model is too complex for a regular user to figure out
- Cloud directory service, enabling single-sign-on and application integration with a directory source
- Integrating user identities without providing access to the company’s internal Directory Service from outside of the network/security perimeter.
- Easy management from anywhere via internet access and a browser.
- Not a fan of MS’s implementation of SAML via ADFS. A few inconsistencies in comparison to other industry-standard implementations.
- Documentation: We had tons of trouble at first, resolving issues with Federating identities and using across platforms with MS Office and other platforms. MS was aware, but information across their different cloud teams wasn’t well-shared at the time and made for long hours troubleshooting and resolving issues.
It addresses customer usability and comfort as well as optimizing device maintenance and service costs.
- Microsoft has become over time a trusted technology partner
- Good to work together on solving and finding the fitting technical solution
- The IOPS of the VM offerings is inferior compared to competition, cause bottlenecks on IOPS intensive loads
Microsoft Azure direct support might be improved in some cases.
- To run the application in Cloud services and host in web servers.
- To create virtual machine on the need basis and destroy after its use.
- To create secure database in cloud to have easy access.
- Identifying the cost of the resources is not straight forward.
- Configuring firewalls and restricting access to the virtual machine is time consuming.
- Need to improve the documentation to help creating the resources easily.
- Almost zero downtime of services
- Good analysis support like compute, bandwidth and memory usage
- Cost efficient as compared to AWS and best for ready to go services
- Cost management can be improved
- Team management experience can be improved
- Pricing calculator is good but it can be improved
As with many companies, it is addressing the 'elastic' demands, specially for Dev/PreProd environments... Many times we need to deploy temporary environments for some applications and we don't have enough time to purchase an expansion on our OnPrem environment. Cloud is a great escape for this situation.
Also, It addresses the need of retaining Archived files and Backups for long term. We were able to bring great savings with Data Archiving solution in place today.
- Elasticity - the ability to expand and reduce in a few clicks.
- The huge variety of services it delivers (from VMs, to Containers, Storage, etc.)
- Reliability - if it is properly built, it is highly available.
- Complexity - due to its huge variety of services, it may be complex to implement and manage.
- Latency (performance) - if you don't have good connectivity (MS Express Route recommended for medium/large companies) you can have latency between your on-prem and cloud environments, which makes it not so interesting for some use cases.
For example, in our company, we have a lot of Calculation/Analysis systems, that have significant impacts if running through WAN (due to network latency), as they have millions of interactions between the Workstations and the App Server. In these cases, Cloud is not a good solution for us.
They're pretty efficient! Tickets resolutions are fast and we always had product Experts/Engineers to work with us on the cases.
- High Availability
- Ease of use
- Hybrid cloud
- Technical Support
- Open source features are lacking
We also have a website app meant for internal use and use the SendGrid account connector. It is really nice to have easy white-listing for everything: websites, databases, etc. that we can trust. We host everything here instead of making servers VPN into our office.
Additionally, we have a site-to-site VPN between our offices and Azure. That works well and enabled us to turn off much of our public access.
We use the built-in VM backup tools and those have been really easy to use right there on Azure. Also, the snapshots automatically built into databases we have used several times. It creates a new database from a snapshot from every few hours from up to almost 30 days ago and then you just copy over whatever data you need.
- Snapshots of databases are just built-in and super easy to choose one to recover from.
- It's the way we sync our local domain controller with Office 365. I'm not aware of another option to do this. It has some limitations, but at least it keeps all the passwords in sync.
- Samba file shares have been really nice. As long as the ISPs involved allow them, it's the easiest way to set up mapped drives shared with others. The performance is slow, but it's fine.
- It is easy to manage the static public and private IPs that are being used, in one central place.
- Adding extra data disks to VMS is nice and easy. The performance has been fine for our general use.
- The AD sync between Office 365 and our controller syncs passwords well enough, but data is a pain. Usually, you have to update everything in AD and can't from anywhere else after you turn on the syncing.
- Need more security controls and file-level access controls on SMB shares, unless I'm missing something.
- More tooltips on settings would be helpful, at least if you turn on a novice mode or something. It's built for system admins and has a steep learning curve for people doing basic things.
- Responsible customer support
- The web apps work fairly well
- Offers easier creation of hybrid clouds
- Availability of so many services
- A lot of features on beta tests
- Interface still feels overly complicated
- No other issues was identified