Azure, definitely good for a Microsoft-based business.
August 19, 2019

Azure, definitely good for a Microsoft-based business.

Justin Bongard | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with Microsoft Azure

We use our Azure storage accounts for blob storage and SMB shares. They don't work on all ISP providers or hotspots. They work on Verizon fiber and cellular hotspots but not one of our local ISPs. We use the SQL server and database services. I really like how easy it is to scale them up and down, live.
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.
  • We continue to move things to Azure because it's so flexible. If we were buying physical machines, at times they would be undersized, and other times, they would be very wasted. Azure allows us to scale things as needed. It has taken the responsibility of purchasing expensive equipment off our shoulders
  • It's much easier to keep archiving files to an SMB share on Azure than keep upgrading our NAS here. We don't hold back. If there's 1% chance we'll need a file but we don't want it around right now, we'll dump it up there.
  • It gives us better peace of mind for the security of systems to just get the service and not have to maintain all of the security patches for every OS to host those services.
It's very usable, but at times complicated because of all the capabilities.
Even the paid tier level of support didn't blow me away.
We do everything Microsoft and wanted the thing that would most easily be compatible with everything out of the gate. Pricing was comparable. It made sense to us.
OneDrive, Microsoft Office 365, Comodo Advanced Endpoint Protection (AEP), Comodo Antivirus
I think it's well suited for just about everything I've done so far. I don't know how it compares to other options like AWS, but for us, it's been working great.

Using Microsoft Azure

10 - 
  • Web developer
  • Application developer
  • Network engineer
  • System Admin
6 - To manage it, you just need to learn it. It's its own software you have to learn. It helps to already have networking and software development experience, but mostly, just learn the parts you need to and use and don't worry about learning it all. You can't. It's too much.
  • SQL databases
  • SMB shares
  • Active Directory sync services
  • VM servers, like to host our Domain Controller
  • Sharing files instantly with clients by using an SMB share. We send them a bat file to mount it, then we all have access to it without passwords, usernames, etc.
We see no reason to move anything off of it.