Moving to the Microsoft Azure™ Cloud
Amir Tabei | TrustRadius Reviewer
August 07, 2014

Moving to the Microsoft Azure™ Cloud

Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Overall Satisfaction with Windows Azure

We moved our entire SCM4Good platform and the SCM4Hunger Warehouse Management module to the Microsoft Azure Cloud. This provides important gains in performance, reliability, and redundancy. In particular, Microsoft’s Content Delivery Network, with nodes in more than 16 countries worldwide, closes the distance for many of our developing country users in terms of Internet geography, and has given noticeable response-time improvements. Nathan Au, Project Manager for FareShare Brighton and Hove noted: “We use Aidmatrix’ SCM4Hunger to help receive, warehouse and dispatch food to our hunger agencies every day. We know we run high transaction volumes, especially during peak times each week. When Aidmatrix moved to the Microsoft Azure Cloud it was like night and day for us. We saw dramatic performance improvement in response times on average of 4x faster, in some situations it went as high as 10x. It’s amazing what a difference running the same application on the Azure Cloud can make. Now we can focus that much more time on getting food to those who are hungry.”
  • Easily scalable- You can adjust your resources as your customers grow
  • Preview Portal is a one stop dashboard to your infrastructure, application and financial elements to your instances
  • Worldwide locations to release your VM's where your customers are located
  • Affordable - You can control your cost without investing in hardware or other resources
  • Up to last week, I could have mentioned couple of shortfalls but they were all released with the new portal. Now I can easily see my estimated expenditure with each VM's individually
  • One of our key success stories with Azure is with our client who is in UK. When we migrated our application to Azure the performance level increased 10 fold. This is a direct quote from our customer - Nathan Au, Project Manager for FareShare Brighton and Hove noted: “We use Aidmatrix’ SCM4Hunger to help receive, warehouse and dispatch food to our hunger agencies every day. We know we run high transaction volumes, especially during peak times each week. When Aidmatrix moved to the Microsoft Azure Cloud it was like night and day for us. We saw dramatic performance improvement in response times on average of 4x faster, in some situations it went as high as 10x. It’s amazing what a difference running the same application on the Azure Cloud can make. Now we can focus that much more time on getting food to those who are hungry.”
  • Second success story is moving our Microsoft Replication Server to Azure Cloud for our SCM4Good Offline application. As our customers are in remote areas in Africa they need to sync their offline app with our replication server. The syncing time has dramatically reduced with Azure and produces less errors.
We have been one of Microsoft's Azure beta users from the beginning and we worked closely with Microsoft in migration effort. We have used several cloud applications before including Rackspace. Azure's large footprint was the key for us as our applications are SaaS and used worldwide. The ability for me to quickly and easily move servers from West US, to Asia, West Europe, etc.. was very important.
Moving to Azure was and still is an organizational strategy and not simply changing vendors. Our product roadmap revolved around Azure as we are in the business of humanitarian relief and Azure and Microsoft play an important part in quickly and efficiently serving all of the world. Migration and investment in Azure should be considered as an overall strategy of an organization and communicated companywide.
If you are going to use Azure solely as VM farm then it's easy to migrate. If you plan to move a legacy application auch as Azure Native, migration can be tricky. For example we had one application that had a third party (blue rhino) element and it had some compatibility issues that we had to re-write our app. Another would be moving an Oracle database to Azure as it needs to be the new version of Oracle. Azure Cloud doesn't accept Oracle 9G.

Using Windows Azure

20 - The entire Delivery Team who are consistent of Architects and Engineers on a daily basis code and support our SaaS applications hosted on Azure Cloud. There are three platforms; SCM4Good, SCM4Giving and SCM4Hunger. More than 50,000+ leading business, nonprofit and government partners leverage
our supply chain management software to accelerate their humanitarian relief
work. Programs include international aid & development, hunger relief,
disaster relief, and more.
5 - Microsoft Azure is used by Architects, Sr. Architects and our Director of Engineering for creation of servers, deployments and migrations. I as the VP of Delivery use the preview portal for monitoring the resources and dashboard and also to estimate the cost and budget.
  • Redundancy
  • Worldwide locations where I have footprint
  • Cost control
  • SCM4Good offline syncing with MS Replication on Azure
  • We are not tapping into using Azure for Mobile Apps

Evaluating Windows Azure and Competitors

Yes - We have not finished completing all of our migration but we are replacing a cloud space we had with Rackspace for our sandboxes and a full rack co-location with another vendor. The reason was a strategic move to partner with Microsoft to have all of our application in Azure Cloud and delivered in multiple locations around the world.
  • Price
  • Existing Relationship with the Vendor
Since we had a good partnership with Microsoft and we also had a grant from Microsoft specific for the migration I wouldn't change anything.

Windows Azure Implementation

As I have mentioned before the issue with my Oracle Mismatch Version issues that have put a delay on moving one of my platforms will justify my 7 rating.
Yes - During the last two years we have been working on a strategy of moving each platform by themselves in terms of customer priority.
Change management was a big part of the implementation and was well-handled
  • Time - it took a little longer than we thought due to internal resources issues but not with Azure readiness

Windows Azure Support

The only reason I didn't give it a 10 rating as support is expensive.
ProsCons
Quick Resolution
Good followup
Knowledgeable team
Problems get solved
Kept well informed
Immediate help available
Support cares about my success
Quick Initial Response
None
Yes - Yes it was resolved quickly and with satisfaction.
I have not really had a major issues yet to answer this correctly.

Using Windows Azure

As a VP i'm not your typical technical person and I'm able to easily use Azure in technical matters so I believe 9 is correct rating.
ProsCons
Like to use
Relatively simple
Easy to use
Technical support not required
Well integrated
Consistent
Quick to learn
Convenient
Feel confident using
Familiar
None
  • Scaling
  • Cost management
  • Monitoring
  • Migration of application from one subscription to another Azure subscription
  • Deployment of some products that have unsupported 3rd party apps
  • Deployment of Oracle product due to version mismatch