Businesses can’t ask where they want to be in 5 years without considering where they want their technology to be as well. The way we handle our IT solutions has a direct impact on how we handle business, growth, and disaster. So how do we build solutions now that will work later? By building solutions that can evolve over time!
The need to build forward-thinking solutions with existing hardware is why understanding Azure is key to your next step.
In our blog last week, we talked about The Benefits of Using Microsoft Azure, discussing why Azure is one of our cloud solutions of choice, and the merits of its security, support and cost. In this post, we’re getting a little more technical and talking about IaaS and PaaS, the two basic services Cloud Providers offer its users.
Azure is Microsoft's cloud platform. Users can buy service for storage, hosting, or running applications on-demand from its global network of data centers which houses servers, storage, and software. It supports some of the largest number of operating systems, devices, database languages, and tools. Azure’s primary options are IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) and PaaS (Platform as a Service).
IaaS: What You Get, How To Use It, Why It Matters
- No on-premises server that you have to manage and maintain
- Access to Microsoft data centers, servers, storage and software.
- Run your applications, operating system, and manage your data
- Increase your blob storage and power
- Create hybrid solutions for on-premises and off
- Integrate Azure with your IT and use as much or as little cloud as you need.
- Add security through secure private connections, data residency, and encryption features
- Disaster recovery: have data on site and in the cloud
- Increased security
- Business as usual if on-premises servers fail
- Hybrid IT options (on-premises and off)
- Cost + flexibility
- Scalability for growth and/or use
Services Available Within AZURE IAAS Include:
- Compute Services allowing you to decide how many processors, cores, and how much RAM you want in your virtual machine.
- Storage Services allowing you to decide how much and what type of storage you require. This could be object based or file based and you even have options to pay more for fast storage that you will access often or pay less for long term, slower storage for things such as archiving
- Networking services allowing you to assign IP Addresses, create enhanced security groups, deploy load balancers, and build that bridge between your existing data center and the Azure Cloud.
PaaS: What You GetHow to Use It Why It Matters
- Off-premises platform for building, testing, deploying, and managing cloud based applications
- Development tools, business analytics features, and workflow, security, or scheduling features
- Ability to provide the CPU, memory, and storage for applications as-needed
- Manage your service/product while PaaS handles your network and infrastructure.
- Improve development, testing, and deployment speed
- Streamline development, deployment, and management through one platform instead of buying software licenses for each application
- Improve access and stability by scaling usage as needed
- IaaS benefits +
- Cut development time for applications
- Add development capabilities
- Application lifecycle management
- Improve remote development
Services Available Within AZURE PAAS Include:
- SQL on Azure which provides a fully functioning installed SQL environment already installed and working for you so you don’t have to worry about installing, maintaining, or patching the operating system and SQL Server application.
- Development environments that are completely managed by Microsoft including all licensing, runtimes, and frameworks, so that these tools are already deployed and all you need to do is take advantage of them to develop your application in your language of choice. You can even take advantage of other easily accessible services such as Analytics and Business Intelligence tools.
Depending on your business, one of the above may be more appealing than the other. Learning about both should help you see how your current solutions can benefit from Azure’s features.
Even for those of us with infrastructure in place, there are excellent options to leverage our on-site assets, benefit from off-site infrastructure and still be thinking 5 years ahead.
Learn more about Azure as you think ahead! We recommend reading What is Azure Overview and Azure Solutions for more information.