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4 Microsoft Azure Cloud Features That Can Tip the Scales for Businesses

By admin on July 26th 2016

There’s a point with any technology where adoption is not enough. Take cell phones. At first, making and receiving calls outside the office was the competitive edge. Then came universal cell phone adoption and the primary advantage of the technology shifted to having extra features at your fingertips. Day planners, texting, web browsing, productivity tools, and millions of other apps all had the potential to enhance your performance.

Now, implementing basic cloud computing is no longer enough. Many companies have adopted cloud computing services or applications into their technical toolkit, diminishing the outright novelty. What matters now for cloud services are the extra ways they fortify businesses. When it comes to Microsoft Azure cloud features, the following four can shift the IT game in your favor.

1.) Faster, Secure Solutions with ExpressRoute

There’s a baseline set of benefits that everyone gets from cloud services. Greater IT accessibility, improved data recovery, and decreased hardware costs all come as part of the no-frills package. Yet, speed and data security differ greatly between services. Even among Microsoft users, there is a big difference between the typical Microsoft Azure cloud features and what’s available through Microsoft’s premium ExpressRoute.

What’s the difference? Compare a public highway to your own personal express lane. With Microsoft Azure, speeds are generally fast, but sometimes peak hours come with greater latency. With ExpressRoute, your users are the only ones using your designated connection to data centres. Connection speeds are faster and more secure thanks to your exclusive, non-Internet traversing access. 

2.) Easier Configuration Management

New tech advancements always create new headaches. Cloud computing is no exception. By increasing the number of machines businesses can access, the challenge of coordinating and maintaining complicated technical configurations arises. Thankfully, Microsoft Azure takes that into account and packages some pain relieving options into their services.

Of the Microsoft Azure cloud features, easy compatibility with open source configuration management tools like Puppet and Chef is a huge advantage. The ease of configuring virtual machines through these configuration management tools stays simple because Azure fits like a glove.

3.) Azure Connections across Regions

Microsoft Azure offers tailored values to businesses based on their geographic spread. Those strictly situated in Atlantic Canada get the benefit of data residency now provided by the Microsoft Canadian Datacentres. But for those businesses that, when plotted out on a map, have locations spread out like a large fast food chain, one of the Microsoft Azure cloud features matters far more than data residency.

Previously, few cloud computing services facilitated simple virtual network to virtual network connectivity. However, Microsoft Azure worked to bridge the gap. Through its current features, Azure can connect two different virtual networks across regions with minimal effort. This allows multi-tier applications spread across virtual networks to communicate in a secure and more cohesive way. Plus, the geo-redundancy prevents data interruption. That way, IT accessibility never falls through the crack.

4.) Better Cloud Collaboration

In the past, businesses often were stuck with a self-guided tour of which existing tools worked within their newfangled cloud computing services. Which ones easily integrate with your cloud selection? Finding the answer took more research than most companies were willing to invest in.

Microsoft Azure has simplified the whole process. As of right now, there are over 1,200 third-party SaaS apps supported through the Microsoft Azure Active Directory. Finding out which of your favorite applications integrate into your cloud setup is as simple as accessing the Cloud App Discovery tool.

Plus, the Cloud App Discovery tool also helps identify which tools are used most frequently and which need to be prioritized in your IT spend.

Finding the Microsoft Azure Cloud Features for You

These four are just the tip of the iceberg of Microsoft Azure cloud features. Depending on the IT network and infrastructure in place within your business, there are plenty of other options available to you. Finding the right ones often requires the trained eye of someone who deals with Microsoft Azure cloud services day in and day out.

Our own experience with picking the right Microsoft Azure cloud features for our clients has helped us to achieve incredible results for our clients. Schedule a free cloud readiness assessment to see how we can get your business cloud ready.