5 Easy Ways to get Started with Microsoft Azure

I recently heard that if the rate of change outside of your organization is faster than the rate of change inside your organization you will likely be left behind. I think the same can be said for an individual. I know for a fact that if you told me 8 or 9 years ago that I would be deploying a website to the Cloud (or that I wanted to) I would have laughed. 8 or 9 years ago I walked out of my final exam for “Foundations of Management Information Systems” and ecstatically threw away the notecards I diligently made for weeks and thought to myself, “I’ll never have to understand technology definitions again.” I cannot think of a better example of the phrase, “never say never.”  While I definitely don’t know everything about technology, I do know 5 ways you can get started with Microsoft Azure that will immediately impact your organization by lowering costs, providing higher reliability and better support whether you work at a start up or an enterprise level organization.

  1. Data Storage: StorSimple is a hybrid storage solution that manages storage tasks between on-premises devices and Azure cloud storage. StorSimple customers can see up to 60% savings and can take advantage of the following features like tiering, local volume, cloud snapshot and data deduplication (details can be found on Microsoft’s site here). This is a great solution if you are not quite ready to move all of your data to the cloud because you are able to decide what data you want to keep on-premises and what data can move to Microsoft Azure.  StorSimple also saves time since it eliminates the need to order SANs.
  2. Single sign-on with Azure Active Directory premium: Azure Active Directory Premium offers a number of benefits but one main benefit is single sign-on. Single sign-on with Azure AD Premium includes multi-factor authentication, single-sign on to diverse SaaS applications and a simpler identity administration like self service password resets for SaaS applications and reports for who accessed which application.
  3. VMs on demand with development and test environments: Dev/Test environments provide a fast and simple way to get inexpensive VMs. You can use Microsoft provided VHDs or use your own Windows or Linux VHD and users can access cloud VMs as if they were local.  In Dev/Test environments VMs can be shut down when not in use, for example nights or weekends.
  4. Disaster Recovery: Database failover to Azure allows you to create automated recovery plans and  Azure Site Recovery can cover a range of scenarios including Database Disaster Recovery to full workload Disaster Recovery. Azure Site Recovery lowers costs, provides a diverse set of recovery options and eliminates the need to maintain a dedicated facility just for disaster recovery.
  5. Moving your existing applications to Azure by leveraging IaaS or PaaS: IaaS allows you to pay for what you use and allows you to scale up and down based on demand. PaaS solutions increase the speed of development since the platform already exists, lowers management cost because the platform maintains the environment for you and lowers risk because there are fewer thing to be configured reducing opportunities for error.

If you are saying to yourself, we will never go to the cloud, I caution you to never say never.  While not all 5 scenarios may make sense for your company today, I am confident that at least 1 scenario can add immediate value for every single organization.

Nebbia Technology can assist you with implementing these 5 items and more.  Contact us today to see how we can help you leverage Azure for your organization.

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Chelsea Coster