What is Microsoft Azure?

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We’ve all been there: in a conversation where you’ve never heard of the thing being talked about. You don’t say anything; you just occasionally nod in agreement and smile as if you know about the topic. If that topic was ever Microsoft Azure, this blog post is for you. We’ll be talking about what it is, why it’s great, and how it’s priced.

Azure is a cloud computing service created by Microsoft. Developers and IT professionals use it for building, testing, deploying and managing applications through a global network of data centres. It gives you the freedom to build and deploy wherever you want, using the tools and frameworks of your choice.

What are the benefits?

  • Speed. Microsoft Azure is fast. Really, really fast. You can see this in its deployment, operation and scalability. An on-premises server simply can’t keep up.
  • Agility. You can test, feedback and retry applications while you’re developing them. This gives you the freedom to try out new technologies all the time. If you think something’s not for you, you can stop using it without setting up new infrastructures or throwing away cash.
  • Security. Microsoft are industry leaders when it comes to data protection. Azure’s single sign-on service helps keep passwords secure, which is handy if you’ve got a lot of sensitive data.
  • Compliance. This is another area where Microsoft have done the hard work for you. Azure has more compliance certificates than any other cloud provider, and gives you control of your data.
  • Flexible costs. With Azure, you only pay for the services you want to use. If you need more, you can spend more. If you need less, you can spend less. You can get rid of under-used services without changing any infrastructure.
  • Disaster recovery. Azure has regional and global disaster recovery options. This might not be at front of your mind when you start using it, but reassurance is always a good feeling to have.
  • Remote deployment. With tools like Azure Stack, you can deploy applications from wherever you are.

How is it priced?

You can create an Azure account for free. If you find it’s not for you, there’s no charge for deleting your account either.

As we said earlier, you only have to pay for the Azure services that you want to use. These are billed on a per-minute basis, and exact costs vary between the services. You can get a good idea of Azure will cost you, by using Microsoft’s handy pricing calculator.

What’s next?

It’s one thing to hear about how Azure can help your business. See it for yourself by checking out our Azure services, or by getting in touch.