Microsoft Azure, Microsoft’s premiere cloud platform, has contributed to significant revenue growth for Microsoft since its launch in 2010, coinciding with the company’s ongoing transition into the cloud market by forming strategic partnerships with cloud leaders like Salesforce.com. Not only does Azure boast strong platform-as-a-service (PaaS) capabilities, but the solution is currently the only major cloud platform that is a leader for infrastructure as a service (IaaS), as ranked by Gartner. Recently, Forbes predicted that annual revenue for Azure would be close to $2.3 billion.

 

Azure is gaining traction as the cloud infrastructure of choice for many IT professionals. Here are five reasons these pros are turning to Azure as their cloud platform of choice—and perhaps why your organization should also consider doing so:

 

1. Closely integrated with other Microsoft tools: For organizations that are reliant on Microsoft tools like SharePoint (which was recently ranked the No.1 platform for enterprise collaboration), Office 365 and Outlook, investing in a cloud platform that seamlessly integrates with Microsoft products makes sense. Organizations can also use the same virtual machines in Azure that they use on-premises, like Windows and Linux, which further simplifies operations. Many industry experts expect Azure to slowly but surely gain adoption due to this ability to offer users a completely seamless and integrated service package.

 

2. Excellent, reputable standing: Microsoft is considered one of the most credible and reliable long-standing brands in history. The company’s technology powers some of the world’s most recognizable and widely used tools such as Skype, Bing and Xbox. For many organizations, especially those smaller in size, this brings a certain security to deploying Azure. In fact, in a recent survey conducted by The Virtualization Practice, the majority of Azure users said they deployed the platform because they considered Microsoft a trusted industry leader.

 

3. IaaS and PaaS: As mentioned, Azure boasts an enticing combination of IaaS (managed) and PaaS (unmanaged) services. IaaS enables companies to outsource their cloud computing infrastructure and pay for only for what they use. PaaS allows companies to create their own Web apps and/or software without having to buy and maintain the underlying infrastructure. This enables organizations to customize their cloud software—like Office 365, for example—to meet their exact specifications and requirements. Because Azure is an industry leader in both of these categories, companies can more quickly and easily build, deploy and manage applications.

 

4. Reliability: Continuing on point No. 2 listed above, Azure is backed by Microsoft’s growing number of global managed data centers; currently, the company has data centers across 19 regions. Furthermore, the company boasts 99.95 percent availability and 24/7 tech support and health monitoring.

 

5. Strong BI and analytics support: Azure provides managed SQL and NoSQL data services and built-in support for digging deeper into data and uncovering key insights for improving business processes and decision making. Specifically, organizations can leverage their SQL Server in the cloud and can use HDInsight, Microsoft Azure’s Apache Hadoop-based cloud service, to build Hadoop clusters to more deeply analyze data.

 

You know what your organizational goals are, and AAJ knows Azure. Our team, including many MVP-certified reps, includes the largest number of Azure-certified developers in our home state of Florida. If you want to learn more about how to use Azure within your organization, please contact us. Get to know us better by reading this blog about Azure Mobile Services.