Azure Cloud

Immediately after assuming office as Microsoft’s CEO in 2014, Satya Nadella announced his Cloud-First strategy to leverage the massive public Cloud market, which has a total worth of about $208 billion.  The company is now making it easier for small and large businesses around the world to migrate their assets to its Azure Cloud platform, which has become the top competitor of Amazon Web Services. Earlier this month, the Redmond-based software giant launched a set of new tools that will help organizations to use the Hybrid Cloud approach with its Azure Cloud platform. The suite includes a free Cloud Migration Assessment tool, Azure Site Recovery tool that helps in migrating virtual machines to the Cloud, and Azure Hybrid Use Benefit feature through which customers can get a 40% discount on using their Windows Server licenses to migrate to the Azure platform.

Perhaps the best part of the newly launched tools by Microsoft is the new Cloud migration assessment tool, which helps organizations to estimate the costs involved in migrating their servers and data infrastructure to the Azure Cloud platform.  Businesses around the world are reluctant to move their servers and data to the Cloud amid scarcity of knowledge about the technology and uncertainties involved in performance, costs and benefits.

Microsoft said in the press release that 90% of the companies prefer hybrid Cloud model, which is a combination of public Cloud infrastructure and on-premise servers and private data storage options. The new tools will help companies which are specifically interested in moving to Azure’s hybrid Cloud platform. Cloud migration is a step-by-step and evolving process. A hybrid Cloud approach lets businesses better assess their performance, costs, agility and efficiency by incorporating Cloud with legacy on-premises back-end systems. A survey conducted by market research firm Gartner also shows that a majority of companies around the world prefer hybrid Cloud platforms.

When businesses and enterprises in general think of Cloud migration, data recovery and security in times of disaster is the biggest risk which they consider. Microsoft’s new Azure Site Recovery tool promises automatic replication of virtual machines, protection of Microsoft Hyper-V, VMware and physical servers. Site recovery tool also enables the Azure Cloud platform to act as a recovery site when needed. Site Recovery tool is powered by Orchestrated Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) feature that helps restore services quickly in time of system failures and extreme loads. Site Recovery tool constantly tracks and monitors your resources, websites and data items from Azure. All communication of remote sites with Azure is encrypted.

Azure Hybrid Use Benefit is also an attractive feature announced by Microsoft to garner and retain new customers. Companies which have on-premises Windows Server licenses can now migrate to Windows Server VMs in Azure just for an annual fee of $1777, compared to a normal fee of $2964. Azure-based Virtual Machines let businesses to perform on-demand scaling, deploy new virtual machines and optimize performance easily.

Microsoft has also made a dedicated Cloud migration page where companies can learn more about their crucial Cloud migration decisions.


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