What Is Microsoft Azure And Why Use It?

Written by True Topia

November 27, 2020

As one of the most efficient cloud service providers, Microsoft Azure offers users cost-efficient and management friendly services. It aids businesses or companies in virtual computing, cloud data storage, computing solutions and, the like.

Azure is the first choice for many companies due to its reliability. More than 95% of Fortune-500 companies use Microsoft Azure and trust its services. 

What Can Microsoft Azure Do?

The Azure platform comes with a variety of services that users can access. It can be either virtually or through hybrid architecture. Azure provides three types of cloud computing, that is, Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and, Software as a Service (SaaS).

Currently, Microsoft Azure offers more than 6000 services. Azure can primarily help build virtual networks or deliver services and applications to customers with a broad reach. You can also create virtual machines like Microsoft, Linux, or any other configuration within a short time.

Azure has a significant number of data centers that reliably assures its users. It guarantees that they get the best out of each service.

Due to the modern-day virtualization of these services, Azure makes it easier for you to create and deploy ideas with relatively fewer expenses than on-premise clouds. Azure offers many benefits such as computing, networking, storage, analytics, AI machine learning, developer and management tools, databases, IoT, etc.

Users can create different types of scalable applications using the virtual machines that Azure provides. Once the deployment is complete, Azure will take care of these machines in matters concerning workloads, provisions, and health monitoring. Users can also develop microservices through Service Fabric. Every type of programming language is supported, whose utility depends on the user’s choice.

Azure also offers CDN (Content Delivery Network) services. This aids in delivering high bandwidth web content.

SQL (Structured Query Language) and NoSQL data services are also some of Azure’s top benefits. This aids businesses in accessing data in a more in-depth method. Another highly used service would be the Azure DevOps. This service allows its users to create, monitor easily, and discuss ideas or work with many tools.

Virtual machines, the Azure Cosmos DB, the Azure Active Directory, API Management, the Azure Content Delivery Network, the Azure Backup, Azure Logic Apps, Azure Bots, etc., are just some of the best services that Azure offers.

Why Do People Trust Microsoft Azure? 

As the world moves towards more virtualization, Azure offers secure cloud services that save both cost and time for its users. You can be sure that everything that gets developed or created, or hosted through Azure is secure and ready to go. Moreover, its data recovery features help in securing the data of its users.

Azure also functions on a billing system. Here, users only pay for the services they utilize. This feature is a big bonus as it reduces unnecessary expenditure. It is also notable that Azure’s PaaS capabilities are more robust and faster than other cloud service providers.

Moreover, infrastructure management is handled officially by Microsoft. It allows users to avoid extra workloads easily. 

Another useful feature is its security. Users need not worry about data loss and also trust the privacy of their data. All the data gets secured and protected while they exist on the Azure Cloud. 

Azure also has the advantage of ‘Enterprise Agreement,’ which entitles its users to receive discounts on the software. This feature makes Azure a more reliable and cost-effective vendor.

Azure yet again offers hybrid solutions to its users. It allows for more seamless mobility between the public and the on-premise clouds. Azure is also much simpler to learn and use as compared to other providers.

It has helped push the boundaries and pave successful roads for many businesses to date. Thus, the successes stand as proof of the Azure platform’s capabilities and well-deserved popularity among the world’s users.

Who Uses Microsoft Azure? 

So far, more than 200,000 companies use Microsoft Azure. Most of these companies originate from the USA. A majority of these companies rely on Azure to complete most of their virtualization processes.

Microsoft

• Some of the biggest spenders in Azure’s services include Verizon, MSI computer, LG electronics, Century Link, NTT America, Wikimedia Foundation, LinkedIn Corp., News Corp., Adobe, and Intel.  

• Companies like eBay, Pixar, Samsung, Apple iCloud, Dell, BMW, Boeing, etc., have long trusted Azure in their business processes.

Companies like Samsung manages its SmartTV Infrastructure through Azure. And in turn, it significantly reduced costs for Samsung while increasing its capacities. This progress further aided its growing customer base. Even the BMW group relies on Azure and its services to operate the OMP (Open Manufacturing Platform).

• Here is a list of renowned companies or businesses that use Microsoft Azure:

365mc, ABB Group, Abu Dhabi Digital authority, AccuWeather, AD Aerodrome Nikola Tesla Beograd, Adobe, AENOR, Anglo-Gulf Trade Bank (AGTB), Askey, ASOS, Aston Martin, Aviva, Bentley Systems, Bing Ads, Birla Management Corporation Ltd, BMW, Bridgestone corporation, Burns and McDonnell, Cambridge forums, Coca-Cola, Dubai World Trade Center, Emerson Electric, Enbridge, Eureka Forbes, Eurobank, FedEx, Forever21, Game Insights, Helio Gaming, Heineken, Marks and Spencer, Mercedes Benz Caminhoes, Oculus Groups, Oilfield Solutions, OrionTech, Singapore Airlines, Tetra Pack, Toshiba American Business Solutions, Uber, Ubisoft, etc.

How Companies Use Microsoft Azure? 

A majority of the world’s companies rely on Azure and its services. It helps to perform tasks that aid their businesses in various ways.

• The Renault DP World F1 Team uses Azure to accelerate their configuration processes for the Formula 1 car. Virtualization of their workload has immensely saved time and expenses for the Renault DP World F1 Team.

• An upcoming company is Helio Gaming, which uses Azure to empower its business through virtualization. The company has gained much popularity because of the scalability and virtual options offered by Azure. It has also saved them a fair amount of the costs. Through Azure, the company has reached out to many people and maintains stability in cost expenses. 

• Myntra, a popular online shopping platform based in India, also relies on Azure. It utilizes services such as Azure Data Lake Storage, Azure HDinsight, and Azure Synapse Analytics. Myntra has trusted Azure for its scalability and cloud-based supply chain management, and various other solutions. Azure and its services have furthered the company’s success. It has pushed it to one of the top online sites in India.

• One of the largest foods and beverage companies, Nestle also utilizes Azure to secure its services from malicious hacking or phishing, etc. The company built their custom PhishScreener through which Nestlé has protected itself from malware and increased its security as a whole.

• Another widely recognized company is Marks & Spencer that originated from the United Kingdoms. They retail food, clothing, and homeware. Azure has helped the company manage its data platform efficiently. Microsoft Azure Data Lake Storage, Azure Databricks, and Azure Synapse Analytics are the services utilized to date.

• LinkedIn, based in the USA, also utilizes services from Azure. It adopted the Azure Front Door services to handle and connect with customers faster and more efficiently. The good point here is that every company has ensured itself of cost-reduction through Azure services.

• Companies like Bosch have also integrated Azure into their services, based in Germany. Bosch relies on Azure Data Explorer to access data that helps in its automated driving functions. The Volkswagen Group utilizes the Azure Backup, Azure Cognitive Services (AI), Azure Language Understanding Intelligent Service (LUIS), Azure Machine Learning, etc. They have used Azure Cloud to improve machine translation, and now it supports over 40 languages.

Microsoft Azure

• Bridgestone, a well-known company from Japan, also utilizes the services of Microsoft Azure. Through Azure provided services, the company developed Tirematics. This functions as a solution to send detected issues of tires to the Azure Cloud. This solution has helped the company in reducing tire-inspections/ maintenance and its costs.

• The famous video game brand Xbox also relies on Azure services. Azure Active Directory, Azure Cosmos DB, Azure DevOps, Azure Resources Manager, etc., are all utilized. Through Azure services, the company has increased its automation and customer handling efficiency.

The Hershey company has also steadily optimized its productions and factory lines through Azure Machine Learning. As times change, the company also needs to keep up with the demands. Through Azure and its scalable options and services, Hershey has further boosted its workstyle by implementing digital ideas.

• Based in the United States, Alaska Airlines utilizes Azure to reach out to its customers globally. They have improved on mobile-centric customer/employee experiences through the help of platforms like Azure.

• Another widely recognized company is Ferguson. They are also the largest wholesale and retail distributor of plumbing supplies in the United States. They use multiple Azure services such as Azure Advanced Threat Protection, Azure Arc, Azure Storage, etc. The company has combined Azure services and on-premise clouds to create a seamless environment where customers and vendors both receive better connections. They also improved on their overall goals regarding services, vending, contracting, centralizing management, etc.

• Even healthcare companies like Sentara Healthcare use Azure Cloud for various services. They utilize services like Azure DevOps, Azure Virtual Machines, Azure Disk Storage, etc. As data centers become too expensive, Sentara opts for cloud services and relies on Microsoft Azure. Now, they store data in the Azure cloud, and every member/customer enjoys a better experience of Sentara’s services.

• Ecolab is another company that focuses on improving water consumption during various productions. To make such a step, the company needs multiple data from different centers and systems. It is hard to acquire it by physical means alone. Here, they relied on Azure and its various services to provide better solutions against water-usage. The owners have remarked positively about Azure and its services. They have moved a lot further toward their ultimate goal through Azure Cloud. Together with Microsoft, the company aims to better its benefits and also combat water management struggles worldwide.

Moreover, many banks, enterprises, and institutes worldwide also rely on Microsoft Azure for one service or the other.

How Do I Get Microsoft Azure? 

Microsoft Azure is relatively simple to get and does not require complex methods. Users can create a free account and start with their projects immediately.

To start, users can create a free account by visiting azure.microsoft.com. Users will only need their phone number, a credit card, and their Microsoft or GitHub accounts. The benefits of which will include credits worth a hundred and eighty dollars for thirty days. Users can get access to free Azure products for a full year and those that are permanently free.

• Some of these free services include – Text Analytics, Anomaly detector, Form Recognition, Content Moderator, Azure Data Factory, QnA Maker, Azure Cosmos DB, SQL Database, Azure Security Center, Log Analytics, Azure Virtual Network, etc.

Anyone can open an Azure account as long as they are new to it. Once the 30 days period is over, users can opt to continue using the free services or upgrade it. If you upgrade your account, it becomes a pay-as-you-go pricing where you only pay for the services utilized.

The credits you receive at the beginning will be the spending limit unless you upgrade. Failing to upgrade after the free period/credit ends will result in non-access to services and products.

As of now, Azure is available to people in more than 140 countries. It also has active customer service for further queries and helps.

Microsoft Azure has come a long way from its initial release in 2010. Thousands of companies now rely on Azure daily. The vast amount of services offered has boosted the progress of many companies, enterprises, businesses, etc. Not only this, but Azure is also budget-friendly as it does not incur unnecessary expenditure. Users of various fields can equally rely on this platform and can be confident that the services will not fail.

The positive remarks from various companies remain as a standing proof of the platform’s reliability. Microsoft Azure is a great modern solution for many types of problems that companies face.

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