Windows Azure is Microsoft’s Cloud Computing Platform and Infrastructure. There are numerous benefits to move to cloud. Below are the top 10 Reasons to Move to Windows Azure that I can remember…
1. Scalability: Business often finds it difficult to prepare for the demand, it either invests too much in the resources and incurs loss due to dead investment or experiences high demand which goes beyond its capacity due to limited resources. In Windows Azure, the applications can be scaled up as per the need. The compute, storage and the required services can be scaled up as and when needed within few minutes.
2. High Availability: Windows Azure delivers a 99.95% compute SLA and enables you to run solutions on the same cloud that powers Skype, Office 365, Bing, and Xbox.
3. 24×7 Support: Azure offers 24×7 technical support with engineers constantly monitoring service health.
4. Save Money: Businesses can save a lot of money they would otherwise need to spend in the hardware costs, man power to maintain the Datacenters, Cooling solutions for Datacenters, etc. Apart from these, Windows Azure also helps save money as it provides many Microsoft Software for use in Cloud (like SQL Server) which otherwise need to be purchased.
5. Focus on Business: Windows Azure takes care of the Infrastructure (IaaS) and Platform (PaaS), business only needs to focus on its product. This saves a lot of time spent to take care of issues like Mirroring, Failover Clustering, Backup, Software Patching & Hotfixes, etc.
6. Geo-redundant Replication: In Windows Azure, Geo-redundant Replication is enabled by default for the storage accounts which always keeps a replicated copy of the storage in different geographic location for added safety. Need not mention, data is everything today. With Windows Azure, Disaster Recovery is no more one of the top concerns to worry for a business.
7. Choice of Technology: Wide array of possible platforms/technologies to build apps/solutions on Windows Azure is another great reason. Businesses can choose to build on Windows Azure on technologies including .NET, Java, PHP, Python, Node.js and Ruby.
8. Security: Windows Azure provides very solid foundation for building secure solutions. It offers various security features including authentication mechanisms, advanced firewalls, up-to-date software patching & hotfixes to resolve vulnerabilities found from time to time, etc.
9. Pay as you go: There are different affordable pricing offers for Windows Azure. Pay as you go is a popular no upfront charge and no commitment offering where the users pay only for what has been used. Other offers include different short & long term subscriptions. Windows Azure also offers special pricing for Startups and Academic purposes. And the best part is, Windows Azure offers free trials which helps individuals to experience the power of Windows Azure without any charges. This helps individuals take an informed decision and choose a proper pricing option as per needs.
10. Virtual Machines: Last but not the least, Windows Azure also offers setting up Virtual Machines that individuals can login as easily as they login remotely into a machine in their own workplace/datacentre. Individuals can setup 64bit Virtual Machines using different OS images of different configuration/products pre-installed or can upload a VM and run it in Cloud. The VMs come in different sizes in terms of processing power & primary memory. Smallest is the one with 1GHz CPU & 768MB RAM while the most powerful one comes with 8 x 1.6GHz CPU and 56GB RAM. The capacity of virtual machines is improving very fast day by day.