As competition in the modern business environment becomes more intense and organizations are under greater pressure to deliver value for their customers, business executives are increasingly migrating their IT infrastructures to the cloud. Instead of building a cloud environment themselves, third-party cloud service providers enable organizations to offload workloads into the cloud and bring new applications to market fast, all while maintaining a lean infrastructure that facilitates flexibility.
Microsoft Azure has emerged as one of the predominant cloud service providers trusted by organizations across the world. In fact, according to Microsoft itself, more than 95% of Fortune 500 companies use Azure as their public cloud. A closer look at the benefits of Microsoft Azure makes it clear why.
Using Microsoft Azure cloud services
Microsoft Azure is one of the world’s leading public cloud services, providing users with a comprehensive range of cloud-based solutions that help them develop new applications and deploy them to the cloud quickly and inexpensively. Backed by a multi-layered security approach with almost 100 compliance offerings, organizations can use Azure to confidently and safely migrate their workloads to the cloud — no matter what industry or vertical.
Azure uses the SaaS-delivery model to enable customers to take advantage of the benefits of deploying to the cloud without needing to build the requisite cloud infrastructure, hire qualified personnel or front the costs of security and maintenance. It lets organizations increase their operational efficiency, shorten their time to market, and remain flexible in the face of sudden market changes, without adding costly layers to their organizational bureaucracy.
The main Microsoft Azure services
Azure is equipped with dozens of services that can be tailored to fit the needs of specific customer requirements. Here are some of the most widely used service families:
Azure Analytics is a collection of several different subservices that collectively provide organizations with the tools they need to store, process, and analyze massive volumes of their data. From data stream processing to data integration and workflow orchestration, enterprises can host their entire big data infrastructures in Azure to extract maximum value from their data and drive optimal performance.
Artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities provide users with pre-trained AI algorithms that can be tailored to fit the specific workflow and data processing needs of the organization.
Azure Active Directory
Azure Active Directory (AD) is a cloud-based directory that streamlines and centralizes all identity management tasks and protocols. Organizations — especially larger ones — that operate in the cloud must manage hundreds (possibly thousands) of users that require login credentials for dozens of different services.
Azure AD uses single sign-on features that make it easy for users to access all the resources they need with one set of credentials, while governance controls enable system administrators to grant access to specific services to only those users who require it.
Another family of services, Azure SQL allows organizations to migrate, modernize, and develop their SQL server applications within Azure. It includes the widely used Azure SQL Database platform as a service (PaaS), which is a managed service that supports cloud application development.
As a fully managed service, Azure SQL automatically updates and patches organizations’ SQL databases so they can focus more time on higher-value priorities that drive innovation and create value for their customers.
The benefits of Microsoft Azure services
Microsoft Azure is widely recognized as one of the highest performing public clouds currently available. It offers customers a range of benefits that place them at a serious advantage over their competitors, including:
- Subscription flexibility: Microsoft Azure uses a pay-as-you-go subscription model that gives organizations a much greater degree of control over their cloud usage and costs. Microsoft provides full transparency into all pricing structures and gives organizations the flexibility to cancel their subscriptions at any time.
- Scalability: A cloud infrastructure with the ability to scale rapidly is critical for organizations operating in the fast-changing modern digital economy. Microsoft Azure scales up or down with the needs of the business, and the customer’s subscription fees will match their usage. This is especially useful for organizations that experience enormous fluctuations of business at specific times of the year, like retailers during the holidays.
- On-premises compatibility: Microsoft Azure’s subscription model lets organizations be more selective about the number of workflows, applications, and other virtualized assets they deploy to the cloud. Firms can choose to migrate the entirety of their IT infrastructure to the cloud or opt to retain some of their on-premises infrastructure and operate a hybrid model.
- Accelerated time to value: Speed is one of the hallmarks of Microsoft Azure. Equipped with a series of pre-built tools and automated solutions, Azure makes it much easier for users to develop and deploy new applications quickly and efficiently. An accelerated time to value also makes organizations more flexible and adaptable in the face of changing market demands.
- High-level cybersecurity: Cloud application security is one of the top priorities — and concerns — for modern business executives. Microsoft Azure has security built-in from the very beginning, using a multi-layered security approach that safeguards all network components. Microsoft also provides a series of tools, services, and data intelligence to help users secure the workloads in their cloud environment.
How Alert Logic helps to optimize Microsoft Azure security
The growing adoption of Microsoft Azure has increased the size of organizations’ attack surfaces, giving more sophisticated cyber attackers greater opportunity to penetrate their networks. While Azure is built according to the highest cybersecurity standards, it’s important to understand that Microsoft is only responsible for security of the cloud environment; security within the cloud — meaning security monitoring, threat detection, and vulnerability management — is the organization’s responsibility.
That’s where Alert Logic comes in. Our team of cybersecurity experts provides managed security services, tools, and analytics to enable organizations to fulfill their security obligations in Azure. The core features of our Azure security services include:
- 24/7 security coverage: Alert Logic’s managed detection and response services provide round-the-clock security monitoring and incident management for Azure, multi-cloud, or hybrid environment. Analysts notify users within 15 minutes of detecting high and critical incidents with mitigation instructions to harden assets and get back to normal operation as quickly as possible.
- Microsoft Azure certified: Alert Logic virtual appliances are Microsoft Azure certified, ensuring they are secure and easy to deploy providing comprehensive coverage even as your cloud environment grows and evolves.
- Full-stack protection: Our solution identifies and prioritizes patches, misconfigurations that need addressing, alongside comprehensive threat detection across Azure and multi-cloud environments.
As organizations are either born in the cloud or continue to migrate their IT infrastructure to public clouds like Microsoft Azure, the need to adopt advanced security tools and solutions to secure software applications within the cloud will be a top priority for business executives.
Alert Logic equips organizations with a team of cybersecurity experts who provide white-glove managed services so businesses can refocus their time and energy on higher-value priorities. We take the time to understand the unique characteristics of your business to create a cybersecurity solution that is tailored to your unique needs and requirements.