As companies evolve the way they do business, there continues to be a shift from traditional platforms. In the past, the de-facto method of handling data typically involved using a transactional database. The evolution of the cloud led to the rise of Microsoft Azure. Many organizations looking to transition to cloud platforms have questions about using Azure. For example, is Microsoft Azure a PaaS, or is Microsoft Azure IaaS? Let’s explore Microsoft Azure and the different products available.
What is Microsoft Azure?
Azure is a collection of cloud-based solutions offered by Microsoft as an alternative to physical hardware and services. The public cloud-computing platform contains solutions divided into separate platforms. They provide users with services like:
- Virtual Computing
Your company can use Microsoft Azure to supplement your current on-premises services or replace them. It’s ideal for organizations with some reservations about transitioning to the cloud but have familiarity with Microsoft products. It’s also useful to companies looking to set up a hybrid deployment. You can also coordinate the use of Microsoft Azure with other Microsoft products like Office 365.
Microsoft Azure maintains a global network of data centers in various regions and time zones. They’re located around the world in strategic locations to provide as much coverage as possible. Every region contains at least one data center with independent networking and cooling. That way, service remains up even if one or more components go offline.
The Azure infrastructure consists of more than just a bundle of services. It consists of three essential pillars – computing, networking, and storage - forming the foundation for an organization’s cloud framework.
Is Microsoft Azure an IaaS?
Azure’s Infrastructure-as-a-Service cloud computing service provides organizations with essential computing, networking, and storage resources based on demand. That means your company only pays for consumed resources. Azure IaaS helps companies reduce the need to maintain proprietary data centers. Instead, that responsibility gets passed to Azure.
Your company can build a unique architecture using Azure’s IaaS products, consisting of Azure Virtual Machines (VMs), Azure VDI, Azure Virtual Networks, and Azure Disc Storage. Companies typically turn to Azure’s IaaS capabilities when looking to replace physical servicers with a virtual one that runs in an Azure data center. That way, organizations get rid of the overhead costs of maintaining server hardware.
Companies can run any Windows desktop or server from Azure. It also supports a wide array of Linux distros like Ubuntu Server or CentOS. It’s also possible to search the Azure Marketplace for virtual servers and set them up to run any task, including Docker, SQL Server, and Oracle Database.
If needed, organizations can build a complete virtual desktop infrastructure in Azure and manage them using third-party tools. You can also enable Azure Virtual Desktops that support various Windows configurations. Azure makes it easier to manage essential server tasks like load-balancing and hardware upgrades. Your company can also use built-in security features to protect your VMs from unauthorized traffic.
Another benefit of using Azure IaaS is that it’s easier for an organization to scale up without investing a lot of money in hardware. They can also bypass all the complexity of dealing with server and data center maintenance.
What Business Functions Are Available with Azure IaaS?
Azure IaaS provides lift-and-shift migration capabilities to help companies move their workload to the cloud. One of the most significant benefits is that companies don’t have to refactor their architecture to take advantage of increased scaling and performance.
Teams can quickly set up test and development environments to help with application developments. Once they’re no longer needed, you can just as easily take them apart. In addition, Azure storage expands to handle increased demand. It’s also easier for IT staff to plan and manage backup and recovery systems.
Your business can also set up infrastructure to support its web applications and network resources. In addition, your IT team can quickly deploy your apps and increase support when you face increased demand from users.
Is Microsoft Azure a PaaS?
Azure’s Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) is a cloud-based development and deployment environment. Your company has access to resources that make it possible to handle everything from simple cloud apps to enterprise applications. In addition to infrastructure like servers and networking, Azure PaaS provides additional resources like:
- Development Tools
- Business Intelligence (BI) Services
- Database Management Systems
With Azure PaaS, companies don’t have to pay for and manage software licenses or the underlying infrastructure needed to support applications. Like Azure PaaS, companies only pay for consumed resources.
What Business Functions are Available with Azure PaaS?
PaaS development tools can cut down on the time it takes for your company developers to create new applications. They can use pre-coded application components already built into Azure PaaS, including directory services, security, and search features.
These components allow your development team to access new capabilities without hiring staff with the necessary skills. It’s possible to develop applications for multiple platforms, including mobile.
Another benefit of using Azure PaaS is that companies can support developers located in different parts of the country. That means a developer living in Miami can easily connect on a project with another team member located in Boston. Development teams have everything needed to manage the entire application lifecycle, including building, testing, and deploying in the same integrated environment.
Get Started with Azure Cloud Computing
Internet eBusiness Solutions (IES) can help your company transition to the cloud. We walk your company through the offerings made available through Azure IaaS and Azure PaaS and how to get the most from the available services. With our help, you can seamlessly move away from your dependency on on-premises hardware.
Find out more about how IES can help by setting up a consultation with one of our experts.