Microsoft Azure Block Storage Review

Has a good infrastructure and offers an easy way to provide workloads

What is our primary use case?

Our customers basically use this program for virtual data center extension, as a hybrid extension of their local or on-prem or private data center. It offers them an automated way of running new workloads or creating new workloads with governance on it.

What is most valuable?

The reason why people choose this solution is that it has a good infrastructure. It also offers an easy way to provide workloads. We mainly use this solution for the development, testing, and production of our data and infrastructure in a standardized way. I also like the fact that the deployment is fast.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see an improvement in the networking and cost transparency part. What I mean by this, is that we provide certain workflows for our customers and we usually calculate what is local, but even then it's not really upfront. We must know what the usage will be in DMs. So the price is different, and that is where provisioning and cost transparency comes in. We must know what it will cost in the OPEX work that we do. We do have some cost analysis, overdose cloud, but still, it's not always the right amount that's reflected for our customers for each application or each analysis that they want to do. The invoice type is therefore different for each client.

For how long have I used the solution?

The company I work for has been using Microsoft Azure Block Storage for two to three years and I've been using it for almost a year now.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Most customers are happy with the stability. Some bigger customers, however, have experienced problems with the stability of the Azure cloud. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

One can easily scale with this program so I am satisfied with the scalability. 

How are customer service and technical support?

I haven't used customer service before.

How was the initial setup?

Our setup is rather complex. It is easier for our customers - they simply get the tenants in our products and within the tenants, we just plug in all the drivers on-prem and then he gets a complete insight of the overall workload. 

I am, however, not involved in the installation. Another difficult thing is to create a good architecture that's strong on networking and that will enable customers to deploy or provide all those different environments in an easy way. So the thinking is critical, and architecture is very important, which is kind of complex. 

Deployment takes between two to five days, depending on the customer and the speed on the cloud.

We have a power desk with three people who are responsible for support and maintenance, customer queries, etc. 

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The solution is affordable and we only pay for what we use. There are additional costs for backup and disaster management and we use separate products as service providers.

What other advice do I have?

I personally feel that this is a good program. My advice to others is that they should determine beforehand what they want to use it for. The biggest lesson I've learned so far is that, if you go to the backup part, you have to be careful about how you do the backups and what the retention times are. 

I would like to see improved file sharing and better security in the next release. 

On a scale from one to ten, I will rate this program an eight. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Hybrid Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Microsoft Azure
**Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Reseller
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