What is our primary use case?
I took a part-time job doing a mentorship to guide the students on how to use cloud computing on the AW and Azure cloud resources. For that project, we go through each and every service on cloud computing that is part of the service platform. The new technology is called server-less technology. The goal of the mentorships is showing students how to fundamentally use these resources and explain the advantages and disadvantages of cloud computing over on-premises solutions.
What is most valuable?
Currently, I do not know if there is really a single feature that stands out as the most valuable. If you consider our use case and that we were using Azure essentially as a teaching tool, it was the tool itself that was valuable.
I do not have in-depth experience with Microsoft Azure, but it is like other services such as AWS. Currently, the number of services are increasing on Azure actually at a faster rate than with Google Cloud. If you are working with Microsoft products like Office 365 the best cloud solution would be on Azure services. The cost is also better than AWS.
Microsoft has also built an association with other cloud products for helping to migrate your licenses to the cloud. This works out well if you have a substantial investment in licensing for Microsoft products on-premises. Being able to bring that license to the cloud is a good transitionary solution.
What needs improvement?
I have been running reports on the availability of the major competitors in the cloud services to use as a demonstration in webinars and comparison of services. The most available solution on the cloud in user availability by minutes is Google Cloud. Google is the number one solution and the second one is AWS. The third one is Microsoft Azure.
Compared to the availability of the other two major cloud solutions, Microsoft Azure needs to make an improvement in their availability. This report suggests that the Azure team needs to do some major changes to match the availability of the other services and make the product more competitive.
In DevOps (software development and IT operations), server-less architecture and QNX platform integrations are things that need to be added to Azure. Currently, I am not sure that this is the case. But previously, I have had experience trying to use Azure with service and integration with the QNX platform and it is not as good as Google Cloud. Azure has improved its current set of data services on the cloud. But Google Cloud is doing more right now to bring those technologies and make them available to developers or enterprise solutions. So, QNX integration needs polishing.
For how long have I used the solution?
We have been using the product for only the last two months.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
I have not experienced any issues with stability.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
In general, I have seen no real issues with scalability. It is a cloud platform and scalability should usually be available on demand.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
I used Google Cloud on one of my previous projects but currently, we are using the on-premise solution. So we are hosting everything locally on-premises. We do not have any current cloud provider for the business as a whole. We are using AWS for security and backup for the production environment but mostly we rely on the on-premise solutions at the moment.
We use the S3 compute instance of AWS only. We do not use any other AWS services. We just use VM's that we create on the S3 instance.
How was the initial setup?
Setup is not so much of an issue as the product is on the cloud. The services are essentially on demand for the product. What you do with the services is what may take more time and consideration.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
I am not comfortable sharing the details of cost because there may be different pricing schemes, but compared to AWS, Azure is less expensive. So in the pricing in this class of services, Azure is good. It can work well for small to medium enterprises. But this solution is may not be good for those who are not enterprise-level users. Small cloud computing providers have better pricing than the bigger cloud computing providers like AWS and Microsoft Azure and may be a better choice for non-enterprise use.
Still, Azure is priced better than AWS. Price may not be the only thing to consider.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
I have had the opportunity to use a variety of different solutions and it has not really come down to a situation where one is replaced with another. There is an ongoing evaluation of the products as newer technology including the most well known, like AW, Google, and Azure. AWS is the most expensive cloud hosting. In my estimation, that is the best product right now, but things are changing quickly.
What other advice do I have?
On a scale from one to ten where one is the worst and ten is the best, I would rate Microsoft Azure DevOps as an eight-out-of-ten. It is not quite up to the level of other offerings in some ways but it is improving all the time.