What is our primary use case?
We have a private cloud, but we are interested in having a hybrid cloud that includes Microsoft Azure. This use of it as an Infrastructure as a Service will help us to expand our scale using our hardware.
Primarily, we use Azure to test services and solutions that we want to use on the public cloud. Nothing in production is being used on Azure yet because of latency.
What is most valuable?
Azure is helpful when you want to set up a server, such as a Linux test server. For example, we can transfer our code to the test server and do a comparison.
This solution is easy to use. It has quite a good interface for things like provisioning a server.
Provisioning a server is fast, taking only one or two minutes before it is ready. In our private cloud, this process still takes longer.
What needs improvement?
At this point, the latency is too high to use Azure in our production environment.
I would like to see support for data streaming in the future because I understand that currently, data streaming is not there. It would work like Kafka does, in Microsoft Azure. If they can provide the Platform as a Service and Infrastructure as a Service, it will be better.
For example, if want to use Kafka, I should be able to purchase Microsoft Azure and then use my Kafka license. This would also give me support. Right now, using it requires first getting a server through Infrastructure as a Service, then getting a Kafka license, then installing the server in the cloud.
For how long have I used the solution?
We started using Microsoft Azure last year.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
Azure is a scalable product. We are not using it extensively yet because we just started exploring it for use as a testing server. However, if we are satisfied with the security and issues with latency then we are going to set up performance tests.
How are customer service and technical support?
We have not had any issues with support. The interface is quite user-friendly, so we have not needed to contact them. I think that they do have assistance available for onboarding, or creating a server.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
We did evaluate other solutions but that is the job of another team in the company. I was only told that we also tried Google Cloud.
How was the initial setup?
The initial setup is straightforward. Microsoft Azure provides an easy interface to log in and create a server.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
The pricing is flexible. Our company engaged in negotiations to get a better price, which resulted in a two-year contract.
It seems that the cost of using the service in the short term is definitely good. However, in the long-term it is different. The long-term cost is higher than if you set up the servers on-premises, which is something that could be improved through more competitive pricing.
What other advice do I have?
Our usage is rather limited right now but for what we use it for, the product is quite good and we are satisfied with the services. This is a product that I can recommend for anybody who does not want to invest a lot of money in their own hardware.
I would rate this solution a nine out of ten.
Which deployment model are you using for this solution?
If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?