Microsoft Azure Review
Azure has become a one stop shop for cloud computing and continuing to grow.


Primary Use Case

Currently we are hosting custom web applications, boxed applications, Azure VMs, Azure files for shared company files, Azure blob storage, Azure Active Directory with Active Directory sync, Single Sign On, and development and testing purposes.

Improvements to My Organization

Creating VMs for development has been huge since we ran out of resources locally. Creating Hybrid solutions provides us with greater confidence in higher availability. Storage has made remote access to files much more painless and easy. Using SSO has also been great reducing the number of passwords and locations required to use them.

Valuable Features

Customized Dashboard, Site-to-site and point-to-Site VPN, Virtual Machines, Web Apps, SQL, SharePoint, Storage, Test/Dev environments.

Room for Improvement

Pricing is very difficult to guesstimate. With so many a la carte options and individual pricing it can be a hassle to understand. I constantly need to go over the report to find out where I can save money and what is eating up the monthly costs.

Use of Solution

One to three years.

Stability Issues

No issues with stability. Has been rock solid.

Scalability Issues

Scalability is Microsofts big advantage. At anytime you can scale up or down your servers or services growing them or shrinking them to your needs. You can even automate this process. I personally do not get into Enterprise solutions but they continue to add larger solutions frequently.  

Customer Service and Technical Support

Customer Service:

First response is 2-4 hours. Staff is knowledgeable but can often be difficult to understand and slow. Although I do not call about routine issues and bring very complex problems there way. With that said I will say every issue does get resolved.

Technical Support:

I rate technical support 7/10. First response is 2-4 hours. Staff is knowledgeable but can often be difficult to understand. I have also found that a few of them try to e-mail you despite your request for a call. This causes much miscommunication and additional time your problem is not getting resolved.

I only give them an 7 because I have struggled a time or two with understanding their English or getting the ball rolling resolving my issue. This all really depends on the department you need.

I will say that they always get the issue resolved regardless of the complexity of the problem.

Previous Solutions

No I have not, but we chose Azure simply simply because we are Microsoft partners and get free Azure credits to work with.  Microsoft is also a power player in cloud solution and a trusted name.  

Initial Setup

Huge learning curve for me. I found just diving in was incredibly difficult. Much lab time required to understand how things work together. Once you get going however it all makes sense.

I also find the GUI to be more intuitive then AWS and feels better.

They are constantly changing the GUI while they continue migrating the ASM model to the ARM model. Since this is a living platform it can change from one day to the next adding features. 

Implementation Team

I implemented all the solutions myself with a little research.

ROI

Microsoft does have special pricing for Development purposes. This does help reduce the monthly costs for our team.

As our local resources reach their end of life, we have moved servers and services to Azure.  It becomes more of an operation expense as apposed to a capitol expense. 

Pricing, License Cost and Setup

We are MS partners. Depending on your partnership you may or may not get Visual Studio Enterprises licenses. Each license allows you to get a $150 Azure credit per month.

This has been great for our developers and I to put in to practice some Azure solutions.

There are many other free credits available as well.  Do some searching.

If you need to purchase Azure they do have a pricing calculator that may help you determine costs.  https://azure.microsoft.com/en...


Other Solutions Considered

I know AWS is another great solution, but have not tackled it yet. I do have plans to experiment with Amazons solution to determine for my own the differences. 

Other Advice

The biggest advantage to using Azure over any other cloud solution is the ability to move your domain into the cloud and be completely server free and still have domain services.

I have also found that site-to-site vpn with domain services rack up a good percentage of our monthly costs. These are the fundamentals to move your network into Azure.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partners
3 visitors found this review helpful

4 Comments

Avinash MendseConsultantTOP 20

You have taken right decision, today's world is for scale if you want to grow you need scalable infrastructure and if you do this on premise it is very costly affair to manage this kind of infrastructure.

Like (1)02 February 16
Farooq AliVendor

Microsoft is improving his Azure services but still faild to announce unscheduled outages I experienced site-2-site VPN been down for more than 24 hrs and no update or support available for Open Azure ..

Like (0)02 February 16
Aaron KrytusReal UserELITE SQUADTOP 5

If the outage was not scheduled was the outage still intentional? If it was not, then how could they announce it? Did you look at the health status https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/status/ to confirm the status of the outage? Please share, I have not experienced this yet.

Like (0)04 February 16
AndyLeeConsultant

MS Azure is a comprehensive SaaS-based solution provides one powerful interface for web and native mobile applications.

Like (0)18 April 17
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