Microsoft Azure Review

This product has facilitated development, testing, and deployment.

What is most valuable?

  • Virtual machines, both Windows and Linux based
  • Blob storage
  • Azure file storage
  • SQL server

How has it helped my organization?

This product has facilitated development, testing, rapid deployment, spot resource needs, with a remote off-site that compliments on-premises for the hybrid cloud.

What needs improvement?

The user interface is great if you like tablet, a.k.a., Windows type functionally. The PowerShell is robust. However, there is not much in between, although you can do a lot of customizing views, dashboards, and other things.

I like the extensiveness of the new VS classic interface. At times, I still find the AWS dashboards simpler and more streamlined. Nevertheless, Azure is more elegant.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used the product for several years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I had no stability issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

There were no issues, as long as your credit card can also scale.

How is customer service and technical support?

I don't know about technical support, as I have not had to deal with them. But the various communities, forums, and resources are outstanding.

Which solutions did we use previously?

We have deployed, and continue to use:

  • AWS EC2
  • EBS
  • S3 Glacier
  • Route 53
  • Lightsail
  • Google
  • Bluehost DPS
  • An onsite mix of Microsoft Hyper-V and VMware

We are doing hybrid to address different needs.

How was the initial setup?

Having used AWS, VMware, as well as Windows, there was a little bit of a learning curve, just as there was for others.

However, navigating the UI, shells, and figuring out what was where, without spending weeks in seminars, training, and watching videos, was actually pretty intuitive.

If you are not used to working with AWS or others, or if you have some tools, Azure is actually pretty extensible and getting easier to working from Windows and vice versa.

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

Do your homework, understand the type and sizes of resources, see if there are any extra fees, and find out what tools are needed.

Check what level of performance, availability, capacity and economic (PACE) budget, as well as the services that are needed.

Watch your costs and look for value versus the lowest cost.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We looked at AWS, Rackspace, Google, Microsoft, Bluehost, and VMware.

What other advice do I have?

Don't be scared, be prepared; do your homework.

Look beyond lower cost and instead focus on value, enablement, ease of use, compatibility, resiliency, ability to scale with the stability of performance, capacity, and availability.

Look at the extensiveness of services versus a simple check box.

You also need to identify any concerns about the cloud, categorize them, and then discuss with others how to address them, or seek a workaround.

If you cannot find somebody to chat with, drop me a note.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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