Microsoft Azure Review

Has integration with Active Directory and Office 365.

What is most valuable?

  • Quick and easy deployment
  • Complete packaged solutions to deploy (Web Apps service)
  • Clear pricing
  • Low cost
  • Easy scaling
  • Cost effectiveness (stopping a VM when not in use)
  • High availability
  • Easy restore and recovery
  • Integration with Active Directory and Office 365. There are many benefits. For example, there is a special customized portal for all apps and services built in Azure AD ( with a seamless single sign-on experience for the users in AD or Office 365.

How has it helped my organization?

It improved our project completion time. A new server or solution requirements are now solved in hours instead of in weeks.

What needs improvement?

What we experienced after two years with an Azure suscription is that there is good knowledge in Microsoft Partners for Azure, but generally they are too specialized and couldn't cover everything, because they allways miss something related by example to networking, database, web apps, security, or integration on Azure. So you must contract more than one Microsoft Partner to have a successful project in Azure.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Azure for two years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We had no stability issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is very easy and quick to scale up or scale out. It has automatic scaling by CPU performance or other rules.

How are customer service and technical support?

Support is very good, fast, responsive, and effective.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We used traditional on-premises virtual machines and switched to Azure for better cost and faster deployment.

How was the initial setup?

The only complexity was the initial setup of a site-to-site VPN to connect our LAN to Azure. The required Azure site-to-site VPN gateway is not fully supported on older firewalls, so you must be careful. For details please read:

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

Azure’s price is very competitive with traditional hosting (in-house or outsourced). Windows and database licenses are included in the solution price or you can bring your own license (BYOL). There are also several free or open source solutions in Azure.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We looked at AWS. In our case, Microsoft had very competitive pricing due to our Office 365 agreement.

What other advice do I have?

Test it for free with the advice of an experienced Microsoft partner.

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