Microsoft Azure Review

We love the flexibility at which we can deploy and manage resources for our global clients.


How has it helped my organization?

We use Azure for DevOps, to host numerous applications that are critical to our business, and we run our software-as-a-service (SaaS) offering exclusively from Azure.

What is most valuable?

Azure Active Directory: Has powerful security and auditing capabilities that we use to secure all our apps.

Azure File services – Comes in handy often when we need a staging place for content.

Block Blob storage – Reliable and low cost for long-term storage of important information.

Azure Regions – We leverage Azure regions around the world; we love the flexibility and ease at which we can deploy and manage resources for our global clients.

What needs improvement?

The Azure Billing API could be so much better. It only provides billing metrics for a set duration. For example, if you want to look at billing for a week /month/some other duration, then you have to make all the calls, store the data separately, and run your own computation to get the results that you need. Obviously, the billing system already has all of this data, so the API should just give you parameters to specify the billing duration and return the figures accordingly.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

There were very minor issues related to billing. For example, sometimes under accounts with the Enterprise Agreements, we see that storage accounts are missing access to the activity costs.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

There were no scalability issues experience this far.

How is customer service and technical support?

The level of technical support is low.

How was the initial setup?

In general, there is a small learning curve in regards to the public cloud concepts and the Azure user portal, but nothing terrible.

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

Be careful with Azure Cool storage accounts; if you are dealing with high object counts, then it can be more economical to use Hot storage because of the high storage access costs associated with Cool.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We considered the Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Google Cloud Platform (GCP), but decided to use Microsoft Azure for a few reasons.

First, we believe that Microsoft will emerge as the preferred public cloud provider for the enterprise-class workloads and scenarios. Second, for our development goals, we could not spread ourselves thin by supporting multiple public cloud providers. Another reason is that most of our clients are using Office 365 and are Microsoft Azure clients themselves. Thus, it is more efficient for our solution and for the work that we perform, to be local to their existing applications/data. Finally, Microsoft Stack is something that we are already familiar with, and Azure being Microsoft, we felt it matched best with our knowledge and expertise.

What other advice do I have?

Make sure you understand the cloud’s pricing model. Depending on your scenario, i.e., in rare cases, it may be more economical to do things on-premises.

Regarding some of the SaaS offerings in Azure, again, understand the pricing because it might make sense to leverage what they have as a service. In some cases, you may want to build it and manage it yourself.

Also, pay attention to which Azure Region you spin up compute and storage because the pricing can vary between regions and not all the offerings are equal across the regions.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: HubStor is a Microsoft partner and a member of the Microsoft Enterprise Cloud Alliance.
Add a Comment
Guest
Sign Up with Email