SQL Azure Review

You can arrange training and demos based on the client’s budget.


What is most valuable?

  • Cloud products reduce the cost of the production of software products
  • You do not have to buy the product at the up-front market cost
  • You pay for it as you use the product
  • You can develop a product on your own premises
  • Just give the key to the vendor, so that there are no separate deployment costs.
  • You save on travel and meals, as well as housing required for a development team required for deployment and implementation.
  • The distance between the client and development team is invisible.
  • You may arrange virtual-real trainings/demos based on the affordability of the client’s budget.
  • There is no requirement of special hardware, as costs and additional software are bared by the cloud platform. You can spend as you need based on what the client’s needs are and scale hardware and software up to the client’s needs.
  • Cost of the platform and the software upgrades are covered under the service contract.

How has it helped my organization?

We developed our product with a small team of .NET developers for a client, a law university in Delhi, India.

We received the requirements from conversations of our team with our client, over the phone, and with email.

There was minimal training required for the team to be trained in cloud, as every developer in the team had basic .NET skills.

This product was then intended to be used by law university students for their training in court room sessions as student lawyers debating against each other to deduce lawful judgements of a case under study.

We provided virtual chat rooms for the students and had facilitated a method to share video sessions of their debates in virtual court rooms.

What needs improvement?

Microsoft has delivered on its promise by providing a free, developer-student (community) edition of Visual Studio.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used this for around 6-9 months to develop and implement the product.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

There are questions in the developers’ and clients’ minds:

  • Since Azure is a pay-by-use product, what is the provision for the future?
  • If, for some reason, we lost this provision, what fallback parachute is Microsoft planning for customers?
  • What risk planning and hedging should the client do? There is no such possibility, but the concern must be addressed by Microsoft.

Physically owned products are also subject to failure. The hardware on premise also fails and needs to be maintained, so there is expected downtime.

Microsoft provides mirroring of cloud servers. There is a sure provision of backup and restore of the cloud environment.

By centralizing these services and products at a central location (datacenter), we are optimizing on services and goods cost and sharing these costs with other cloud dwellers.

By going towards the cloud, we are going towards a virus and spyware free environment.

We are moving away from special, owned hardware and products, to cloud-based datacenters, which exist in the other resource rich, low cost, areas.

This is Platform as a Service of the SOA revolution.

Along with overseas datacenters, we shall promote near shore or local datacenters to capitalize on the cloud advantage. We will also address issues of risk hedging, which will spur job growth in local areas.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We didn’t have any scalability problems.

How is customer service and technical support?

We did not explore this option, but the response was good for whatever we did request.

Which solutions did we use previously?

We switched due to the advantages I mentioned earlier.

How was the initial setup?

You don’t have to install the product on the cloud platform. You receive a login with pre-pared software installs. Custom requirements need to be implemented or requested.

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

Every region of a country has cheaper locations that can provide cost advantages, and data center growth must be equally distributed on earth with electricity and resource rich, low cost, areas to keep the cost of the cloud minimal. This will also avert natural and man-made calamities.

The United States and other countries can take this cloud option to the next level of off-shoring without any immigration and terrorism issues, enabling development in impoverished areas of the world.

This can further cut down the cost of software development, other "down-the-line" products, services and goods, and will empower the poor and neglected of the world.

This will also improve trade between the countries. There are always imbalances amongst populations in any country in skills and monetary status. An equalizer could be achieved by allowing more trade, more freedom, and more pollination.

In India, we had to start development using the 3-month free subscription Azure platform .net and SQL . Now as far as I know, vs 2015 community edition is a free download. One can develop software application in it and deploy it with an Azure subscription which is pay as you use. All nitty-gritty development can be done by a development team. That's why Microsoft has delivered their dream cloud promise with the zero cost alternative of community edition.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We considered local cloud and physical install options. These options were expensive and less effective.

What other advice do I have?

Microsoft Cloud is reliable and dependable.

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