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JR
Cloud Solution Expert at a manufacturing company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 10
This has become a critical solution for us with its broad diversity of services

Pros and Cons

  • "Reliable with ease of provisional services."
  • "More expensive than other solutions without justification."

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case is mostly for deploying services where we do not have the local infrastructure like hardware, or where it's not necessary for us to have the knowledge about how to set up a certain service. We just want to use it without concerns regarding running the service, backup, availability, etc. That's the reason we pay Microsoft the money for its Azure services, so we can just go ahead and use the product. Some of the services they've rendered have become business critical for the company, so we're using the solution on a daily basis. 

What is most valuable?

I like the reliability of the solution and the ease of provisional services which can be a click and go. I also like the broad diversity of services that are being offered.

What needs improvement?

I find that in many cases it's more expensive than AWS, and for no good reason. The pricing itself is also quite difficult to comprehend, it's not easy to know the total cost and not worth checking the calculator because the outcome is going to be totally different anyhow. I also find it difficult that they are specific to x86 and x64 machines, I haven't found any ARM-based virtual machine images that I could run in my IP test lab, which would be a great boost for productivity because I could run the internal pipeline in the cloud and would not have to divert to locally installed devices. 

If they want to be serious with IT devices then they should find a way of deploying ARM-based devices to Azure, to get more freedom of choice with virtual machines and services. It would be hardware virtual machine image offerings to other platforms, not only PC-based or x86-based. It would make my life much easier. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using this solution for four and a half years. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

There are some glitches but it's a pretty solid solution. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It's a scalable solution. 

How are customer service and technical support?

Overall, I'm quite satisfied with the technical support. There were different expectations about what I had understood from the description of the support offered and what the architects of Microsoft meant to deploy. Some of the documentation for Azure is sketchy enough to leave room for questions and that had to be sorted out with support, which is not a fault that the support guys should have to concern themselves with. If the documentation is not clear and the cloud device goes, then there's clearly room for improvement.

How was the initial setup?

The start was far easier than we expected it to be, but the complexity caught up with us half a year later also. It got more complex as we went along. We carried out the deployment ourselves. I'm a very experienced administrator, I know a lot about concepts of data centers. I know how they work, I know how to set them up. This is just another data center, it's just that it's not mine.

What other advice do I have?

We found it difficult to train our regular Windows admins to dive into Azure things, so it's important to get the right people or the project is doomed. There are too many people who don't really want to get to grips with the cloud. I would also suggest not starting from a fully regulated basis. We have our deployment fully integrated with Azure Active Directory, which can be quite a hindrance when it comes to just playing around with things. It's essential to give people developer accounts where they can just play around, break things, work through them, like a little lab. 

I would rate this solution an eight out of 10. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Microsoft Azure
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Oluseye Doherty
Head Of Information Technology at a financial services firm with 51-200 employees
Real User
Top 20
A cloud computing service that makes remote working a seamless experience

Pros and Cons

  • "I like a lot of features. For example, the Windows virtual solution has helped in such a way that our client-based application was converted into a web-based version through the use of the Windows Virtual Desktop."
  • "With Microsoft, our only concern is exchange rates because we're paying in dollars. It's very expensive for us because of the exchange rates. It would help if they partnered with someone locally so we can pay in our local currency."

What is our primary use case?

We have some services that are customer-facing that was put on a public cloud. We also have some of the applications that we use in-house, and we put that in our private environment.

Currently, because we have migrated our infrastructure to the cloud, we boosted some of our core applications in the Windows virtual environment. We also make use of it for our call center solution.

What is most valuable?

I like a lot of features. For example, the Windows virtual solution has helped in such a way that our client-based application was converted into a web-based version through the use of the Windows Virtual Desktop. It makes life very easy for our users when working remotely from anywhere. Because of Azure, the work from home policy makes our work feel seamless. We make use of SharePoint, and collaboration has been very smooth and wonderful. We also make use of Microsoft Teams. It's been wonderful. It's been very awesome.

What needs improvement?

With Microsoft, our only concern is exchange rates because we're paying in dollars. It's very expensive for us because of the exchange rates. It would help if they partnered with someone locally so we can pay in our local currency. That's the only major area that we wanted them to look into. At least for exchange rate purposes, they should try to do something.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have just migrated our infrastructure. I have been using Microsoft Azure for a couple of months.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I can guarantee that it's 100% reliable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It's very easy, and we don't regret this step at all. It's very scalable, and sometimes if we don't need the VM that we set up, we can quickly decommission it. Then if you wanted it back up again, we could bring it up quickly. It's very scalable. We have an average of 50 users at the moment.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is very good. I like that they have local partners and local support in our own country and not someone in another geographical region. When we wanted to do the setup with the Microsoft partner, we had some issues, and we reported it to them. They were very responsive. 

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is very straightforward.

What about the implementation team?

The implementation was straightforward because Microsoft had some partners here. To be a good Microsoft partner, you would have done a lot of training with all this stuff, making our deployment and migrations very seamless.

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

We're paying in dollars, and it's very expensive for us because of the exchange rates. We have all kinds of agreements with the partner, and we'll be paying quarterly. But it depends on how you want to pay. It depends on the option that's flexible for you.

What other advice do I have?

We would recommend this solution to potential users. I would advise them to analyze the infrastructure and what they want to achieve. After that, they should be able to get across to a good partner. 

That will help them a lot because they would need a good supportive partner. Migration can be very miserable, so they should consider a good partner. They should also have their own internal strategy on what they want to achieve. This will help the partners help them. 

We wanted to do a whole lot of things that cost us even more. But because we were able to get a reliable partner, they were able to guide us very well, and we were able to get some significant cost savings.

On a scale from one to ten, I would give Microsoft Azure a ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Hybrid Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Microsoft Azure
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
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JA
Software Architect at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
Top 10
Excellent user interface and portal; provides great documentation

Pros and Cons

  • "User interface and portal are great."
  • "Azure calculator could be improved, there are issues with login synchronization."

What is our primary use case?

I'm currently trying to build a new product for my company using Microsoft Azure. Prior to that, I was using Microsoft Azure on the cloud to deploy microservices using specific Azure services to host the microservices. But the most common Azure services that we're using is the App Service and relational databases. In terms of the application, the first one was just the Microsoft Azure application and the second one was an integration with Elastic Stack. I'm a software architect.

What is most valuable?

The user interface offers a good experience, it's better than Azure itself. The portal is great. Microsoft Azure has very good documentation for any kind of technical person.

What needs improvement?

Sometimes the Azure Calculator doesn't have a good way to do a higher estimate, because for any organization there are sometimes issues with the application sites, but I know that the logs are not the real time and there are issues with login synchronization. It cam sometimes take more than five minutes for that information to reach the Azure application side. I'd like to see integration with other lifecycle managing rules because with Azure DevOps, it's straightforward, but the system is painful sometimes. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using this solution for nearly five years, the last 12 months in this new company. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

In general, stability is good, but in the past month I had some issues with the connection to Azure resources, not just Microsoft Azure, but with Azure in general. Microsoft has an issue with its authentication system which has proved painful, because my applications were up and running, but I can't log in to make changes or see metrics. It's a lot better now, we've had the application down three or four times but it hasn't been critical. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is good, I haven't had any issues with their configuration. I think we have around 600 concurrent users. 

How are customer service and technical support?

I haven't used Azure support. They have good documentation, although I sometimes think that the examples on GitHub aren't updated. On the whole, documentation is good. 

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

We previously used AWS but we knew there was already a lot of experience with Microsoft Azure and their technologies and we wanted to use all the features for each service. Given that this is with government and the integration is with Microsoft Azure, we can use all the features and benefits of each service. Another issue is that they were using AWS with infrastructure as a service, but they redesigned this application to use software as a service and platform as a service. We dropped the use of infrastructure as a service and using the platform as a service, and it was estimated that it would cost less than with AWS.

How was the initial setup?

I think the initial setup is straightforward. I have around 20 microservices, so deployment took probably two weeks. It took longer than a previous implementation which took several hours.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We did a quick check with cloud computing, but we didn't find anything really efficient outside of the Google Kubernetes Engine that was better than the Azure Kubernetes Service or the Kubernetes service in AWS. But it was just a quick check and it was documented.

What other advice do I have?

I can sometimes see that Microsoft has poor training, but to be honest the whole training thing isn't good at a technical level. They are designed to be the entrance point and show the way you can create a web portal and database. But if they could offer an in-depth technical solution of Azure services that would be good. It's possible that Google has something about it and they can offer better learning than Microsoft sometimes does. Reading through their documentation can take some time. 

I rate this solution a nine out of 10. 

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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JG
General Manager at a tech company with 11-50 employees
Real User
Top 10
A reliable, stable, and scalable solution that meets our needs and is easy to implement and use

Pros and Cons

  • "There are many useful features. We use web apps, so instead of starting a web server, we just have machines running some web services. This was helpful for us in terms of the scalability of the application. We also use Active Directory for authentication and some services for the data backup. It is a very good and reliable solution. It was easy to implement this solution. It fits very well into our plans and covers our needs to provide infrastructure in the cloud. The portal to configure new resources is very easy, and it is very easy to allocate new resources."
  • "We would like it to be cheaper. As a customer, we always want to pay less."

What is our primary use case?

Our production system is on Microsoft Azure. We are using the latest version of this solution.

We have services for the data in the SQL Server database. We also have servers for our web-based applications. All transactions occur in this environment. We also have a mirror environment in Azure, which is a different cloud geographically. 

What is most valuable?

There are many useful features. We use web apps, so instead of starting a web server, we just have machines running some web services. This was helpful for us in terms of the scalability of the application. We also use Active Directory for authentication and some services for the data backup.

It is a very good and reliable solution. It was easy to implement this solution. It fits very well into our plans and covers our needs to provide infrastructure in the cloud. The portal to configure new resources is very easy, and it is very easy to allocate new resources.

What needs improvement?

We would like it to be cheaper. As a customer, we always want to pay less.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution since 2013.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

In the past, they had some major outages, but it is a pretty stable platform.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is very scalable. It is as easy as assigning more resources, but it also depends on the architecture. If you have web apps or microservices, it is easy to implement a kind of dynamic or elastic growth. When you have a lot of activities, Azure will automatically assign more resources, which is pretty convenient.

We have around 200 users in our company, but we also have a merchant network that uses our system. This network has about 1,000 users.

How are customer service and technical support?

We had to escalate one case with the Microsoft team because we lost the connection with a data store. We got a response back within an hour of the event, and it was normal. Their service is fine in this regard. You can also have a better support contract, but what we have is enough for our purposes and needs.

How was the initial setup?

It is pretty easy. You just have to follow the step-by-step guidelines. The deployment happens almost immediately. If you need to increase or upgrade a server or have a new server, you just go to the portal and create a new resource, such as a server or a disk. It is very fast. There is no waiting time at all.

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

Its price can be cheaper. Price is always an issue. We pay around $10,000 per month for all resources.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We are launching a new platform for software as a service. We create our software, and for a new concept and architecture, we are comparing AWS with Azure. We are exploring AWS. It is a different stack, and we don't have much experience with it. So far, we don't have a lot of information about production on AWS because the product is not live yet. It will take a couple of months to be finished.

What other advice do I have?

It is a good solution. If you have any on-premise applications, you have to be very careful about the architecture. What you don't want to do is copy what you have in your data center and put it on the cloud because there are various alternatives once you are in the cloud. Therefore, I would recommend others to review the architecture and take advantage of the features that it provides.

I would rate Microsoft Azure a nine out of ten. We are happy with Microsoft and this solution.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Microsoft Azure
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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LS
Enterprise Technology Architect at a tech services company with 201-500 employees
Real User
Can be used to modernize environments and reduce the time spent on building infrastructures

Pros and Cons

  • "I think the most useful feature has been the remote desktop. It has been very helpful when customers have old applications that are not architected to run remotely."
  • "In my opinion, what could be improved is making the actual costs more predictable. It is very difficult to estimate the cost or the budget you are going to need to run your environment in Azure Cloud. You have to be a specialist to understand how you will be charged, which constantly changes."

What is our primary use case?

We have been using it to modernize customers' environments. We propose that the customers consider moving a number of things into the public cloud instead of building and maintaining everything on-premise. 

How has it helped my organization?

The organization can focus more on real business problems instead of IT problems. It can also reduce the time spent setting up the infrastructure. This then makes the organization more agile and, in a lot of cases, more reliable. With the public cloud, if your design is okay, the chance of running into a serious outage is, in most cases, lower than that when relying on your own on-premise IT infrastructure, particularly in the case of companies with 50 to 500 people that typically don't have very big IT budgets.

What is most valuable?

I think the most useful feature has been the remote desktop. It has been very helpful when customers have old applications that are not architected to run remotely.

What needs improvement?

In my opinion, what could be improved is making the actual costs more predictable. It is very difficult to estimate the cost or the budget you are going to need to run your environment in Azure Cloud. You have to be a specialist to understand how you will be charged, which constantly changes.

As for additional features, it would be great if the pricing could be cheaper for those trying to study and use the cloud. Having a discounted pricing scheme or even a free usage scheme, like a sandbox that is free to use on a continuous basis, for those who are studying would help them to actually generate more business later on. The more people learn to use the clouds, the more business they will actually attract.

They will start pushing solutions into the cloud, but if they have no time or opportunity to learn to use it, they will not be confident in proposing cloud solutions. So until they have been able to validate it in a test environment or a learning environment, they won't take the risk and propose a cloud solution.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been involved with this solution for one year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I think Microsoft Azure is fairly stable. It also depends on how you set up your design.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

As advertised, the scalability should never be an issue. The only thing that would stop you from scaling would be that your application has an architecture that is not scalable.

How are customer service and technical support?

For public clouds, customer service/technical support is okay. In general, the documentation is very good.

How was the initial setup?

For those who are familiar with Azure, the initial setup is not that complex. However, for those who are using Azure for the first time, it's probably a bit more involved because they may need to create their own virtual data centers in the cloud with the necessary security measures. I think that often this is a bit underestimated mostly because of a lack of knowledge on the part of the new customer.

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

Software licensing models can be expensive depending on what you need compared to open source solutions, for example. However, if you don't have the technical skills, you may be better off paying for a license and support instead of trying to use open source solutions.

What other advice do I have?

I would rate Microsoft Azure at eight on a scale from one to ten. 

I would advice others to take the time to study it carefully because there's a lot to understand and a lot to know before putting a solution in the clouds. Don't underestimate the complexity.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Hybrid Cloud
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: partner
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CQ
Cloud Arquitect at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 20
Simple to set up, and very scalable but a bit complicated for large organizations

Pros and Cons

  • "The solution is very simple to set up."
  • "The solution needs a more integrated password feature."

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use the solution as a single point to check all our application metrics from tool to application. 

What is most valuable?

The solution is very simple to set up.

What needs improvement?

Right now, in Azure, with the solution they offer, it's a bit complicated. 

The application response time in particular consumes a lot of memory in terms of the CPU and application response time.

The control administration, every single control, every single application or service, has its independent dashboard. It's a bit complex to set up. It's simple to set up, however, when you want a metric for tracking or reporting, it's a bit difficult.

We've had issues with the login feature and have been looking into other solutions due to that ongoing problem.

The solution needs a more integrated password feature.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for about two years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability isn't that good as compared to AWS. Azure just seems to have more issues in general. It's not the worst, however, it's definitely not the best. We need to make a plan in case the percentage goes down. 

We sometimes have issues with the Azure login. It's been a problem for the last few years. We've also had a data center fail.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability of the solution is good. I personally haven't faced any constraints. Therefore, if a company needs to expand, I don't believe there to be a problem in it doing so.

I'm not sure of how many users are actually using the solution at our organization.

I'm not sure if we plan to increase usage or not.

How are customer service and technical support?

I haven't been in touch with technical support, and therefore can't really speak to their responsiveness or knowledge about the product.

In terms of documentation, we're making our own in-house. We are creating the policies and procedures for how our monitoring should be and we are creating an inventory of which services we have and which metrics each service must have. It's a work in progress.

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

We're currently looking into different solutions as we've had some issues with Azure over the last few years.

We may have previously used a different solution, however, I might have been new to the company at the time and don't recall what it was.

How was the initial setup?

It's really very straightforward to set up the solution. It's not complex at all. You just need to set up the features your need.

The solution doesn't require too much maintenance.

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

We usually use the subscription model Azure has. However, that doesn't include monitoring. We're looking at a new budget for that. It would be apart from the main Azure consumption.

However, I don't know the exact pricing. It's not part of the work I do.

What other advice do I have?

We're Azure partners. We have a business relationship with the company.

I'd advise others that Azure is good for monitoring for a small to mid-size organization. For those, it works well. For very complex scenarios, it will be difficult to manage.

I'd rate the solution six out of ten. It's much to complicated for larger organizations.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Microsoft Azure
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
VG
Senior Director at a computer software company with 501-1,000 employees
MSP
Top 20
Reasonable pricing with intuitive UI but reaching support is difficult

Pros and Cons

  • "We have found the user interface to be intuitive. Microsoft is a master at UI."
  • "You don't get support from Microsoft very easily as compared to other solutions."

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use the solution for cost reasons, for example, when a client's hardware refresh is coming and they don't want to incur the cost on the hardware. We also use it for capacity as, when they buy hardware, those are constrained by capacity. 

What is most valuable?

The analytics services are the most valuable aspect of the solution.

The product has many useful features on offer. 

We have found the user interface to be intuitive. Microsoft is a master at UI.

The stability is okay.

The solution has the potential to scale. 

We have found the pricing to be reasonable. 

What needs improvement?

You don't get support from Microsoft very easily as compared to other solutions. For example, AWS. If I reach out to AWS, their PDM team is very quick to respond. The Microsoft Azure team does not.

The downtime could be a bit better. AWS has less downtime.

The solution needs to scale as well as AWS, which scales much better.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for four to five years at this point. It's been a while. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is okay. There are no bugs or glitches. It's reliable. However, AWS seems to be a bit better.

In terms of downtime, if you look at the reporting side, if you look at the Gartner report, it shows that AWS experienced significantly fewer outages as compared to Azure.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

In my experience, I've seen AWS as a little bit more robust in terms of scalability and its features as compared to Azure. That said, Azure is improving every day. Still, AWS seems to be ahead in terms of scalability. 

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is not very responsive. They are quite slow. 

While the team may be capable, the processes set up around are really bad. If you have to reach out to someone to get technical support, it takes hours and hours of effort to get to them.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is neither easy nor difficult. It's somewhere between straightforward and complex. Usually, with our clients, we don't get straightforward projects. However, we can't say they are the most complex out there either.

What about the implementation team?

We tend to do setups for our clients.

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

The pricing is fair. It's not overly expensive.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Lately, I have been researching technical comparisons between Azure and AWS for SAP HANA 2.0 migration from on-premises to the cloud.

What other advice do I have?

We are Azure partners.

I'm mainly providing services to my customers, and therefore am not necessarily an end-user.

For the most part, I would recommend Azure. However, we cannot just recommend Azure blindly. Azure suits mostly the customers that are using the Microsoft suite of products. It brings your own licenses into the play so that you don't end up with another cloud. If you're using Microsoft products, then Azure is a straight fit for you. You should not evaluate any other cloud. However, if you're not using the Microsoft suite of products, if you're using MS Skills, running Solaris, and all of those things, then you have to evaluate which cloud is better.

I'd rate the solution at a seven out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Microsoft Azure
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
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BT
Head of Department at a transportation company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Easy to use, scales well, good interface, and provisioning a server is fast

Pros and Cons

  • "Provisioning a server is fast, taking only one or two minutes before it is ready."
  • "At this point, the latency is too high to use Azure in our production environment."

What is our primary use case?

We have a private cloud, but we are interested in having a hybrid cloud that includes Microsoft Azure. This use of it as an Infrastructure as a Service will help us to expand our scale using our hardware.

Primarily, we use Azure to test services and solutions that we want to use on the public cloud. Nothing in production is being used on Azure yet because of latency.

What is most valuable?

Azure is helpful when you want to set up a server, such as a Linux test server. For example, we can transfer our code to the test server and do a comparison.

This solution is easy to use. It has quite a good interface for things like provisioning a server.

Provisioning a server is fast, taking only one or two minutes before it is ready. In our private cloud, this process still takes longer.

What needs improvement?

At this point, the latency is too high to use Azure in our production environment.

I would like to see support for data streaming in the future because I understand that currently, data streaming is not there. It would work like Kafka does, in Microsoft Azure. If they can provide the Platform as a Service and Infrastructure as a Service, it will be better.

For example, if want to use Kafka, I should be able to purchase Microsoft Azure and then use my Kafka license. This would also give me support. Right now, using it requires first getting a server through Infrastructure as a Service, then getting a Kafka license, then installing the server in the cloud.

For how long have I used the solution?

We started using Microsoft Azure last year.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Azure is a scalable product. We are not using it extensively yet because we just started exploring it for use as a testing server. However, if we are satisfied with the security and issues with latency then we are going to set up performance tests.

How are customer service and technical support?

We have not had any issues with support. The interface is quite user-friendly, so we have not needed to contact them. I think that they do have assistance available for onboarding, or creating a server.

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

We did evaluate other solutions but that is the job of another team in the company. I was only told that we also tried Google Cloud.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is straightforward. Microsoft Azure provides an easy interface to log in and create a server.

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

The pricing is flexible. Our company engaged in negotiations to get a better price, which resulted in a two-year contract.

It seems that the cost of using the service in the short term is definitely good. However, in the long-term it is different. The long-term cost is higher than if you set up the servers on-premises, which is something that could be improved through more competitive pricing.

What other advice do I have?

Our usage is rather limited right now but for what we use it for, the product is quite good and we are satisfied with the services. This is a product that I can recommend for anybody who does not want to invest a lot of money in their own hardware.

I would rate this solution a nine out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Microsoft Azure
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Implementer
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