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LF
CTO at a computer software company with 51-200 employees
Real User
Top 20
Cloud-based, stable, simple to install, and with good advanced-level support

Pros and Cons

  • "It is easy to install."
  • "A good strategy would be to include a feature for integrating with external ecosystems."

What is our primary use case?

We are resellers. We use Microsoft to provide a service to our customers.

We offer SaaS software for the marketplace. 

We offer SaaS software for the B2B marketplace and provide solutions to our customers through public cloud infrastructure.

What is most valuable?

We have yet to explore this solution and what it has to offer because we are still in the transformation phase from Amazon to Azure.

What needs improvement?

It could be more open to external solutions.

Integration with other ecosystems would be beneficial. During this transitional period, this is our primary concern. For example, when we offer solutions to our customers, we must connect to their IT ecosystem, which we are unable to do in some cases.

A good strategy would be to include a feature for integrating with external ecosystems.

We would also like to improve the security.

For how long have I used the solution?

We switched from Amazon to Azure six months ago.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

In the short time that we have been using this solution, it appears to be stable enough for our needs.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We work with 50 companies that use this solution on a daily basis.

How are customer service and support?

We have no issues with the technical support. It's fine.

We needed to find someone who could help us. It depends on the support contract you have with Microsoft. 

The standard level of support was obviously insufficient for us, and we had to resort to a more advanced level of support for partners who had complex technical questions. This meant that there would be some additional support costs, but everything would be fine once you made that decision.

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

We use Auth0, which is an IAM-based solution.

We are using an identification solution provided by a cloud provider. We are based on Azure. We work with a Microsoft Azure infrastructure, and we use the solution provided by Microsoft to authenticate the users.

How was the initial setup?

It is easy to install.

It took us a few months to deploy. I did not take a lot of time to move to Azure but moving to another infrastructure using microservice takes longer.

We are coming from a moderate approach to installation and going for a modular one that is based on microservices.

To be able to manage the microservices, we made some modifications.

The length of time it took to complete the implementation was primarily due to changes we made to the infrastructure that was required for our customers.

What about the implementation team?

We have a dedicated team of ten people who will deploy and manage the infrastructure.

We have a separate Dev team for the application itself.

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

Customers pay for our software and use our solution as a service through monthly payments. They don't pay the licensing fee directly to Microsoft.

We provide a solution as a service to our customers. They pay us for our services, which are based on Microsoft.

What other advice do I have?

We would recommend this solution to others who are considering using it.

I would rate Microsoft Azure an eight 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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Sarith Sasidharan
System Administrator at a government with 201-500 employees
Real User
Top 5
Reliable, has easy provisioning, and offers good integration capabilities

Pros and Cons

  • "The solution offers very good upgrades and updates regularly."
  • "Technical support is lacking right now. It needs to be better."

What is our primary use case?

We're using the product as an infrastructure as a service. I'm basically using it to host services.

What is most valuable?

The product is very easy to provision. This is one of its most valuable aspects.

The solution offers pretty good integration capabilities at this time.

We've found the pricing to be pretty good so far. It's not too expensive.

The initial setup is very straightforward.

The stability is quite good. It's a reliable product.

We have found the scalability to be very good.

The solution offers very good upgrades and updates regularly.

What needs improvement?

The product can be a bit confusing at times. It's not well laid out. The interface, for example, can be a bit hard to figure out and they seem to be constantly changing things on us.

It's a rather new product and therefore lacks the maturity of other options. There is much they can do to add to it and to improve it. That may likely come with more time.

Up until two or so years ago, they weren't even accepting customer feedback on the solution. They've just started to do so, and they have given users a sense that improvements will be on the way sometime in the future.

Technical support is lacking right now. It needs to be better.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been using the solution for more than 12 months at this point. It's been a while.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is very stable. There are no bugs or glitches. It doesn't crash or freeze. The performance, overall, has been rather reliable for our organization.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The product has the capability to expand. If a company needs to scale it, it can do so. It's not a problem.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support needs to be better. We are not quite satisfied with their level of support. They need to be more responsive to use when we have queries. 

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

We actually use Amazon as well. We did use it before, however, we are also still using it. We use both Azure and Amazon at this time.

How was the initial setup?

We did not find the initial setup to be too complex. It's pretty straightforward. A company should be able to handle the deployment without too many issues.

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

The pricing is decent. We don't find that they are charging too much. It's pretty fair.

What other advice do I have?

As a cloud deployment, the solution is constantly updating itself, therefore we always have access to the latest release.

We have about 300 to 400 users on it currently. It's a business unit with various users of different job descriptions.

We are planning to increase the usage in the future.

I'm not sure if the company will use this solution for the long term or if they are considering trying something new. That is yet to be determined.

Overall, I would rate the solution at a nine out of ten. We're mostly quite happy with it in general.

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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AB
IT Technical Manager
Real User
Technical simplicity in terms of implementation; flexible and scalable

Pros and Cons

  • "Provides a high level of availability and 99% uptime."
  • "Lacks flexibility in terms of storage or resource allocation."

What is our primary use case?

We are customers of Microsoft and I'm the IT technical manager. 

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature for me is the high level of availability and the 99% uptime of the system. I also appreciate the technical simplicity of the system in terms of implementation.

What needs improvement?

I'm currently based in the Philippines and the availability of services locally could be improved. Technically speaking, I'd like to see more flexibility in terms of storage or resource allocation. Resourcing is currently quite fixed so that if you want to move between level two and level three resources, or customize resources, you can't do that. The discrepancy in terms of costing is around $200. If they improved flexibility for selecting resources it would be easier for us to get the costing approved.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using this solution for around two years. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is stable, one of the most reliable in the Philippines. The downside is that currently all the services are outside the country. Singapore and Hong Kong provide the closest service but we have laws that prohibit certain amounts of data residing in other countries. None of that affects stability. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

One of the key takes from using cloud services is scalability and flexibility. If a company hits some roadblocks financially, they can reduce infrastructure and also reduce what they use in the cloud lowering the cost. 

How are customer service and technical support?

I've had several outages or major issues and I've had good experience with technical support. They resolved the problems in less than a day. The only downside is that in the Philippines you're dealing with the vendor and not Microsoft direct. I have two steps of support; if the vendor can't provide the support, then they escalate to Microsoft. 

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is quite simple. We currently have 20 users on the infrastructure side in addition to 20+ developers.

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

We have difficulty in getting the costing approved. We pay for a virtual machine and the resources currently implemented there, then we need a license from Microsoft Windows OS and the database itself. In our latest license purchase, the manager approved a monthly fee of around $2,000 for the resources we use. If you're going to the cloud, that's currently included in the cost and will be less if you have the software assurance from Microsoft; on-prem is more expensive.

What other advice do I have?

The big takeaway on this product is the high availability of the system on cloud and reduction of on-prem costing. There are no concerns about the electrical doing some redundancy in between, cooling, purchasing, procurement of IT equipment. Instead of budgeting based on CAPEX, we're doing it from an OPEX point of view. One of the key takes for moving to the cloud is the cost. You can leverage with the cloud and let go of some things required to maintain a system on-prem, the kinds of things that alleviate some complexity in doing maintenance of the system. The solution is suitable for any size company. 

I highly recommend Microsoft Azure. Everyone knows Microsoft so the learning curve is easier. I rate the solution nine out of 10. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Hybrid Cloud
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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Jan Stander
Owner at Latreia Technologies
Real User
Top 20
Functional pricing calculator, reliable, and excellent customer service

Pros and Cons

  • "We have found the most valuable feature to be the pricing calculator."
  • "The solution could be easier to use. However, when comparing it to AWS it is a bit easier."

What is our primary use case?

We have developed for our customers a website where they do onsite inspections of heavy moving equipment. They have the ability to build reports that are all web-based now and by clicking a button it goes out to their customers. This company is now starting to roll it out. They started in Zimbabwe, Zambia, and South Africa. They are currently expanding the system to Brazil and Australia. We had to move from on-premise solutions to a cloud-based system and this what we are using Azure for.

What is most valuable?

We have found the most valuable feature to be the pricing calculator.

What needs improvement?

The solution could be easier to use. However, when comparing it to AWS it is a bit easier.

In an upcoming release, the interface could improve.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for approximately two months.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Azure is reliable. I am doing other work for another company where I do not host it in Azure myself, but they have a U-systems running on Azure and it is operating all over the world. There are times when it can slow down a little but most of the time, it runs very smoothly.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have two people using this solution in my organization.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have one experience calling the technical support for Azure and the response was almost immediate, they are very good.

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

I have used AWS previously. Although AWS might be cheaper in some instances, I found it has an even worse configuration. You have to configure every detail, whereas with Azure it easier.

How was the initial setup?

The installation was straightforward. Once you have a Microsoft ID everything else just falls into place.

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

I am currently on a pay-as-you-go subscription and my customers are going to be on a three-year contract. For what is offered in the three-year package it is quite reasonably priced. However, if I was to run it in my office from my own service it would be cheaper but the risk is too high. Here in South Africa, we have something called load shedding where the electricity is turned off for periods of time to regulate to load of the electricity being used. It can go off for five to six hours causing the batteries in the cell towers and fiber exchanges to start dropping and then the customers are offline.

This is why I have to move to a cloud platform that has generators, redundancy on fiber connections, and other mechanisms in place. It creates a lot of challenges for us.

Microsoft has two data centers in South Africa, one in Johannesburg and one in Cape Town. We will most likely be balancing between South Africa, Europe, and maybe even have a service in Australia.

What other advice do I have?

I would advise others to do their research before they purchase any platform service. Everything could look fine on the surface but if you do not understand things, such as DPUs and flexible databases, you can run into some difficulties.

I rate Microsoft Azure an eight out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
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MU
IT Senior Consultant and trainer at a tech vendor with 51-200 employees
Real User
Top 5
Simple to use, easy to configure, and scalable

Pros and Cons

  • "The solution is very simple to use. It has a lot of great practical applications we really appreciate."
  • "The solution could use mutual segmentation for servers. It would be ideal if you could constitute something like five or 15 groups among the groups of different computers inside Azure."

What is our primary use case?

I primarily use Microsoft Azure for application development in our development environment.

What is most valuable?

The solution is pretty dynamic.

We prefer that we can configure our environment very quickly. 

We can add some notes if we need to. The testing capabilities are great. We can use the load balancing environment, and we can test a lot of different components from an infrastructure point of view. We can also test different scenarios within the application. 

The solution is very simple to use. It has a lot of great practical applications we really appreciate.

What needs improvement?

The licensing model is not ideal. It is not very useful in predicting actual costs. Sometimes we found that we could not accurately predict how much specific products will cost the company in the future. Just now, for example, we want to start using Log Analytics for Office 365, however, we don't know the final price. It's inconvenient for us as we cannot predict the budget and it puts off making a decision. For Microsoft, it's very disadvantagous.

The solution could use mutual segmentation for servers. It would be ideal if you could constitute something like five or 15 groups among the groups of different computers inside Azure. If you could get something like logical groups of servers outside the mutual servers, it would be an improvement. 

Sometimes we want to start and do a penetration test. If, for example, we're planning new security scanning for our customers. You have to inform Microsoft that you want to start a penetration test. If you have regular scans Microsoft should allow regular scanning, without having to plan and to ask for approval from the Microsoft side every time. When it's meant to be a regular occurrence, it's very inconvenient for us.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability of the solution is pretty good. It doesn't cause bottlenecks or any other major issues for us. We find it to be reliable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

While we can dynamically add servers according to the user request, it's not profitable for us. Currently, it is possible to scale the solution. It just costs more to do so.

How are customer service and technical support?

We are not so satisfied with technical support right now. Sometimes they cannot help us. We had problems with licensing and with the invoicing and so on and so on. Sometimes it's not very easy to explain the problems, the technical or non-technical, and they can't really assist us effectively.

In one instance, we had an issue with anti-spam on the service. We were trying to figure out why certain emails were being marked as spam. It took far too long to get to the bottom of the cause.

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

It's hard to gauge what the pricing will be, so It's hard to plan with the solution. The licensing needs to be more transparent and obvious.

What other advice do I have?

We're simply Microsoft customers. We don't have a business relationship with the company.

Overall, I would rate the solution eight out of ten. We're mostly happy with it, although we would prefer if pricing was more transparent.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
JayronWilliams
IT Security Specialist at a transportation company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Great for single sign-ons and hosts most of our virtual machines; provides good security

Pros and Cons

  • "I appreciate that everything is basically shift forward from a security standpoint."
  • "The authentication method only allows me to have up to 90 users, and there are 2,300 people in the company."

What is our primary use case?

We're using Azure Premium P1 and it hosts our website and most of the applications we use. We are an airline company and for some of our enterprise apps, it enables things like single sign-on and hosts most of our virtual machines, as well as some of our web servers for the on-prem application. Our customer mobile app for purchasing tickets is for that purpose but we also use it for enterprise apps. I use Minecraft for my email security, but I integrate it with Azure to incorporate the single sign-on, as well as for multifactor authentication in my Office 365 environment, and the productive Parti app. I'm an IT security specialist and we are customers of Azure.

What is most valuable?

The feature I appreciate is that everything is basically shift forward from a security standpoint. Most of our systems are integrated with Azure for authentication purposes. Given that I'm a security specialist I use it for that purpose. The rest of the team uses it more for things like application deployment. I also use it to determine sign-ons, and things like compliance to devices. 

What needs improvement?

Microsoft allows you, via Azure, to have different authentication methods. You can use the Microsoft Authenticator app, text or voice, or something called a FIDO, which is like a USB security key. Unfortunately, the authentication method only allows me to have up to 90 users, and there are 2,300 people in the company. When I have to push multifactor authentication, I cannot specify certain users for the authenticator app. It forces me to lock it down and say conditional access only allowed.

Another issue I have is that Microsoft notifies me retroactively about certain things. For example, when a user sends an email with over 200 recipients, it can take half an hour for me to get a notification but sometimes it can take 24 hours. I have the same issue when it comes to things like phishing attempts. It's a problem. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using Azure for three years. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is stable, although I'd like some advance warning when they make changes. It can sometimes take hours to update so that if I have a user using multifactor authentication and I take them off, it can take up to an hour for it to take effect.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is very good. 

How was the initial setup?

I can only speak from my own experience and I have many Microsoft certificates, including as a Microsoft solution architect expert in Azure, so it might be easier for me than it is for others. I tend to do a lot of things on the app and I use it on a daily basis. Even if I don't know where something is, the documentation on techniques, everything is there. I wasn't involved in the deployment at this company but in my previous position, it took a couple of days, not very long. Microsoft provided support. It's just a matter of configuring the tenant.

What other advice do I have?

I would recommend Azure because there's a lot of documentation available and a lot of user guides, it has everything. 

I rate the solution eight out of 10. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Hybrid Cloud
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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PM
User at a real estate/law firm with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Good security, excellent scalability, and very stable

Pros and Cons

  • "Technical support, from what I understand, is quite helpful and we speak with them regularly."
  • "The installation process is complex."

What is our primary use case?

We don't use DevOps; we just use the Azure Cloud platform. The solution is primarily used for PaaS and FaaS.

What is most valuable?

The solution has been very stable.

We find the product to be scalable. 

The security network inside of the information on the network is very good.

Technical support, from what I understand, is quite helpful and we speak with them regularly.

What needs improvement?

There aren't really any issues with the product itself. For us, the problems are organizational and the processes inside the company, which uses Azure, aren't as clear. They need to define a good process and a good implementation strategy going forward. We only really have issues with what they want to do, and not the technology itself. Basically, the technology is not the problem. It is just the way we want to use it.

It would always be nice to have even more integration capabilities.

A company needs to have strong finance managers. It could cost a lot if you haven't got a finance function inside each company.

The installation process is complex. 

The pricing could always be better and a bit more standardized.

For how long have I used the solution?

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

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is very stable and reliable. The performance is good. It's not buggy. there aren't glitches. It doesn't crash or freeze.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The product has been very scalable. If a company needs to expand it, it can do so.

At this time, I'm not sure exactly how many people are directly using the solution.

How are customer service and technical support?

While I haven't personally used technical support, our company does have a technical account manager on the Azure side and we are coordinating each week to identify all the topics we need to address - including our disaster recovery plan, which is important to the company right now. 

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

We did not previously use a different solution before we chose to work with Azure. 

How was the initial setup?

The installation process is not very straightforward. 

When you want to install with a higher level of security inside the infrastructure, nothing communicates. Therefore, engineering security and network engineers need to understand what they have to do exactly, and what the problem is. With Aure, there's a learning curve for installation. You need to work with it for at least one year before you get comfortable enough and are able to troubleshoot and configure everything relatively well.

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

The solution has the potential to be expensive if you as a company are not careful as to how you use it. 

What other advice do I have?

I'm a customer and an end-user.

I'd rate the solution at a ten out of ten. For me, it's a perfect product and I enjoy its capabilities. 

I would recommend this solution to other users and 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: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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FA
Systems Administrator Team Leader at a retailer with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Good workload performance and the ExpressRoute connects us directly to the Microsoft cloud

Pros and Cons

  • "We have implemented the ExpressRoute connection, which is an established circuit between the local provider and the Microsoft network edge."
  • "At times, the support is terrible."

What is our primary use case?

This year, we built our own data center, and we use this solution to extend it into the cloud.

We have implemented the ExpressRoute connection, which is an established circuit between the local provider and the Microsoft network edge. This leads you directly to the Microsoft data center.

The digital workload transfers from on-premises here to the Azure cloud, which is a hybrid model. We have two different zones in Azure. One is for the intranet, and the other is for the internet.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the performance for our digital workloads.

What needs improvement?

At times, the support is terrible. It is not bad all of the time, but many times when we have contacted them, there are juniors without refined knowledge. We have had instances where it takes a long time to solve just a single problem.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using Microsoft Azure for the past two years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability depends on the customer. They decide the compute and other things, such as the level of support. If they take premium support then the SLA given by Microsoft is higher than when you choose a virtual machine without premium.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

At the moment, we are reviewing and studying how to migrate our full workload to the cloud. We have one datacenter with more than 120 virtual machines and we are learning how to do the migration. Once it is achieved, the hybrid model we have can become a public model.

How was the initial setup?

Our design was complex because we wanted it done in a certain way. There were lots of things to be done. We just experienced problems in the firewall's compatibility with Azure because when you implement a firewall, it's not as straightforward as in the case when you implement it on-premises. This led to some challenges and we had to troubleshoot the deployment of one firewall for a full month.

Even the local providers did not have experience with how to deploy that one firewall, which is why we spent so much time troubleshooting. It turns out that when you deploy a firewall on-premises and you want to migrate to the cloud, there are certain considerations that you have to keep in mind, which makes it more complex.

For our second firewall implementation, it was faster and better.

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

Licensing fees are paid on a yearly basis.

What other advice do I have?

This is definitely a product that I recommend, but it has to be done smartly. Not everything can be migrated and you shouldn't try to migrate everything as-is. It has to be done properly and people have to understand how services that are to be migrated need to be done. Also, there are some services that should not be migrated because it is better to keep them on your own cloud. This should all be studied in advance.

I would rate this solution a ten out of 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: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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