It’s easy to think of cloud hosting as a commodity – after all, beyond the distinctions of public and private, it may not seem like one company’s cloud offering would differ from another’s. But yet there are undeniably a handful of cloud providers winning the market. Why is that?
Codero recently began offering Microsoft Azure, and it was such a compelling product we made the decision to migrate existing Codero Cloud customers to Azure. There are simply economies of scale larger providers like Microsoft have when it comes to building dispersed data centers and creating and updating cloud-based services, and Microsoft does an excellent job of maintaining a premium offering in Azure.
There are a few key benefits of Azure that led us to the decision it would serve our customers well:
While there are a number of factors in choosing a cloud, cost is often the first factor companies weigh. With Azure, most existing Codero customers will see their prices stay the same or go down.
Codero Cloud pricing was based on a fixed price for most instances on a monthly basis, although it may have gone up or down slightly based on usage.
With the Azure cloud, you truly only pay for what you use, so there’s potential for cost savings. Of course, if you make use of services available on Azure that were not available on your previous cloud, your prices may increase, but so will the value you’re receiving.
In the vast majority of cases, companies will find their monthly Azure bills are comparable or less than other clouds.
2. Server and Bandwidth Performance
Customers who were with the Codero Cloud or other mid-market or smaller clouds may find they see better technology performance. The Azure infrastructure is frequently updated, where smaller providers may only upgrade their clouds every few years.
Many of the instances in Azure use SSD disks by default and include a 128GB disk as standard. This is more storage than most customers had provisioned in their Codero Cloud instances, so upon switching to Azure, they experienced an immediate uptick in performance on all fronts.
Moreover, working with Azure gives you the ability to spin up instances in dozens of regions worldwide and to provide content caching in many more, increasing your ability to deliver fast, on-demand services to any part of the globe. That’s an important win given more than half of mobile users will abandon a site that takes more than three seconds to load, and Google is about to begin using load time as a factor in mobile search rankings.
3. Security and Compliance
Microsoft is known for its focus on not only security, but customer privacy – one area where it has a more brand trust and credibility than Google’s cloud.
The Azure cloud has all the certifications that Codero and most cloud providers will have such as SOC2, HIPAA, SOC, FISMA, and many more. The responsibility ultimately lies with your company to properly secure your servers and applications (although working with a managed services provider like Codero can help).
Azure also offers several options to make security easier, such as automatic encryption of data at rest, security monitoring and alerting, backup and disaster recovery services and many others.
Security and compliance are important issue to Microsoft, so much so that they created a Trust Center you can visit for more information.
In the end, features is one area where most mid-market or smaller cloud providers will have trouble competing with Microsoft. Azure gives you access to dozens of services that other providers just can’t offer.
These include operational tools like auto-scaling groups, load balancers, security and backup services. They also include advanced services you’ll need to compete in the smart digital era we’re entering, like AI, big data and analytics.
Perhaps even more importantly, there are new services released every month so moving your company to Azure means taking an important step toward future proofing your technology.
5. Disaster Recovery
No matter what industry you’re in, disaster recovery is table stakes in this digital-first world. Microsoft maintains a huge global network of data centers to provide a diverse range of failover locations.
Azure offers hot and cold standby models and rolling reboot capabilities so you have options for your disaster recovery strategy and a more convenient recovery process in the event it’s needed.
Keep in mind, you can use Azure for disaster recovery even if you’re not hosting anything on Azure (more on this later).
6. Integrated Developer Environment
Baked right in to Azure is the world’s leading development environment, Visual Studio. Visual Studio is known for making it much easier for developers to learn Azure on the job and quickly and successfully deploy new applications and services.
Working in Azure, it’s easy to frequently test code on real devices, analyze, diagnose and debug, as well as collaborate with other team members. That means faster development cycles and more successful launches.
7. Integrated Delivery Pipeline
Azure’s enablement of developers also extends to the next level: delivery and iteration. Azure’s delivery pipeline includes source control, unit testing, integration testing, delivery, and finally go live tools.
That means Azure Visual Studio not only offers tools for deployment of your applications, it enables you to engage with users, monitor the health of your app, and have the visibility you need to make more educated app updates.
You Don’t Have to Go All In
The beauty of IT is that you don’t have to go all in with one cloud provider. There are a variety of specific benefits and use cases for the AWS cloud as well, and many customers will find their ideal infrastructure includes a combination of Azure and AWS clouds along with other resources like Microsoft Office 365 and even bare metal servers.
The promise of the cloud is finally coming to fruition, in that you can truly get what you need, pay for what you use, and run the right task in the right environment at the right time.
We’re happy to be a managed Azure provider and are here to help answer your questions as you explore incorporating Azure in your IT mix. You don’t have to bring all of your infrastructure to Codero to enjoy the benefits of Codero-managed Azure.
Like Microsoft, our team of experts is focused on empowering you to get the IT stack you need, whatever that may look like.