By Ric Riddle



When Microsoft released ExpressRoute, the company’s solution for seamlessly connecting Azure to non-Azure clouds and dedicated hosting resources, it’s not an overstatement to say it changed the face of IT forever.

You no longer have to choose between AWS and Azure, or on-premise and cloud—you can select and combine the services and storage options that make the most sense for your company, an approach that’s come to be called hybrid multi-cloud.

But with almost 700 Azure service options available, where do you even begin? Here are seven popular Azure cloud services to consider adding to your IT stack:

App Service

Azure App Service makes it easy to build and deploy web, mobile, and API apps using virtually any common platform. It integrates into your existing frameworks and offers continuous integration, live-site debugging, and Microsoft Visual Studio IDE, as well as an ecosystem of prebuilt apps, APIs, and connectors from Azure Marketplace. It’s also fully managed so you benefit from consistent security and performance, and you can choose to run it in a fully isolated, dedicated, compliant App Service Environment.

Virtual Machines

Azure Virtual Machines are flexible enough that you can take your pick of languages, workloads, and operating systems. Microsoft calls it “the performance of a supercomputer with the scalability of the cloud,” offering you the ability to deploy an application in seconds all over the world using Microsoft’s extensive global network of data centers.

DevOps Project

Azure DevOps Project enables teams to build Azure applications on any Azure service in less than five minutes. A recent Microsoft blog describes why this is vital:

“Existing on-premise apps are getting migrated to Azure and new applications are getting developed to take advantage of Azure services. But there are multiple challenges that can slow down the learning and implementation. For example, which Azure Resource to use, how to create and configure it, how to deploy an app to the newly created resource. The deployment steps themselves differ based on the choice of Azure resource and the framework used for developing your application. Similarly, for getting your application in the hands of customers faster you need a DevOps pipeline and a setup to monitor the app.”

Azure DevOps Project sets you up with everything you need for developing, deploying, and monitoring your apps. When you create a DevOps Project, you’re provisioned Azure resources and a Git code repository, along with Application Insights integration. You’re also set up with a continuous delivery pipeline that deploys to Azure and a dashboard where you can monitor code commits, builds, and deployments.

Azure Backup

Pay-as-you-go Azure Backup supports VMware and Hyper-V virtual machines running on Linux and Windows, as well as physical Windows Servers. It automatically detects your on-premises VMware virtual machines, connects them to Azure, and enables you to back up the data you choose with just three clicks. When you need to restore data, you have a central dashboard that makes it easy to choose what to restore and enables you to export business intelligence reports for compliance purposes. It also protects against ransomware by offering access control and storing unauthorized deleted backups for several days.

Azure Cosmos DB

Cosmos DB is a NoSQL application database service that enables you to build high-availability, global-scale applications with low latency and integration with popular APIs. As the world’s first globally distributed, multi-model database service with native NoSQL support, Cosmos DB won InfoWorld’s Technology of the Year Award for its “innovative approach to the complexities of building and managing distributed systems.” It’s simply a great choice for building database-reliant globally distributed applications.

Azure Active Directory (AD)

Azure AD is a multi-tenant, cloud-based directory and identity management service that helps companies manage user identities and create intelligence-driven access policies for secure data. Great for the distributed workforce, AD enables users to launch all of their cloud applications from a web-based access panel or mobile app using a single identity to get the same experience across Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS devices. It also enables companies to collaborate securely with users outside their organization without compromising sensitive apps and data.

Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS)

AKS makes it easy to orchestrate, manage, and operate Kubernetes environments without sacrificing portability. You’ll get an Azure-hosted control plane, automated upgrades, self-healing, easy scaling, and a simple user experience for developers and cluster operators alike. As Microsoft puts it, AKS delivers “the benefit of open source Kubernetes without complexity and operational overhead,” making it ideal for deploying and managing IoT devices or Microservices based applications, machine learning model training, and more.

Adding Azure Services to Your IT Stack

There’s so much you can do with Azure, it’s helpful to have a knowledgeable, Azure-certified partner like Codero to architect your optimal IT mix based on your needs and goals.

Today, Azure is often just one component of a wholly optimized hybrid multi-cloud IT program.

You can learn more about the hybrid multi-cloud approach in our new ebook, Understanding Hybrid Multi-Cloud: Why the Future of IT Is Platform Agnostic.

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