Azure is Microsoft’s cloud computing platform. The platform can be used to run virtual machines, host databases and back up data. Azure is also available on mobile devices.
Hosted Virtual Machines
Azure hosted virtual machines (VM) is an on-demand, scalable computing resource.
VM allows you to host multiple PCs, without needing the finance or space to pay for several servers. It’s an ideal solution for companies that have implemented a hybrid working model.
VMs still require regular maintenance including configuring, patching and installing software that runs on it.
The number of VMs that your application uses can scale up and out to whatever is required to meet your needs.
Did You Know?
of Fortune 500 companies trust their business on Azure
investment per year in security to protect customers’ data from cyber threats
Azure offers a cloud storage service, with regular off-site backups. Based around accessibility, different tiers are available including hot, cool and archive. Data stored in the hot tier are easily accessible but slightly more costly than the other tiers.
Secure Storage Account
Data can be stored at different levels based around your accessibility needs. Storing data that is to be ‘archived’ and not needed frequently will be cheaper to store than data that is required more frequently. During out initial consultation, we will analyse your current situation and requirements and design a tailored, cost-effective package based around your accessibility needs.
Azure File Services
This is a serverless file store which works in the same way as a file server and is located and accessed directly off the cloud. This can work in tandem with any local physical file server resource with the latest files being cached to a local server for faster access.
SAAS (Software as a Service)
Azure is subscription based and no upfront cost is required. A subscription is required to access the software. This makes it easily scalable allowing to add or remove resources as the business’ requirements change.
Azure Active Directory
Azure AD is an enterprise identity service that provides single sign-on, multi-factor authentication, allowing your users to securely access resources and applications from your intranet and public networks.
Regular, automatic back-ups take place to ensure the most recent data is backed up and stored safely and securely.
Azure SQL Database (Structured Query Language)
Azure SQL Database is an up-to-date, fully managed relational database service which has been built for the cloud. Many leading business applications rely upon Microsoft SQL as one of the most popular databases within the market.
Azure data centers contain groups of networked computer servers. Azure has more data centres located around the world than any of its competitors.
Cyber security prevention and response is both the responsibility of Microsoft and the end users. Azure provides a high-level of security embedded into their applications, but users must also have a level of knowledge and awareness to ensure complete protection.
As no on-premises server is required, users can be based anywhere in the world.
Simply just purchase more cloud services or storage space as your business grows.
The responsibilities will vary depending on whether the workload is hosted on Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), or an on-premises datacentre.
If you go for an on-premises data centre, the responsibility is solely yours, however for the other hosted options, responsibility will be shared between yourselves, Minerva and Microsoft. Physical hosts, physical network and physical datacentres will all be managed by Microsoft with the SaaS, PaaS and IaaS options.
See below for further details:
As the data belongs to the customer, this is solely their responsibility. Where noted as customer’s responsibility, Minerva will assist and guide, and the data will always remain the customers’.
No Upfront or Cancellation Costs
You are only required per ‘user,’ there is no upfront costs or any additional charges if downgrading.
As you only pay for what you need, Azure is very cost-effective.
No Hardware Required
As everything is stored in the cloud, there is no hardware to manage on-premises.
Microsoft Azure can integrate with other Microsoft products.
Data is replicated several times across highly resilient hardware, and even between data centres (on demand), which means that data will be secured
Microsoft offer different options based on customer requirements on the following:
Data Location – Where the data is located
Replication – How many times the data is replicated in case of unexpected incident
Resilience – Local replication or geo replication – Choosing whether to back up locally, within the UK (local replication) or globally, outside the UK (geo replication)
What We Have Done for Our Clients
Many of our customers are already reaping the benefits of Azure. If you would like us to explain in more detail how we have helped them individually, or even put you in touch to review from a reference standpoint, then we are more than happy to help.
These clients are from a variety of industries and include:
A Not-For-Profit Organisation
This client had ageing infrastructure but retained a need for centralized and flexible systems to support a distributed workforce. Working with Minerva we migrated them from their on-premises solution to full Microsoft Azure and 365. They run a terminal server (remote desktop server) in the cloud and everything is securely accessed from there.
A National Grass Roots Development Charity
Again, burdened with ageing infrastructure and the need to support an increasingly mobile and distributed workforce, without the dependence upon a centralized head office, Minerva assisted to migrate some existing systems, and provision new centralized finance function within Azure.
One of The World’s Most Prestigious Sporting and Member’s Clubs
When we originally engaged, the client was in contract witha third party datacentre with little scope for change. Minerva consulted with the client to seamlessly migrate their critical line of business applications across to Azure with little to no downtime for a business that runs around the clock. They now have the flexibility and scope to dynamically change systems to suit their changing needs with no constraint from on premise hardware at the core.
An Online Distributor of Classic Auto Parts
This client had already embraced the move to cloud for their centralized systems but needed a trusted Microsoft Partner to assist them with day-to-day maintenance and support. Minerva has successfully taken this on, as well as still providing a more traditional onsite responsive service to address any local desktop hardware issues as they arise.
So, if you are considering any Azure database migration services, or any Azure migration services large or small, or data migration from on premise to azure cloud, then please do speak to us as we have done it and we can help!
How Minerva Can Help
As Microsoft Gold Partners, the team at Minerva are Microsoft Azure experts. Our initial consultation will entail a thorough review of your business, your future plans, budget and expectations and together we can create a bespoke Azure package built around your business needs.
In addition to this, Minerva will:
Manage the migration from on-premises to the cloud