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Scale your Windows Azure application

Understanding The Importance Of A Flexible Hybrid Cloud Solution

Flexible Hybrid Cloud Solution

The cloud computing revolution continues to gather pace, and more and more businesses are coming on-board.

For example, late last year a study by IDG found that 69 percent of enterprises have either applications or infrastructure running in the cloud, an increase of 12 percent since 2012. The same report found that 24 percent of IT budgets were now dedicated to cloud services, while in the summer Forbes stated that by 2020 they expected 78 percent of small & midsize businesses (SMBs) in the United States to have fully adopted cloud computing.

Given the number of businesses and the amount of money involved, a flexible hybrid cloud solution is vital.

What is a Flexible Cloud Solution?

A “flexible cloud” can mean many things and can apply to several different facets of the concept of cloud computing. At its core, it simply means a company’s cloud set-up can be altered and tweaked in line with its requirements.

The largest sub-section of cloud computing that it refers to, therefore, is scalability. Cloud computing allows a business to easily upscale or downscale their IT requirements as circumstances change. It could mean taking on bandwidth when a new client is won, or downgrading when times are difficult.

It also refers to utilising a ‘hybrid cloud’. A hybrid cloud refers to when a private cloud set-up (whereby control of a system and its data has to stay with a company’s internal IT department) is mixed with a public cloud set-up (whereby companies can take advantage of almost unlimited scalability). This hybrid system can provide businesses with more choices for personalised solutions (such as determining where applications should be deployed) whilst both saving them money and providing additional security.

There are also considerations such as providing flexibility to employees; it enables them to access business-critical information and applications from anywhere in the world, which in turn will increase efficiency and improve collaboration. This is increasingly important with the growth of “Bring-Your-Own-Device” (BYOD) policies.

Why is a Hybrid Solution Important?

There are lots of reasons why a hybrid set-up is vital for modern businesses.

One of the biggest benefits is cost. For example, auto-scaling can reduce costs by removing the need to run instances based on projected usage (and consequently having to leave excess resources in place as a buffer). Instead, it allows companies to only run resources that are matched to actual usage on a moment-to-moment basis.

Hybrid clouds offer the greatest savings of all. Research suggests that businesses will spend $1.7 billion to run an application in the public cloud compared with just $1.1 billion when running the same application in a hybrid cloud environment.

The flexibility of a hybrid cloud also has security benefits; organisations can use it to move non-sensitive functions to their public space to reduce the demands on their own internal private cloud. Indeed, the rapid explosion in the number of companies using the cloud is because more and more of them are starting to understand that off-premises clouds and on-premises data centres are no longer an either/or proposition.

Finally, it offers IT team efficiency benefits. Public and private grades of cloud can be managed by a team of outsourced professionals, thus leaving the IT department more time to handle other issues and to ensure all the other business-critical systems are running smoothly.

It’s for all these reasons that CIOs and IT Directors recently ranked “operational agility” as a top driver for cloud adoption in a recent Gartner report.

How Microsoft Azure fulfills your Organisation’s Needs

Currently, more than 80 percent of the Fortune 500 use the Azure service, and Microsoft are continually striving to offer the sector’s most complete cloud; one that’s suitable for every business and every industry.

Azure entices customers by offering an array of services that are too good to ignore. For example, there is an ever-expanding roster of Azure Active Directory features which now include features such as web-app publication and administration delegation.

Furthermore, they develop their own hyper-scale data-centres and deliver the same technology back to its customers’ and partners’ datacentres. By delivering these IaaS and PaaS services, companies can easily mix their enterprise applications such as SQL Server, SharePoint, and Exchange with modern distributed applications and services, all whilst retaining an all-important oversight.

They also offer the Microsoft Operations Management Suite, which aims to simplify and streamline how a company manages its data assets. It covers any instance, on any cloud (including Azure, AWS, Windows Server, Linux, VMware, and OpenStack). It is cheaper than its competitors and includes log analytics, security monitoring, and operation automation.

No Negatives

To conclude, there are no perceivable drawbacks to moving your business’ IT operations on a hybrid cloud set-up and making use of the Microsoft Azure offering. It’ll save the organisation money and time, whilst improving security and efficiency – all key aspects of running a business.

The Azure product fits any business of any size – contact them for more details about what they can do for your company.

This post is brought to you by Microsoft Azure and Cloud for Tomorrow.

By Dan Price

Daniel Price Contributor
Daniel is a Manchester-born UK native who has abandoned cold and wet Northern Europe and currently lives on the Caribbean coast of Mexico. A former Financial Consultant, he now balances his time between writing articles for several industry-leading tech (CloudTweaks.com & MakeUseOf.com), sports, and travel sites and looking after his three dogs.
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