Benefits of Azure Management: The Cost Effective Solution

AZURE MANAGEMENT

Lately, there’s been a lot of speculation about the benefits of cloud migration. The cloud seems to be at the core of every successful digital transformation however, there’s still some apprehension from some IT Decision Makers who feel that it’s less secure than on-premise. 

The idea of trusting important and sensitive data to the cloud can be a bit unsettling for some but the cloud and its supporters have proven that this option is safer than on-premise for a variety of reasons.

In this article, we will be covering cloud management to help you better understand the options you have so you can make the best decision for you and your organization.

On-Premise Vs Cloud Security: Understanding the Risks

Azure Management
 

Whether you stay on-premise or migrate to the cloud, it’s important to conduct a risk assessment to ensure the success of your company’s cybersecurity. There are actions you can take immediately which will benefit your security and prevent a breach.

Steps like keeping your anti-virus and malware software up to date and controlling the identity of your users should be part of your company control and compliance protocol for security.

It’s also important to monitor your system 24/7 and ensure that there’s management in place for your OS (Operating System).

Lifting and Shifting Your Data 

Azure Management

The “lift and shift” approach is a low-cost option that allows you to migrate an existing workload to the cloud. It involves taking the workload and running it on a cloud-native resource. 

When it comes to getting on the cloud, there are some common influencers that make the decision a preferred choice among Microsoft clients:

  • Using the Cloud as an End of Support Solution
    The cloud is a cost-efficient strategy to extend the life of your end of support software. (We have a great article about it here)

  • Using the Cloud for pay-as-you-go Cost Management
    One of the biggest benefits to the pay-as-you-go method is that nothing goes to waste. There are 3 main categories to cloud computing services and each can be used as a pay-as-you-go model:

    a) Infrastructure as a service
    b) Software as a service
    c) Platform as a service

    Note: Azure is one of the top platforms as a service option you can choose from. To learn more about it, check out our Azure 101 article here.

  • Cloud Vs. On-Premise Scalability
    When you utilize the cloud, you have the ability to scale with ease. Some other noteworthy benefits to using the cloud include; it’s ongoing support, simplicity, flexibility, and ease of use.

Out of all the ways you can migrate to the cloud, the lift and shift method is one of the fastest and easiest to deploy, as well as the least expensive. 

What Does Cloud Migration Mean For Your Compliance?

Cloud Migration

When it comes to cloud migration, compliance issues can arise. You’re moving data from your internal storage off-site so it’s important to keep in mind that there are laws and industry regulations in place. 

If you need advanced security and compliance, consider using a Microsoft Certified Gold Partner. Book a free consultation with one of our Cloud Migration Specialists here

Azure Load Balancer: What is it?

Azure Load Balancer

An Azure Load Balancer helps create high availability by distributing incoming traffic across healthy virtual machines. Microsoft has put out a great tutorial on it here.

The Benefits to Using A Load Balancer

Load Balancers have many benefits including:

  • The ability to use it for incoming internet traffic to your virtual machines.

  • Being able to balance traffic across virtual machines inside a virtual network. 

  • Using a load balancer on the front end from an on-premises network in a hybrid scenario. 

  • The ability to port forward traffic to a specific port on selected virtual machines.

  • Being able to use a public load balancer to provide outbound connectivity.

Hybrid Identity: Azure Active Directory

With Azure Stack, your app components can reside on-premises while interacting with the components running in Azure public cloud. Click here to learn more about Hybrid Identity with Azure Stack.  

On-Premise and Cloud Combined: The Best of Both Worlds

The option of having both on-premises and cloud applications is becoming the preferred choice among Microsoft clients. Keep in mind both applications require the cloud to access. 

Hybrid identity to Azure AD involves one of three authentication methods. Deciding on which one to use depends on your scenario. 

These 3 methods are:

  • PHS – Password Hash Synchronization
  • PTA – Pass-Through Authentication
  • AD FS – Active Directory Federation Service

All three authentication methods provide single-sign-on capabilities. For more information visit the article here.

AD Connect

AD Connect

Azure AD Connect holds many benefits which allow you to accomplish your hybrid identity goals. Some features that it provides include: 

  • Password hash synchronization 

  • Pass-through authentication 

  • Federation integration 

  • Synchronization 

  • Health Monitoring

Note: Ad Connect is a free feature included in your Azure subscription.

Understanding the different tools and how they work together is the first step to designing a complete management environment. Through Microsoft Azure Management you can migrate, secure, protect, monitor, configure and govern services.

AZURE MANAGEMENT TOOLS

Azure Migrate
Azure Migrate is a service that helps you assess and migrate your on-premises applications, data, and infrastructure. You can plan and track migration across multiple software vendor tools.  the migration suitability of on-premises virtual machines to Azure. 

Azure MonitorAzure Monitor
Azure Monitor allows you to collect, analyze and act on the data from Azure and/or on-premise. Azure Monitor can help you maximize performance and the availability of your applications. It allows you to identify problems in seconds.

Azure AutomationAzure Automation
Azure Automation provides the bulk of the services for automating configuration tasks.

Azure Cost ManagementAzure Cost Management
Azure Cost Management can help you better understand where you’re cloud costs are coming from. It helps you identify spending patterns which enables you to optimize costs. The end result is the ability to do more for less. 

Azure PolicyAzure Policy
This Azure service allows you to create, assign and manage your policies. It helps you govern protocol and compliance to help you meet corporate standards and service level agreements. Microsoft has an in-depth article about Azure Policy here.

Azure Security

Azure Secure Center
Security monitoring and threat analysis are provided by Azure Security Center. It includes advanced threat protection across hybrid cloud workloads. Combined, it provides unified security management. Azure Security Center tackles important security challenges including; rapidly changing workloads, shortage of security skills, and increasingly advanced attacks. 

Protection with Azure Backup and Azure Site Recovery
There are two services in Azure that provide you with protection, they are Azure Site Recovery and Azure Backup. Azure Site Recovery offers immediate recovery during disasters. It also provides business continuity. Azure Backup is available on-premise or through the cloud. It allows you to backup and recover your data. 

What Next?

Azure Management

Start with a secure foundation
The state-of-art security delivered in Azure data centers spans to a global level. Microsoft provides multi-layered security across physical data centers, operations, and infrastructure through Azure. Azure is equipped with customized hardware, security controls that are integrated with firmware components plus added protections against threats like Distributed Denial-of-Service(DDoS). 

Simplify security with built-in controls
With the built-in controls, Azure can help protect your workloads. The protection is continuous and extends in hybrid environments. Azure can easily integrate with partner solutions as well.  

Detect threats early with unique intelligence
You can detect threats fast through the insights that Azure offers. The data scientists analyze the mass amounts of data received through the Microsoft Security Graph allowing you to identify new threats and respond quickly.

Talk to an expert
As a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner, we have helped clients achieve optimized security both on-premise and through cloud migration and integration. To learn more about whether Azure is a good fit for you and your company you can book your free Azure Consultation with one of our IT Specialists here.
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