In this webinar, DevOps engineer and Cloud Academy instructor Ben Lambert has a conversation with Microsoft team member Brandon Middleton about the challenges organizations face when migrating to the public cloud as well as some key decisions they will have to make with regards to the Azure platform.
You can watch the webinar from this page or listen along on SoundCloud.
Before we dive into the summary, be sure to check out our new learning path for professionals looking to pass Microsoft’s Azure 70-532 – Developing Microsoft Azure Solutions Certification exam.
The Azure Value Proposition
Brandon’s experience working with businesses interested in developing scalable cloud infrastructures revolves around taking organizations who have previously been on-premise and utilize a number of traditional ERP systems and enterprise applications and creating sustainable integrations with Azure.
He describes the Azure platform as innovative, enterprise-focused, and ready to take businesses into the cloud with minimal hassle.
Rather than viewing Azure as merely an infrastructure-as-a-service, Brandon sees Azure as uniquely tailored to the challenges enterprises – including multi-national companies – face in this competitive economy. These unique attributes include a global reach and significant capability for scalable development.
The Microsoft Ecosystem: Synergies in the Cloud
A key point Brandon makes during the discussion is that enterprises who already take advantage of Microsoft technologies like Active Directory and other enterprise-focused applications will see Azure as a natural extension of their existing tech.
However, Azure is not limited to Windows operating systems. The platform supports numerous Linux operating systems. You can find out more about Linux-Azure integration in the official documentation.
This focus on integration with other technologies symbolizes Microsoft’s new focus on integrating seamlessly with the wide variety of open source technologies and other enterprise-related systems that have become very common in the industry today.
Common Questions about the Azure Platform
Some of the most common questions that Brandon receives from prospects and clients orient around the following subjects:
- “How do I get started with the Azure platform?”
- “How can I take a small application into the Azure cloud as a test case?”
- “What about compliance and risk management?”
- “Is Azure compliant with with ISO, PCI, HIPAA?”
- “What about disaster recovery scenarios?”
- “How much time will it take to recover from a disaster?”
Azure is HIPAA-compliant in the United States, and the engineers are focused on increasing the number of standards with which Azure is compliant, including Sarbanes-Oxley.
Azure Security Features
Brandon discussed at length some of the key security features that support enterprise adoption of the Azure platform. In keeping with the most common questions that businesses have about Azure, Microsoft has focused significantly on the security attributes of the platform by reducing the ability of customers to harm their own security posture with sane defaults and smart design choices.
The Financial Model of Azure: Focusing on Core Competencies
An interesting point that Brandon makes about Azure is that CFOs are often coming to CIOs and asking them to reduce their IT footprint in order to funnel more resource towards the activities that make the business profitable.
Azure helps enterprises outsource their efforts so they can focus on what they do best – while Microsoft focuses on what they do best.
The issue can be represented with a simple question: “Why be in the business of patching, configuring, and troubleshooting infrastructure when I could be building my business?”
Azure can also help businesses to develop applications that can not only move IT from a cost center to cost-neutral, but also act as a profit center for the organization.
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