For just over a decade, Microsoft Azure has rapidly expanded its services to cover virtually all regions across the globe. As we speak, the tech giant boasts of having more than 160 data centres worldwide, located in more than 46 regions, and each of these regions is currently served by 2 to 3 availability zones. With such massive coverage, Azure is now in the top 3 when it comes to cloud computing platforms that provide services in Infrastructure as a Service (Iaas), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS).
In case you were wondering, Microsoft Azure and other cloud computing providers are the powerhouses behind tons of online businesses ranging from streaming services, online shopping, payment providers and online video gaming. Moreover, cloud computing services also back up Internet gambling services that offer demo slots online. Essentially, all e-commerce platforms that you come across over the internet, whether free or paid for, benefit from cloud computing in one way or another to keep running efficiently.
With more businesses embracing cloud computing for flexibility and cost-effectiveness, there is fierce competition among cloud computing platforms to cover as many regions and acquire as many clients as possible. So, what makes Microsoft Azure stand out as a top option for businesses? Here are some of its key features that have made more than 80% of Fortune 500 companies choose Azure:
1. Data Protection
The security at Azure datacenters is multi-layered with inbuilt security controls to protect customer data. For example, data segregation is enabled to keep all user data storage accounts separate to prevent overlapping and facilitate easier extraction. There is also automatic encryption for all traffic between Azure datacenters and clients, thanks to MACsec.
Besides the default data security measures put up and expertly maintained by the 3,500+ cybersecurity professionals at Microsoft Azure, customers also have options to take more measures like through data encryption techniques. One such way is the Azure Key Vault which provides customers with tighter control of resources they would like to keep secret.
2. Data Redundancy and Disaster Recovery
In case of the accidental loss of data due to a cyberattack or damage to a data centre, data is backed up with various redundancy storage options across facilities or regions or within a single facility. This includes Locally redundant storage (LRS), Zone-redundant storage (ZRS), and Geo-redundant storage (GRS), which all depend on varying customer requirements. Therefore, Azure Backup and Azure Site Recovery are two of the most vital site replication and data recovery solutions in the Azure environment.
Azure is built on a robust architecture where the datacenters in the regions or geographies are interconnected to form a resilient network. This ensures effective load balancing, content distribution, redundancy, and data-link layer encryption to guarantee that the traffic between them is not lost in transit. Being the cloud computing provider with the most data centres, it is no surprise that Azure has the flexibility of deploying resources across platforms and services.
3. Diverse Server Storage Options
The Azure Storage services embrace many different storage styles. Azure Blob Storage, for example, allows unstructured data workloads such as text and binary data to be stored inexpensively. In addition, there’s Azure File which manages cloud and on-premises file shares, whereas Azure Storage Queue or Service Bus Queue is used for message storing. Azure Cosmos DB is also another example of storage style, which is dedicated to low-cost NoSQL data storage based purely on Request Units.
All these storage styles are scalable, durable, sustainable, and secure, giving companies lots of room to grow or downsize without incurring high costs. Furthermore, since we are in the era of big data, another core service provided by Azure is Azure Data Lake Storage which is a massively scalable and secure option for companies that are constantly receiving huge amounts of data.
The above key features shed some minimal light on what Microsoft Azure can do and are the main reasons why it has become a favourite among small businesses and huge enterprises. Moreover, the fact that Azure’s services keep increasing makes it a more viable choice for potential customers.
Azure supports most existing operating systems, is available globally, can be scaled to meet the ever-changing user requirements, and the service is charged on a ‘pay for what you use’ basis. The main objective of cloud computing services is to help companies make better, more informed decisions that will open the way for more opportunities – and that’s exactly what Azure has been delivering since it entered the market back in 2010.