With Microsoft Azure, you benefit from a scalable high availability public cloud computing resource where you can host applications in a familiar environment. Properly managed, Azure can reduce infrastructure costs and improve flexibility and stability.
With a modern distributed workforce staff work can flexibly and remotely using multiple devices but still need to be able to access critical applications when needed.
Azure lets you deliver those applications to users without the need to invest in and maintain expensive physical infrastructure.
Cloud Infrastructure for Application Hosting
Traditionally, hosting complex applications would require multiple physical servers to be provisioned in order to handle the various elements of the software. In the case of SharePoint, the following are required:
- Application Servers
- SQL Servers
- Document Servers
- Active Directory
In order to support this type of complex application and to provide back ups and additional resilience, the cost of physical servers can become burdensome for a business.
Costs are accrued not just from acquisition, but also from maintenance and even power. Physical infrastructure is also, by its nature, inflexible – once you have installed the equipment, it cannot be changed. The clear benefit of Azure is that as a virtual system – IaaS – can be scaled depending on changing business needs, and can also be purchased on a Pay-as-you-go basis.
Application Management in Azure
The key advantage of Microsoft Azure application hosting is that your virtual infrastructure and software deployment is managed centrally through a single dashboard.
When requirements change – as they often do – new Virtual Machines can be provisioned quickly and application updates and patches can be rolled out through test environments to ensure compatibility. Even user management can be handled.
igroup’s Cloud Control solution supplements the standard Azure Dashboard to provide reporting and analysis that can be used for resource management and to deploy OS patches and manage anti-malware software.
Azure offers Cost Savings when hosting applications with Cloud Control
Cloud Control has been designed to improve the cost efficiency of hosting your applications in Azure.
We have developed resource scaling technology where additional systems run in the background to “turn down” machines to lower levels when they are not in use – such as during out of office periods where demand is much lower.
This can provide savings of up to 40% to clients, as the virtual machines do not need to be run (and charged) at the maximum specification when the full level of power is not required.
Developing Applications to Run in Azure
One of the big challenges about deploying existing applications into Azure is ensuring that the application is compatible with being hosted in a virtual environment.
In most cases, there is no need to make major development changes to ensure compatibility.
In a cloud environment, you can precisely specify the virtual machines that form your infrastructure. This means that from chip, to memory to OS, you can virtualise almost any environment in the cloud.
In theory and in practice, you can create a spec that matches what your application is already using which reduces the need re-develop an application that has already been running on a traditional server.
Depending on your existing development plan, you may find that future updates to your application could be re-engineered to take advantage of some of the additional features of Azure, however this is not always necessary at the initial point of migration.
igroup’s team of specialists can provision an environment for most popular applications including Dynamics, Sage, and SharePoint, Dynamics so that you can get up and running “out of the box.
Our consultancy and planning service can also review bespoke applications and plan a and our consultancy team are able to review your existing infrastructure to create a tailored cloud environment quickly to help you migrate efficiently. Simply call us today on 0203 697 0302 to tell us what you need, and we will be able to provide you with a quote and start the migration process.
More Reliable Connections
Unlike traditional infrastructure where up-time can be a concern and even short maintenance outages can impact productivity the cloud is almost “always on”. The standard uptime SLA for Azure is 99.5% which is increased using cloud control to 99.999% uptime – backed by our SLAs. This is better than the SLA for a Tier IV data centre at a fraction of the cost.
Ongoing Support and Managed Services
Many organisations lack the specific skills to manage a cloud environment. Support is an area where igroup can prove invaluable to our clients. We are fully Microsoft Certified for Azure system design and deployment and our team can provide ongoing Azure support for your environment once deployed.
That means you won’t need to recruit additional staff to provide the expertise to keep business critical systems running as you need them.
To find out more, please contact a member of our team or call us on 0203 697 0302 to discuss your needs.