Microsoft Azure a New Horizon for SME
Working as a CIO for 11+ years in SME segment I had an opportunity to work with all angles of IT planning , Implementation, Disaster Recovery or Security.
While talking about cloud I was little furious about security. For last couple of weeks I was testing the Azure solution from Microsoft. Some of the MVP guided me to the right direction. The best part is the testing is free for 90 Days evaluation what you have to do is just visit the site http://www.windowsazure.com/en-us and create your trial account. You would need the Credit Card details but they would not charge anything in the trial period.
With this blog I want to give my experience to the users and also make aware to them for the pro and con of the Azure.
I find that Microsoft was stressing on the IAAS (Infrastructure As A Service) wherein they clearly mentioned that the job of System Admin and Functional people is secured.
And to my best knowledge it is true. Herewith find one of the slides from Microsoft on IAAS.
I do not see any reason to keep the hardware in-house and maintain the same. Though the ROI (Return on Investment) is 30 to 45% higher if you have in-house servers. But this is only true when you take the cost of hardware and software in consideration. The Major Value addition of Azure network is to have Disaster Recovery. A System Administrator is in position to give high level of service level agreement to the Management. In the Azure infrastructure the Data is being COPIED 3 times so the failure of hardware would not affect you much. Also the performance can be increased how you want it. It is like you have your own datacentre you just have to pay what you use. ( Quite nice concept ) From my point of view it is very practical also.
The Azure service is an real solution for Disaster Recovery and Performance Management.
Microsoft Call this as Persistent Storage. Herewith find one of the slide.
Where in the Virtual Machines are stored in SAN with 3 copies on different Storage. If an SME have to implement this solution it would cost quite a sum of money
What I like about Azure?
- Very clear pricing model.- For SME the cost is always an important component. On the following site it is very clearly mentioned that how much cost you would have monthly if you take services of AZUREhttp://www.windowsazure.com/en-us/pricing/calculator/?scenario=full
So if I go with one Virtual Machine with Medium Size and Storage of 500GB it cost me 180 USD a month.
- VPN possibility:The Azure give possibility of SITE to SITE VPN with CISCO ASA 5500 devices and practically it takes 2 hours or less to configure the Site to site VPN if you have clear idea how to do it.The best part is you can have the VPN with ONE to One nodes this is very helpful for organization like us as most of our users are always on the road.
you can follow the nice article:
- VM portability:if you are already having the virtualised network it is quite easy to move to Azure with VM portability. With this you can move your VM directly to AZURE
You can follow the link to know more about the VM portability.
- Load Balancing:The power of Load balancing is possible with AZURE so that your users would not face any problem with the performance
- Huge Storage:you can connect 16 HDD Of 1 TB which is quite huge for SMB. As it would be your hybrid solution you can have cheaper cost for the archive.
- Dual Authentication:Currently I am testing the VASCO solution for the authentication as I have my ADC on cloud I do not think there would be any problem to implement the same.
Still exploring more about azure but very convinced in my mind that Azure is next generation solution.
By: Shailesh Gothal