In a world in which digital transformation is key it can be difficult for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) to keep up – and harder still to get ahead, especially when everything is moving forward except budgets.

Azure Virtual Machines and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

No two businesses are the same. Each has its own market conditions, its own issues and opportunities, and its own route to digital transformation, while also working to its own budget. An Azure Virtual Machines approach enables organisations to tailor powerful cloud-based solutions to their own circumstances. And on their own terms.

Everyone nowadays knows they should be looking at cloud and that it has a key role in everyday life and digital transformation. But Azure Virtual Machines takes things to new levels. It can deliver more productivity. More flexibility. More scalability. And they’re easier to manage and maintain. They also put companies in control of their own budget decisions of their own infrastructure and of their own destinies too.

Azure Virtual Machines is ideal for when a system workload needs near-total control over its infrastructure. For instance, it might be extending or replacing part of your server estate or running business-critical applications or operating as a development and testing platform. You can think of it in pretty much the same way as a physical system. It has CPU cores, an operating system, memory, disks (for both data and the operating system), an IP address, networking functionality – and more.

Azure Virtual Machines can be Linux or Windows, with a wide range of development options for each. It can be in the cloud or part of a hybrid solution with on premise servers. You can use open source technologies for maximum portability and value from your existing investments. And you can choose your own virtual machine image or download a certified pre-configured image from the Azure marketplace.
Azure Virtual Machines is priced on a per-hour basis, but it is billed on a per-minute basis – so you only pay for the compute time you use. What’s more, Bring Your Own Licence means if you already hold Windows Server licences and you’ve signed up to Software Assurance, you can add those into an Azure Virtual Machines environment without having to pay again – and make significant savings as a result.
Azure Virtual Machines enable you to scale up and down in line with your needs, much more easily than with physical machines – and with Azure data centres worldwide, you can get closer to where your customers are.
The Azure Virtual Machines platform can easily be managed from a control panel, making life much easier than overseeing a physical server estate.
Space to develop
Azure Virtual Machines gives you room for manoeuvre – and you pay only for as long as you need it. In addition to Microsoft technologies – including Office 365, the leading cloud productivity platform – it amply supports Linux and open source providers, and also helps you write mobile apps across iOS and Android with Xamarin.
Azure Virtual Machines can be protected from viruses and malware. Network traffic can be secured and sensitive data encrypted. It’s affordable, enterprise-grade security that’s monitored 24/7, and we test it with our own hacker teams to ensure our processes and people can hold them at bay. It all means you can meet regulatory and compliance requirements and rest easy.
High availability and fast recovery
Distributing loads across virtual machines ensures redundancy as well as high availability and durability of apps and data. If a server fails, data can be migrated instantly to another platform – and it’s built into the cost.
Easy cloning
Cloning a virtual machine is way faster and simpler than a physical one.

Microsoft Azure. How did they do it? How can your business do what it needs to do?

Microsoft Azure is a cloud platform built on the four principles of security, privacy and control, compliance and transparency. It offers SMBs many different capabilities from basic compute, networking and storage, to mobile and web app services, to the Internet of Things.

You can choose how you deploy Azure, whether connecting cloud and on-premises with hybrid cloud capabilities, to using open source software, for maximum portability and value from your existing investments. Businesses can lift and shift data to be stored in Azure either as additional storage or as a backup option for on premise storage. In addition, you can replicate your applications and data to Azure so it acts as your disaster recovery site. Then you can say goodbye to the expense of maintaining a secondary site for disaster recovery.

SMBs find that Azure’s cloud technology helps them save costs, innovate quickly and manage systems proactively – exactly what they need to do in today’s competitive world. In all our featured case studies, Azure is providing security and control across applications, managing and protecting resources wherever they are.

A cloud built on trust

You can depend on Microsoft in the cloud:

We protect our customers from external cyberthreats:

  • You can govern user access to Microsoft applications and other pre-integrated cloud apps via features such as multi-factor authentication and access monitoring
  • Your data is encrypted at rest and in transit with advanced protocols and best-in-class cryptography
  • You can further encrypt your stored data with built-in tools 
  • We conform to all ISO security standards.

Privacy: You own and control your data
Our commitment to the principle of your data’s privacy and to your control over it is absolute:

  • We use your customer data only to provide the services we have agreed upon. We do not mine it for marketing or advertising 
  • Rely on strict access procedures. Microsoft grants access to customer data to Microsoft engineers, to perform key tasks such as maintenance and upgrades. We use strict controls to govern access to customer data, assign the lowest level of privilege required to complete key tasks and revoke access when it is no longer needed. However, you can access your own customer data at any time and for any reason
  • We set and adhere to stringent privacy standards.

Our investment in meeting global standards is unparalleled:

  • We locate your data within the geographic jurisdictions you specify
  • We comply with international data protection laws regarding transfers of customer data across borders 
  • Where necessary we redirect law enforcement and other third-party requests to the customer
  • Microsoft offers a comprehensive compliance framework to help you conform to your specific requirements. Microsoft Azure complies with international and industry specific compliance standards, as well as country specific standards such as UK G-Cloud.

The Microsoft Transparency Hub brings together in one place the reports we regularly issue on requests for customer data made by law enforcement, as well as government requests related to US national security.

  • The number of such requests is a small fraction of a percentage point – and in any case, we do not offer direct access to customer data. We believe you should control your own data. We do not give any third party (including law enforcement, other government entity, or civil litigant) direct or unfettered access to customer data except as you direct, and have publicly stood firm on this issue in major court proceedings. Nor do we allow government access to platform encryption keys.

For More Details Download Whitepaper Now

To read full download the whitepaper:
Think outside the box. Think inside the cloud