Microsoft Azure deployment options

Azure, Microsoft’s cloud offering, gives organisations the ability to manage and deploy applications using a world-class infrastructure service with almost limitless scale. Azure provides the freedom to build, manage and deploy applications on a massive, global network using familiar tools and frameworks. This article discusses cloud services and deployment options for Azure.

Cloud deployment options

There are several ways to deploy cloud resources. Options for deployment in Azure include public, private and hybrid cloud. All three choices provide similar benefits – including cost-effectiveness, performance, reliability and scale. Which deployment method you choose depends on your business needs.

Public cloud

Microsoft Azure is a public cloud. With a public cloud, all hardware, software and other supporting infrastructure are owned and managed by the cloud provider. You share the same hardware, storage and network devices with other organisations or cloud “tenants”. You access services and manage your account using a web browser. Public cloud deployments are frequently used to provide web-based email, online office applications, storage, and testing and development environments.

Private cloud

A private cloud consists of computing resources used exclusively by one organisation. The private cloud can be located at your organisation’s data centre, or by a third-party service provider. In a private cloud, services and infrastructure are maintained on a private network, and the hardware and software are dedicated solely to your organisation. In this way, a private cloud can make it easier for an organisation to customise its resources to meet specific IT requirements.

Hybrid cloud

Hybrid clouds combine on-premises infrastructure, or private clouds, with public clouds so that organisations can reap the advantages of both. In a hybrid cloud, data and applications move between private and public clouds for greater flexibility and deployment options. In a hybrid cloud, you have a cloud bursting option. This is where an application or resource runs in the private cloud until there is a spike in demand, at which point the organisation can “burst through” to the public cloud to tap into additional computing resources.

Azure services options

Azure is built for creating, testing and deploying applications. Azure provides software as a service (SaaS), platform as a service (PaaS) and infrastructure as a service (IaaS) capabilities.

Infrastructure as a service (IaaS)

IaaS is a computing infrastructure, provisioned and managed over the internet. IaaS quickly scales up and down with demand, letting you pay only for what you use. IaaS avoids the expense and complexity of buying and managing your own servers and other data centre infrastructure. Each resource is offered as a separate service component, and you only need to rent a particular one for as long as you need it. A cloud computing service provider, such as Azure, manages the infrastructure, while you purchase, install, configure and manage your own software – operating systems, middleware and applications.

Platform as a service (PaaS)

PaaS is a complete development and deployment environment in the cloud, with resources that enable you to deliver everything from simple cloud-based apps to sophisticated, cloud-enabled enterprise applications. You purchase the resources you need from a cloud service provider on a pay-as-you-go basis and access them over a secure Internet connection. Like IaaS, PaaS includes infrastructure – servers, storage and networking – but also middleware, development tools, business intelligence (BI) services, database management systems and more. PaaS is designed to support the complete web application life cycle: building, testing, deploying, managing and updating. PaaS allows you to avoid the expense and complexity of buying and managing software licenses, the underlying application infrastructure and middleware, container orchestrators or development tools and other resources. You manage the applications and services that you develop, and the cloud service provider typically manages everything else.

Software as a service (SaaS)

SaaS is a complete software solution that you purchase on a pay-as-you-go basis from a cloud service provider. You rent the use of an app for your organisation, and your users connect to it over the Internet, usually with a web browser. All of the underlying infrastructure, middleware, app software and app data are located in the service provider’s data centre. The service provider manages the hardware and software, and with the appropriate service agreement, will ensure the availability and the security of the app and your data as well. SaaS allows your organisation to get up and running quickly with an app, at minimal upfront cost.

Incremental Group has a large team of Azure Certified Cloud Consultants and Cloud Architects ready to help you with your journey to the cloud. We can help you choose the best deployment and services options that best fit the needs of your organisation. Our team of Cloud Consultants are on-hand to assist you in updating your processes, replacing your existing solutions and supporting your digital transformation.

Read our guide “Azure 101: cloud migration methodology for successful cloud adoption

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