Azure Cloud Infrastructure (IaaS)

Cloud Computing Azure IaaS

How it can help organisations and the public sector with large deployments. 

What is Azure? 

Azure is a Microsoft-owned and managed cloud computing platform. Its cloud service suite includes analytics, computing, database, mobile, networking, storage, and web services. Using the tools, applications, and frameworks that users pick, Azure is able to ease the process of building and managing applications. Azure accomplishes this by integrating tools, templates and managed services so that they can work together effectively. 

Azure is most commonly used by organizations to build, test, deploy, and manage applications as well as services through managed data centres. 

What is Cloud Computing? 

Cloud computing is when computing services are delivered through the cloud (the internet). The goal of cloud computing is to make running a business easier and more efficient. It is the on-demand availability of computer system resources. Users can rent data storage, CPU cycles, and computing power, without direct active management by the user. Cloud providers, like Microsoft, are responsible for the physical hardware necessary to execute your projects, as well as for keeping it up-to-date. 

Organisations & the Public Sector 

While Azure offers cloud services such as SaaS (Software as a Services), PaaS (Platform as a Service), as well as serverless, one of its most beneficial features for organisations is its IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service). Azure’s infrastructure allows organisations to be flexible, as it will scale up or down depending on demand. This is cost effective, as you will only pay for what you use. Azure removes the complexity of purchasing and managing your own datacenter infrastructure, such as physical servers. Meanwhile, organisations are able to purchase, install, configure, and manage their own software. Resource pricing is also available, so organisations only rent the individual resources as they need them. 

Here are some numbers to show you why Azure is considered to be a best-in-class cloud provider: 

They are in 54 regions worldwide. This is more global regions than any other cloud provider. Compute Performance: 960 CPU threads. This is the largest in the public cloud. You can scale your compute performance from 1 vCPU to 480 vCPU cores. 24 TB of Memory. This is the largest in the public cloud. Scalable from 1GB to 24GB. Single Disk Storage: 160,000 IOPS. This is the fastest in the public cloud. Disk storage capacity is scalable from 4GB to 64TB. Local Storage: 3.7 million IOPS. This is the fastest in the public cloud. File Storage: 100,000 IOPS. This is the fastest in the public cloud. Hybrid Networking: 100 GBPS. This is the fastest in the public cloud. Compliance: 90+ offerings. This is the most comprehensive in the public cloud. 

Scalability 

Azure IaaS benefits users by supporting the applications that your organisation already uses. Use Windows or Linux applications and your favourite programming language. Run your enterprise-class applications such as SAP, Oracle, IBM and SharePoint, or choose from thousands of other workloads available in the Azure Marketplace. You can tap into nearly unlimited resources to tackle your most demanding high-performance computing (HPC) or AI challenges, and use purpose-built bare metal infrastructure to scale workloads such as SAP HANA to extreme levels. 

Consistency 

Create a consistent experience across on-premises, cloud and edge environments using the broad set of Azure hybrid capabilities, including application consistency, seamless data management, security and governance capabilities and operations management that unifies your entire digital estate. 

Security 

One of the greatest features of Azure is its security. Users have the option to leverage complicated and robust data encryption to help safeguard their data in Azure and control who can access it. Some of the options available to customers to safeguard their data in Azure include: 

● Customers being able to choose to store their sensitive customer content in services that store customer data at rest in Geo. 

● Customers can obtain further protection by encrypting data with their own key using Azure Key Vault. 

● While customers cannot control the precise network path for data in transit, data encryption in transit helps protect data from interception. 

● Azure is a 24/7, globally operated service. However, support and troubleshooting rarely requires access to customer data. 

● Customers who want added control for support and troubleshooting can leverage Customer Lockbox for Azure to approve or deny access to their data. 

● Microsoft will notify customers of any breach of customer or personal data within 72 hours of incident declaration. 

● Customers can monitor potential threats and respond to incidents on their own using Azure Security Center. 

● By leveraging Azure data protection technologies, as well as intelligent edge capabilities, customers can process confidential and secret data in secure, isolated infrastructure within Azure public multi-tenant regions or top secret data at the edge under the customer’s full operational control. 

Compliance 

Azure is available worldwide in 54 different regions, the most globally available cloud platform in the public cloud. It is able to meet rigorous privacy standards and data protection requirements as well as provide strong customer commitments regarding data residency and transfer policies, making it ideal for large deployments. Also, most Azure services allow the user to choose specific regions for deployment, however, Microsoft will not store customer data outside of those specified regions. Replication of services is available to input into multiple regions for redundancy and locality, or select a specific region to ensure you meet data-residency and compliance laws for your customers. 

Cost Effectiveness 

Microsoft’s Azure cloud computing platform offers a consumption-based pricing model for organisations. The benefits of this include: 

● No upfront infrastructure costs. 

● Not paying for or managing infrastructure that you do not need. 

● Only paying for resources when they are needed. 

● Removing resources when they are no longer needed. 

● Better cost forecasting. Resource and service pricing availability allows your organisation to deduce how much you will need to spend in a billing period based on your usage forecast. 

Learn More About Azure 

Microsoft’s Azure is an extremely advanced, top of the line cloud computing platform. It offers over 200 products and services that help the public sector and organisations with large deployments while staying secure. Businesses are given the opportunity to make global deployments that meet regulations and are easily managed. UKBSS encourages organisations to utilise Azure’s IaaS for scalability, cost effectiveness, consistency, security, reliability, and compliance. 

Learn more about Azure’s IaaS and how it can help your organisation. 

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