Which one is right for your organization?
Maybe it’s time to replace your old server. Maybe your business is expanding to new office locations, or you’re worried about disaster recovery. Or perhaps a growing number of employees now work remotely on a regular basis. Whatever the reason for assessing how you run your IT, cloud computing has matured over the past two decades to the point that companies of all sizes and stripes need to consider whether it’s a good fit.
Like most things in business, there are pros and cons to adopting a cloud platform like Microsoft Azure, as there are with on-prem IT. But when this isn’t your area of expertise, it can be hard to make a knowledgeable decision on way or the other.
That’s where we come in. Let’s help wrap your head around them both.
Azure offers a range of cloud services, which hosts infrastructure, computing resources, and software all on servers in their remote data centers.
- Scalability: Add or subtract computing resources whenever you need to, so you can handle large amounts of traffic or data processing without investing in costly hardware upgrades.
- Cost-effectiveness: A pay-as-you-go pricing model means you pay only for the resources you actually use. This can result in significant cost savings compared to on-premises solutions that can require significant upfront investments in hardware and software.
- Availability: Offering a guaranteed uptime of 99.9%, with multiple data centers around the world, Azure ensures business continuity in case of a disaster or outage.
- Security: Highly advanced features and compliance certifications protects data on your behalf.
- Connectivity: Internet connectivity is required. This can present challenges in the event of a network outage and for businesses with poor internet service.
- Limited control: Businesses that require highly specific hardware or customizations for their underlying infrastructure don’t have as many options.
- Learning curve: Some technical expertise is necessary to properly manage and configure Azure.
On-premises computing (sometimes known as “on-prem”) is the traditional way of running applications and storing data within an organization’s physical location.
- Control: Businesses have complete control over their IT infrastructure, which can be helpful if your operations have specific hardware requirements.
- Low latency: High-performance computing and low-latency applications run best when they’re as close as possible and on a dedicated network connection.
- Scalability: Making big changes can require significant upfront investments, as well as time and the skills to do the job correctly.
- Maintenance: It can be time-consuming and costly to look after IT systems and keep them properly updated and secure.
- Disaster recovery: If something goes sideways, it’s on you to get your business back up and running. A solid, actionable disaster recovery plan is must, although it can be challenging and expensive to implement.
While Azure cloud services aren’t for every organization, you can see why, on balance, many businesses are drawn to cloud computing platforms like Azure — it can simplify their IT, give them access to a level of security or other features that might not otherwise be feasible, and saves them money in the long run.
And if you’re concerned about the “what ifs” of an outage, it’s worth knowing that Azure prioritizes uptime because, quite simply, they don’t get paid if your systems are offline. Azure offers multiple redundancy options to ensure services always remain available.
Echopath can help you plan which of those options your organization needs to optimize costs and resiliency. Our Managed Path Services make it easy to adopt and maintain a cost-effective and worry-free Azure solution with support for your entire organization. Get in touch to learn more.