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Why Should Businesses Choose Microsoft Azure?

Why Should Businesses Choose Microsoft Azure?

Imagine a pizzeria on a Saturday night getting a lot of orders during a football match. With a weak on-premises IT infrastructure, the PoS system of the pizzeria may struggle in the efficiency and deliverance of all the orders. As a consequence, customers choose rival businesses and because of this customer retention and satisfaction figures take a significant hit.

Similarly, other industries also have strong competition. This has made speedy IT systems and servers a necessary ingredient in the recipe of a successful business. With the arrival of Microsoft Azure many businesses, especially the medium and small ones, have sped up their business processes and increased their customer satisfaction and retention. Subsequently, they are now able to tackle the hegemony of the conglomerates. So how does Azure empower businesses?

Speed

Whether it is a small-sized business or a medium one, everyone craves speed. When we are talking about Microsoft Azure, speed refers to the daily operations of the software systems. When an organisation’s systems are not able to provide speed, the business loses valuable revenue. Similarly, for service providers, Azure provides speed in the process of deployment. For a business which aims to expand to another city or country, Azure can help with speed in its scalability.

Security

Has your organisation ever been hacked due to an employee error?

With advanced and sophisticated cybercriminal campaigns, hacking is one of the biggest issues faced by organisations today. With Microsoft R&D on the back of Azure, the cloud platform is able to deliver its services with optimal security. An organisation may position itself as a B2C or B2B business. In both cases, Azure assists users with secure login capabilities. With Azure’s Single Sign-On feature, users can easily gain access to their applications and services, which eliminates the need for typing long passwords.

Privacy

The problem with other cloud platforms is a lack of privacy. Often, other cloud platforms do not let their clients know what is going on behind the scene with their important data. However, with Microsoft that is not the case. There is a great deal of transparency with the integration of Azure.

Microsoft has provided details about Azure uses, and it distributes clients’ data through its highly powerful architecture. This includes the physical locations of the data as well as integrity for your data as Microsoft does not engage in the sharing of data with government institutions unless obliged by the law.

Development Environment

Visual Studio is one of the most loved integrated development tools out there. It is used heavily by both the small and medium-sized businesses for the creation of fast applications. The applications built on the Visual Studio can either be a standard website for a business front or an employee portal for an organisation.

As it is Microsoft’s brainchild, Azure provides the advantage of getting your hands on Visual Studio. This is a game changer because developers have a considerably lighter learning curve and can easily go on to develop and deploy applications on the renowned platform.

Final Thoughts

Azure has gone on to become a game changer for a wide number of businesses. Contact Cloud 4 Sure for the integration of Azure in your IT lifecycle. We will ensure that your previous IT costs decrease and your business productivity increases significantly.

An Introduction to Microsoft Azure

An Introduction to Microsoft Azure

The selection of the right cloud platform is one of the most complex questions for businesses. Since a cloud platform serves as the backbone to businesses, choosing a wrong platform can incur major expenses. With the emergence of Microsoft Azure, businesses have their hands on one of the most reliable cloud platforms. So what is Microsoft Azure?

What is Microsoft Azure?

Microsoft Azure is Microsoft’s own cloud computing platform that can help businesses with all their IT infrastructure needs, which can include storage, servers, networking, and others. Earlier the platform was known as Microsoft Azure; however, with the passage of time, Microsoft expanded its capabilities for other environments. Now it can be used with both Windows hosts as well as Linux VMs, and hence it was rebranded as Windows Azure.

However, the question is where is all your crucial data being stored? Fortunately, your data is stored in the data centres of Microsoft— the world’s leading IT giant. These data centres exist in more than 35 locations. Today, Microsoft Azure stands as one of the leading cloud computing platforms. It is used by Fortune 500 companies, and it assists small and medium-sized organizations.

Services of Microsoft Azure

Microsoft Azure provides a number of services that have a vast range of applications. Some of these are:

Compute

Do you want the configuration and creation of instant VMs without having to worry about the hardware needs?

Well, Azure’s Compute Service is an excellent option for your business. Compute provides a number of options that include the virtual machines of both Windows and Linux environments. You can also relocate your existing VMs easily to Azure’s network. For developers who mainly code applications in the modern-day server-less and event-driven architectures, Compute provides “Functions” that quicken software development.

Database

Is your business one of those data-centric organisations that is heavily riddled with databases and data warehouses issues?
Well, in that case, Azure’s database services can accelerate your data management. These services help with the automatic management of databases, which helps businesses to focus their attention on other critical junctures of their business. These database services include SQL Database, SQL Server on VMs, SQL Data Warehouse, and Azure Cosmos DB, etc. This means you will have access to the latest innovations related to data monitoring, threats, and security from Microsoft’s own team. In this way, your data related issues can be easily resolved.   

Networking

Do you regularly configure and set up virtual networks? Are you facing weak DNS responses?

Whether your business is completely dependent on the cloud or you have delegated some of your IT tasks to a cloud provider, Azure’s Networking services are a worthy option for your networking requirements. With Azure DNS and Virtual Network, you can boost your networking as well as work with other provided services.

Final Thoughts

Have you made your mind? Do you want the services of Microsoft Azure? Contact Cloud 4 Sure so we can recommend the best Microsoft Azure services for your business and assist in its proper integration that can give your business a much-needed boost. 

Best Cloud Platforms

Best Cloud Platforms

As the concept of cloud computing received recognition via a wide range of public and private businesses and institutions, the question about the best cloud platform was raised.

Different IT companies started developing their own cloud platforms to profit the masses and enterprises. These efforts also featured the leading IT companies including Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and IBM. All of these companies extensively researched and formed the best cloud computing platforms.

Microsoft Azure

Formerly known as Windows Azure, the platform was only available for the Windows-based environments. However, as it received wide adoption, Microsoft decided to make it universal and provided support for Linux-based environments with the rebranding to Microsoft Azure.

Microsoft Azure provides more than 600 services that can help with the software development, storage, security, and other critical needs of the organisations. Moreover, if your organisation is working with Machine Learning, AI, or IoT (Internet of Things), then Azure’s cloud capabilities can be integrated and used well with these technologies. For software developers, there is a strong support for Node JS, PHP, and ASP.NET web application development.

Amazon Web Services

Jeff Bezos’ e-commerce giants developed an early interest in the capabilities of the cloud. Today, it is not only known for its transformation of the retail sector but is also reputed as one of the pioneers in the cloud computing. AWS offers on-demand cloud services that include data monitoring, storage, security, and others. Amazon offers access to governments, enterprises, and individuals to use its highly powerful IT infrastructure with the required configurations through a few clicks on the internet.

Despite lagging behind other tech giants in the IT space, Amazon serves as a case study for its successful adoption and development of technology. Amazon’s revenue from AWS is forecasted to reach billions of dollars, and this can be termed as one of the key reasons behind Amazon’s rise in the recent years.

Google Cloud Platform

Has a technology ever been overlooked by arguably the most renowned IT company in the world? Google’s cloud services are offered via Google Cloud Platforms. These services range from the traditional computing requirements of storage, networking, and processing to the more recent services for IoT and ML-based solutions. With the release of dedicated products for SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS like App Engine, Bigtable, Compute Engine, and many more, Google has delivered considerably well in the cloud competition.

Final Thoughts

All of the platforms mentioned above have eased the processes and operations in both the private and public sector. So which one is the best among them? Well, any of these platforms can bolster your IT infrastructures. However, we found Microsoft Azure the most effective, and we believe that it is the best solution as it can cater to the small and medium-sized businesses.

Do you require any help with the expansion of your business IT network and structure? Well, contact Cloud 4 Sure. We provide 100% customer satisfaction and can unlock your organisation’s potential and increase its revenue through the effective implementation and installation of the cloud computing services.

What is Virtualisation? Types of Virtualisation

What is Virtualisation? Types of Virtualisation

As the name suggests, virtualisation refers to the creation of virtual versions of an IT asset. For businesses, this can refer to the virtualisation of their OS, servers, or storage resources. With the advent of virtualisation, businesses can get optimum output from their systems. It allows businesses to utilise the complete capacity of their servers. This is done by the distribution of a server’s capability into different parts.

Types of Virtualisation

Virtualization is classified into the following types.

Server Virtualisation

Server Virtualisation can help the system administrators of an organisation to divide an individual physical server into a number of virtual machines. These virtual servers can mimic the workings of a unique physical device on which any OS can be installed and run easily. Theoretically, the creation of virtual servers that can utilise your 100% processing capabilities is possible. However, it is not recommended, and you will require the knowledge of a professional from Cloud 4 Sure, who can unlock your IT potential to the maximum.

Operating System Virtualisation

Do you want to add another Linux environment in your IT setup? Do you want to avoid purchasing another machine?

Perhaps, the most popular among all virtualisation type is the OS virtualisation. This means you can run multiple operating systems on a single machine. These OS can include either Windows environments, like Windows 7 or 10, or any Linux distribution, like Debian or CentOS. Thus, businesses can easily limit their machines and get the best output from them. The other expenses saved include space and energy. However, the performance of the system is still maintained.

Hardware Virtualisation

The idea behind hardware virtualisation is to divide components existing in a single piece of hardware, which results in the creation of physical devices into virtual devices. All of these smaller devices run on the back of an individual physical server or a cluster of servers.

Application Virtualisation

What will you do if you are touring another city and suddenly your business’ major client contacts you for an urgent service? Certainly, you cannot go back to your work. As a consequence, your relationship deteriorates with your client.

When we talk about application virtualisation, it means that the server will permit users to access their systems from any device or location, providing IT operations with flexibility and adaptability.

Network Virtualisation

Network Virtualisation refers to the creation of virtual networks in which a business’ network components are replicated via a software console. This allows network engineers to create virtual networks and configure firewalls, VPN, routers and logical switches within a few minutes. Without virtualisation, these networking tasks can go on to stretch for weeks.

Storage Virtualisation

Storage virtualisation is also referred to as cloud storage. In storage virtualisation, multiple storage devices are grouped in such a way that they appear as a single device. It involves the abstraction of the internal processes and functions in the host servers and applications.

Final Thoughts

So which virtualisation type should you opt for your business? Each business has its own IT structure and requirements. Hence, the answer to the question varies. Contact Cloud 4 Sure, so we can evaluate your business and provide you with virtualisation.

Challenges in Cloud Computing

Challenges in Cloud Computing

Cloud computing has transformed the IT operations of companies, especially small and medium businesses whose revenues have increased substantially through the adoption of the cloud. However, like any other technology, cloud computing has its fair share of troubles. It is important to note the challenges in cloud computing in order to deal with them properly.

The Hesitation in the Shift

Before the advent of cloud, on-premises IT infrastructure were good enough to complement the operations of a business. However, as the need of data-intensive computing increased, on-premises IT servers became a disadvantage, due to their heavy expenses.

It is hard for a business to move to cloud despite its advantages. Leaving the traditional processes that once used to generate profits for companies may be hard to do, but it is also necessary for businesses to be realistic and prepare for the future.

Multi-Tenancy Conundrum

Often organisation uses shared resources from a cloud provider and are called multi-tenants. However, as some organisations work closely, they often have to use the same tools, applications and other resources. This means that data of an organisation may be exposed to another if the cloud provider does not properly separate them. Thus, make sure to hire a cloud provider who is an expert and can separate processing and storing concerns between organisations sharing the same resources.

Overload

When you fill your cup with more coffee than its capacity, then it will obviously overflow. Similarly, computing resources should only be given the amount of IT storage and processing that it can deal with comfortably.

However, some unreliable cloud providers often give a single cloud server to more companies. This goes beyond the server’s capacity. Consequently, it results into downtime for organisations and they end up blaming the cloud technology. The problem does not lie with the technology. It lies with its ineffective implementation. Thus, it is important to have a cloud provider who will set up a dedicated server for you that can comfortably handle your IT needs.

Bandwidth Expenses

While hardware expenses are considerably saved through the use of a cloud, bandwidth costs increases in its place, even though they are cheaper than the former. If your business uses small applications, then your bandwidth expenses will not be on the heavy side. However, in the case your applications are data hungry, expect considerable bandwidth expenses.

Security Worries

Hackers are also involved in the infiltration of malware to steal an organisation’s data and blackmail it. Businesses often have to deal with the security of their corporate data that is stored on the cloud and hence it is considered a prime challenge in cloud computing. Therefore, ensure your cloud provider follows the latest security measures.

Final Thoughts

You do not have to worry about these challenges. You just need the assistance of a dependable cloud provider. Fortunately, you have an excellent ally in the form of Cloud 4 Sure, a reputable organisation that has managed to develop its brand image by consistently delivering highly effective solutions for local businesses. We will ensure that your cloud solution is implemented properly so that you do not face any technical challenges.  

Industries That Could Benefit From Cloud

Industries That Could Benefit From Cloud

It is 2018 and cloud has been adopted by almost all types of businesses ranging from giants like Microsoft, Google and Amazon to medium and small-sized businesses and even start-ups. Depending on the type of your business, you can benefit from IaaS, PaaS and SaaS.

There are some businesses and industries that would particularly benefit from the cloud if they know how to use it optimally. These are:

Educational Institutions

Educational institutions often face issues related to their IT infrastructure that primarily deals with the failure of hardware, servers and operating systems. Often schools and universities do not have the necessary IT staff to deal with such problems, and thus teachers and students suffer, decreasing the quality of education.

However, with Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), educational institutions can profit by outsourcing their complex hardware irregularities to their cloud providers.

Software Development

Do you have a software development team? Does your team find it harder to tackle the growing hardware and OS issues while creating application software?

Software developers need to focus to create desktop, web and mobile applications for their clients by working on the business requirements, user interface, suitable algorithms, and the implementation of applications.

Their primary responsibilities do not afford them the time to tinker with hardware and system software. Therefore, the use of cloud in the form of Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) can be particularly fruitful for software houses to deliver their applications on time.  

Financial Institutions

Financial institutions are responsible for transactions ranging in millions and billions of dollars daily. The IT systems of these institutions are often surprisingly insecure, and often their operating systems and applications are not updated, making them a frequent target of cybercriminals.

However, through reliable cloud providers, financial organisations can increase their security by adopting the cloud where the experienced and professional staff of the cloud provider will be able to save their financial data.

Retail

Retailers already have a lot on their plate. Their primary objective is to increase their sales and achieve highest levels of customer satisfaction and retention. Most retail businesses have already recognised the importance of cloud, and some have entirely moved even their application software to the cloud.

Production

In the processes of manufacturing, organisations often struggle to work with the supply chain processes, especially the management of the items in a database. With a cloud, companies will be able to outsource their complex IT requirements to their providers and can easily manage their applications without worrying about any maintenance related to hardware, OS or software development.

Final Thoughts

In this modern age, we would recommend every to go to cloud. However, you will need the assistance of a reliable cloud provider that will easily examine your business requirements and create an appropriate solution for your business that can increase your profits and minimise your losses.

Fortunately, you can all of this through an excellent ally in the form of Cloud 4 Sure, a reputable organisation that has managed to develop its brand image by consistently delivering highly effective solution for the local businesses.

4 Signs Your Business Needs to Invest in the Cloud

4 Signs Your Business Needs to Invest in the Cloud

“Should I move to the cloud”?

This is a general question faced by owners of small and medium businesses nowadays. So what is the answer and when is it the right time to go the cloud? Before moving to the cloud, you should be prepared to notice a number of signs.

1.     Tired of the Costs

Are you troubled by the costs of your IT operations? The first objective of a business is to increase its revenues and minimise its losses. However, often businesses have to endure expenses due to servers required to support their IT systems. Moreover, the electricity costs are another associated headache as computing hardware requires a considerable amount of cooling.

If you feel that these expenses are making it difficult for you to earn profits, then it would be recommended to use the services of a reputable cloud provider. Cloud providers have to spend less money on their hardware and power, thereby resulting in cheaper services for their clients.

2.     Growing Threat of Cyber Attacks

Was your business attacked recently by cyber attackers? This year a business in Winnipeg that deals with the sale of mattresses was compromised as cybercriminals attacked it with ransomware and got a ransom of $2,000. Businesses, especially non-IT ones, are a favourite target of hackers as they exploit the vulnerabilities in their computer systems.

Thus, many businesses have started outsourcing their IT systems to dependable cloud providers who are experts in the field of computer security and mount an unbreakable cyber defence of their systems, saving a lot of money that could have been lost to a cyber attack.

3.     Downtime

Downtime means the unavailability of computing resources for use. Businesses are often faced with downtime issues as their systems encounter problems and thus they fail to operate their businesses as crucial time is lost during this downtime, resulting in the loss of considerable income.

If you are having a downtime once or twice per year, then it is normal. However, dealing with downtimes on a daily or weekly basis is not a good sign and may mean the presence of a continuous issue in your IT servers. Thus, it would be recommended to move to the cloud if your business is hampered by downtime dilemmas.

4.     Lack of Room

Does the space taken by your hardware annoy you? Often small businesses struggle to place their IT equipment in their premises as they take up a lot of space. In such a scenario, it would be highly advised to invest in remote servers and hardware through a cloud provider.

Final Thoughts

Have you experienced any of the above signs in your organisational setup? If yes, then perhaps the best idea for you will be to move your IT operations to the cloud.

Fortunately, you have an excellent ally in the form of Cloud 4 Sure, a reputable organisation that has managed to develop its brand image by consistently delivering highly effective solutions for the local businesses. We will ensure to entertain all your questions as well as provide you recommendations that can work best for your business.

Why Should Small Businesses Opt for PaaS?

Why Should Small Businesses Opt for PaaS?

We have talked about the benefits brought about by both Software as a Service (SaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). Now we will focus on Platform as a Service (PaaS) and how it adds value to small and medium-sized businesses.

Costs

When a software development company initiates its operations, it is hit upon by a myriad of problems. For application developers, the financial cost and resources needed in system administration and hardware level support are difficult to tackle. Most importantly, your valuable time is wasted which should be utilized in the development of the application.

The hardware and the platform behind applications maybe a mandatory component but no one tells you to do it yourself. Thus, having a PaaS can decrease financial, timely and staff related costs. PaaS decreases the expenses of an organisation significantly. Businesses only need to spend money on services that they are actually using. Thus, it saves wastage of expensive resources.

Protection of Data

Cyber attacks are one of the biggest issues faced by companies. On-premises IT infrastructure is often incapable to fight these attacks. With PaaS, businesses can easily secure their data. Various PaaS platforms can provide encryption to the software applications that make it impossible for cybercriminals to extract any data from them even after infiltrating your computer systems.

Speeding up Deployment

Businesses usually require a lot of time to integrate development, testing, configuration and other IT operations. However, with PaaS, these processes can be done rapidly, and hence deployment can be sped up. PaaS helps the software applications to be tested immediately after their development.

Versatility of Environments

When a company has its own operating system and software environment, then it can only experiment to a certain level with software development. However, with PaaS, companies can work and test their software applications on various platforms provided by the PaaS providers which can help them to analyse and select the best configurations.

There are PaaS providers that offer services that mainly help with web development environments. Some provide mobile app development while others provide data science and machine learning related environments. Thus, there is no need to spend time and resources to create your own environment when there are so experienced and reliable options in the industry to rely upon.

Disaster Recovery

When a company’s IT infrastructure is hampered by an unforeseen problem, then it is often hard to recover the lost data and reverse the systems to their original state. With PaaS, companies can initiate recovery procedures from a remote location that can help them to get their data back from different applications. Moreover, businesses can analyse what exactly went wrong with their systems.

Since PaaS adds to much value to businesses, thus it is highly recommended to adopt it for your business especially if you engage in software development. It can help developers to easily focus on application layer while the PaaS provider will easily manage any operating system or architectural issue.

Want to know how the cloud will work for you?

Please give us a call if you have a IT project and would like to know if there is a cloud solution for you.

How Small Businesses Can Profit from Infrastructure as a Service

 

We’ve talked about how Software as a Service can help improve the business operations of an organisation in the past. In this post, we will focus on the how Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) can be the answer to a company’s problems.

Attention to Higher Level IT Needs

If you manage your own hardware and other equipment, then you lose a considerable amount time in configuration and management of such setups. These issues should not be your first priority. You need time to work on your business’ essential operations.

Many small businesses especially those that are not IT-centered, incur heavy losses due to lack of resources to deal with infrastructural issues.  These issues can be tackled by outsourcing them to IaaS providers who have enough technical expertise and experience to deal with such problems quickly.

Pay per Go Service

Traditional IT infrastructure wastes a lot of resources which translate to financial losses. However, Similar to SaaS, PaaS also utilises pay per go service. This means that you only have to pay for the resources that you have consumed from the IaaS provider.

Flexibility

All the important cogs in IT infrastructure are provided through IaaS including server, hardware, storage solutions and others. Thus, if you have certain requirements for your business, then IaaS can be extremely flexible. This is beneficial as you do not need to worry about the compatibility and resource issues of your software with IT infrastructure. 

Low Investment

Many small to medium businesses are not able to invest in infrastructure in the beginning as not only it is extremely costly but it also requires them to allocate their valuable time into the planning and installation of IT infrastructure. With the low finances of such businesses, it is hard to work on their actual business operations and thus losses are incurred. Therefore, if you have such a company, then you need to be smart and invest in IaaS as IaaS does not require the need for huge upfront investments.

Environment-Friendly

If your business aims to practice with environmentally friendly solutions, then having your own IT infrastructure is probably not the best idea. IaaS helps to decrease the amount of harmful impact on the environment through the use of maximum computing resources.

Useful in the Event of Natural Disaster

When an organisation manages its data through on-premises infrastructure, then it often risks the storage of data. In the unfortunate predicament of natural disasters and other events, all your business data is lost forever. On the other hand, IaaS providers provide better security to data as they engage in various modern security solutions that guarantee the safety of your data.

Are you a small business? Do you want to revamp your IT setup? Do you hate to manage the infrastructure in your organisation? In such a scenario, adopting Infrastructure as a Service might be the key to the solution of your problems. The benefits of IaaS to businesses are staggering, and you will realise it soon after adopting it yourself.

Want to know how the cloud will work for you?

Please give us a call if you have a IT project and would like to know if there is a cloud solution for you.

Benefits of SaaS

Benefits of SaaS

Previously, we’ve talked about different cloud computing services and have explained their basic concepts. In this post, we will discuss how Software as a Service (SaaS) can help businesses move forward and progress with the times.

Expense

If your business is relatively small, then you must be worried about the costs related to software. In such a predicament, SaaS can be your ally.  SaaS is easy on the wallet. It eliminates the expense of purchasing software as well as its installation from the budget of the organisation.

Similarly monthly and yearly expenses on updates and maintenance are also saved. Most importantly, since SaaS providers only ask for the amount of resources used, additional money is not wasted, unlike traditional setups.

Secure

Often an organisation’s critical data is stolen through cyber attacks. This unfortunate scenario can be escaped through Software as a Service. SaaS providers can offer greater security than traditional setups.

Accessible Globally

Many times organisations have to deal with various issues related to their IT infrastructure which forces them to shut down their systems. Consequently, their clientele is unable to use their services and the organisation faces reputational losses and financial reparations.

However, SaaS solutions mainly work on an internet browser and can be accessed through any location in the world. Therefore, SaaS ensures the continuity of an organisation’s services.

Time Factor

With Software as a Service, users can save considerable time as well. Since the software is available to use after all the low level and high-level architectural requirements are configured, thus businesses can save their valuable time and invest it in other departments.

Scalability

Is your business performing so well that you are planning to upgrade the IT infrastructure? You may have realised that there are lots of headaches associated with the scalability of your business. You do not need to worry; SaaS can help you out.

With SaaS, you do not need to pay any heed to the need for upgrades to your software to be able to handle more data. Your SaaS provider will manage and do the required upgrades.

Convenience

SaaS providers realise that businesses that require their software solutions do not usually have in-house technical teams. Thus, they develop applications with smooth and user-friendly interfaces for the convenience of the users. So, SaaS solutions also make it easier for businesses to train their employees.

Deployment

Traditional IT solutions require a great deal of time to be deployed as deployment engineers have to face a lot of issues during the process. However, with SaaS, this problem can be tackled. According to leading IT professionals, application development is reduced by almost 20 percent through the use of cloud services. SaaS solutions can easily be deployed in few weeks in comparison to traditional setups which can take months.

With so many benefits and advantages associated Software as a Service (SaaS), it will be wise for you to adopt this approach. You will be surprised how much SaaS can help your company grow.

Want to know how the cloud will work for you?

Please give us a call if you have a IT project and would like to know if there is a cloud solution for you.