Organizations across all industries are reaping the benefits of powering their business solutions in the cloud. However, selecting a provider for your cloud-native applications can be a tough decision. There are many options to choose from that have a variety of managed services to help you successfully transition to a cloud-native architecture. In this article, we explore three reasons why Microsoft Azure is one of the most popular options for hosting your application in the cloud.
1. Partner Programs
Microsoft is a partner-friendly company. They have many programs aimed at businesses and individuals at different points in their lifecycles. These include Microsoft for Startups, the Microsoft Partner Network that DragonSpears is a Gold member of, and volume licensing programs. Each program gives the users access to a whole suite of offerings on Azure, as well as the family of products under Office 365. Users also get substantial discounts on Azure resources that can help their organization get the most out of their infrastructure investments. Regardless of business size, Azure offers programs that are easily scalable to meet your IT demands.
2. Microsoft Stack
Since Azure is built on the Microsoft stack, it includes popular frameworks and platforms such as .Net, Windows Server, and Visual Studio. For organizations who have an existing investment in the Microsoft stack, Azure provides a familiar environment for your developers as well as user-friendly navigation of its hosting infrastructure. In addition to the out-of-the-box point & click experiences, there is a production-grade command line interface (CLI) that automates the infrastructure from an operations perspective. The CLI ensures the mantra “infrastructure as code” is maintained.
While Azure offers easy access to tools in the Microsoft stack, you’re in no way limited to those. Platforms such as .Net and Windows server are open source-friendly, which gives you the ability to take advantage of the cloud-native capabilities that modern software requires.
3. Active Directory
Security and user provisioning are challenges for organizations, both large and small. One of the most used and trusted user management tools in the enterprise is Azure Active Directory. Azure supports both OAuth and OpenId, two of the most popular authentication and authorization mechanisms for applications. This out of the box support can provide your applications with single sign-on, while simultaneously taking advantage of the infrastructure your organization may have in place for Office 365 and general user login.
Azure Active Directory isn’t limited to internal-facing users. Additional directories can be created and scaled to create a one-stop-shop for provisioning internal and external users in your organization.