You need continuous access to your data. Even an hour of downtime can cost your organization thousands of dollars, according to a recent study by the International Data Group.
A key part of running your business is keeping your data safe. Many businesses lose critical data because they don’t have a data backup solution. Microsoft Azure offers reliable and affordable backup and site recovery for your data and applications. And you only pay for the storage you use. There are no typical infrastructure costs or data transfer fees. You receive the same level of protection that Microsoft enterprise customers enjoy.
Benefits of cloud backup and storage
Lower costs for small and midsized businesses
Higher availability—the cloud has a built-in design for high availability to your data, configuring live resources to automatically take over for failed ones
Ease of deployment—Once an administrator configures the system, it just works.
World-class security—With Microsoft Azure cloud services, all data is encrypted to and from the cloud and while at rest.
World-class security—With Microsoft Azure cloud services, all data is encrypted to and from the cloud and while at rest.
What are your risks?
Data loss—without sufficient backup and storage, your company risks data loss during a natural disaster
High costs for downtime—Thirty-three percent of the respondents to a 2014 IDG Enterprise survey cited business continuity as a driver spurring cloud initiatives in their organization
Organizations need a DR strategy that determines how apps, workloads, and data stay running and available during planned and unplanned downtime, and recover to normal working conditions as soon as possible. Your DR strategy should keep business data safe and recoverable, and ensure that workloads remain continuously available when disaster occurs. Site Recovery is an Azure service that contributes to your DR strategy by orchestrating replication of onpremises physical servers and virtual machines to Azure. When outages occur in your primary location, you fail over to the secondary location to keep apps and workloads available. You fail back to your primary location when it returns to normal operations.
Orchestrated disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) Automate the orderly recovery of services in the event of a site outage at the primary datacenter with Site Recovery. Bring over applications in an orchestrated way to help restore service quickly, even for complex multi-tier workloads. Replication and disaster recovery to Azure Replicating your workloads to Azure enables new capabilities. Applications can be Migrated to Azure with just a few clicks or burst to Azure temporarily when you encounter a surge in demand. Run reports and analytics on copies of production workloads in Azure without impacting users. Continuous health monitoring with Site Recovery Site Recovery monitors the state of your protected instances continuously and remotely from Azure. All communication with Azure is encrypted. When replicating to Azure as the secondary site, your data is encrypted and you can also select encryption for data at-rest!
By creating a cloud service, you can deploy a multi-tier web application in Azure, defining multiple roles to distribute processing and allow flexible scaling of your application. A cloud service comprises of one or more web roles, each with its own application files and configuration. Azure Websites and Virtual Machines also enable web applications on Azure. One of the main advantages of cloud services is the ability to support more complex multi-tier architectures.
Microsoft Azure is a platform which offers secure cloud services to the user. The benefit which Azure offers than others is cross platform support. You can adopt Azure cloud system into your organization without disturbing the existing applications. Azure represents an overall IaaS and PaaS cloud solution that is fully integrated with Microsoft’s Office 365. SaaS offers so truly a one stop shop for integrated services.
For a very long set of things:
Data protection and Disaster Recovery
Web application hosting and continuous deployment/development
Virtual Machine deployment (IaaS)
Business inter connectivity (Service Bus)
Data Platform (SQL Azure, Mongo DB and others)
Both Azure and AWS offer similar IaaS capabilities for virtual machines, networking, and storage. However, Azure provides stronger PaaS capabilities which are an vital piece of Cloud infrastructure today.
Microsoft Azure PaaS provides application developers with the environment, tools, and building blocks that they need to quickly build and deploy new cloud services. It also gives the important ‘dev-ops’ connections which are important for monitoring, managing, and continually fine tuning those applications. With Azure PaaS, much of the infrastructure management is taken care by Microsoft. Thus, developing Azure PaaS solutions allow for a 100% focus on innovation.
Microsoft was the first Cloud vendor to be approved by the European Union’s data protection authorities. They were also the first to embrace the new international standard for Cloud privacy, ISO 27018. Thus, Microsoft ensures the best in terms of safety and security for all operations and data on the Azure. Azure has been designed based on Security Development Life cycle which is an industry top leading assurance process. It comprises security at its core and private data and services stay protected and secured while they are on Azure Cloud.
Seamless Cloud Connectivity Hybrid Solution
Azure already has its hybrid capabilities in place. It constantly connects data centers to the Cloud. Azure gives a consistent platform which facilities simple mobility between on-premises and the public Cloud.
Unlike AWS, hybrid apps can be created on Azure which can take benefits of the resources accessible within data centers, at the organization service provider’s end, or within Azure itself. It also gives a broader range of hybrid connections including VPNs, caches, content delivery networks (CDNs), and ExpressRoute connections to improve usability and performance.
The 1st day at Microsoft Inspire, the largest annual meet conducted by Microsoft, year after year for its network partners to gather on one platform and review as well as ready for the next insights from Microsoft and also to broaden the community’s understanding of its services and products and brainstorm on ideas and solutions that can be offered to the customers around the globe to be able to use the available services in an increasingly efficient manner was a feast for the eyes. With the largest gathering of IT brains all across the world, the event presented the numerous partners and employees who traveled from lands near and far a plethora of opportunities than ever wherein everyone gathered in the T-Mobile Arena to hear to the world leaders talk about how Microsoft technologies and services were being channeled y the partners and global entrepreneurs to bring innovation and ease the life of customers and change business perspectives through intelligent transformation across borders.
The focus was also on the upcoming financial year 2019 on how industry specific solutions and customer centric policies and updates that would not only help acquire new customers and businesses but also help retain the previous clientele. New strategies, enhanced training methodologies and readiness opportunities for the new players that come into the market and anchor themselves with Microsoft technologies which would give them the much needed base for growth in the industry.
The evening also witnessed great insights from Gavriella Schuster, Corporate Vice president, One Commercial Partner, about programs, tools and resources that would help partners to rejuvenate as well as differentiate their business with the help of latest Microsoft technologies and updates.
Day 2nd Microsoft Inspire, Las Vegas
Corenote, about to start at 8.30 AM Pacific Time was filled with activities and similar sessions with opportunities to connect with active partner communities at the Community Hub. Shuttle services from the hotels started from as early as 6 AM. With resources available to book meeting spaces and also tools that allow booking face-to- face meetings with other attendees till a maximum 9 members per meeting. Also the meeting could be reserved for available slots at the MyInspire meeting tables or any other alternate locations. The Happy Hours in The Commons started from 5 PM to 7 PM that provided unparalleled opportunity to meet up fellow partners and Microsoft Ready Attendees.
Day 3rd Microsoft Inspire, Las Vegas
that concluded the Corenote at Las Vegas, Nevada was made all the more worth it by the address of Satya Nadella that enlightened the audience comprising of partners and employees on how Microsoft planned to harp on its mission of empowering every person and organization on the planet to achieve more using its latest technologies such as the Microsoft Intelligent Cloud and Microsoft Intelligent Edge. There were talks by Microsoft Solution area leaders who spoke about new resources and assets that aided delivery of strong Modern Life Solutions with stories from customers all around the world that showed how Microsoft 365 enabled employees to bring in more innovation and creativity into the workspace. Also, the day included details about the expansion of the Azure platform that enabled improvisation across multiple domains.
Enamoring the event were performances from Grammy Award Winner Bruno Mars at One Celebration, Las Vegas Motor Speedway which added to the quotient of entertainment, networking and fun of the event. With the event in full swing, Microsoft also added to the excitement by putting up 10 new announcements which have already started creating ripples in the market and the results of these announcements would be soon seen in numbers. The announcements put forth by Microsoft are as listed below
New marketplace capabilities such as Integrated Partner to Partner Solutions that will help channels grow their business with sales and deployment.
Expansion of Private Offers in Azure Marketplace that will help partners move away from standard prices, offer better buying prices to customers who in turn achieve a unique buying experience and meet their buying needs.
Special Bootcamps and free access to the dynamic self service for partners, including business insights which would help them get a better understanding of the business apps and enable them to understand performance and stability of their business.
Microsoft also announced advanced specialization and services for its partners that would help them go the extra mile and boost their profitability.
The Azure Expert MSP or Managed Service Provider program which begun as a pilot program earlier this year has been introduced by Microsoft for their partners who stand out of the crowd by demonstrating extra ordinary skills in delivering consistent Managed Services in Azure
Market Benefits Package: Helping its partners build market practices that are more targeted and help partners to select from four business packages depending on their business focus in the later part of the year.
New Apps and Technologies for Azure: Announcements regarding the launch of Azure Data Box Disk and Azure Firewall and Azure Virtual WAN. These innovations seem quite promising when it comes to data transfer within organizations as well as compliance policies.
Microsoft 365 Updates: Announcing the availability of Microsoft Teams collaboration app as a free version in the Office 365 suite. Also, an additional feature of Workplace Analytics was added that would help teams discover and meet challenges.
Updates on Software as Services: Releasing updates on a lot many services from its plethora of services such as Azure IoT Central which would in turn support for Power BI and Microsoft Flow to enable real time intelligence visualization.
Expansion of the Microsoft Library of free playbooks with two new additions to help its partners build practices in new arenas which would serve as guidelines for managing and developing cloud practices.
With increasing penetration of internet, almost all aspects of our daily lives are getting connected and accessed online. From booking a table for dinner to booking a hotel room, there are hundreds of smartphone apps today that help to make the process easier.
Image courtesy Microsoft Azure
New Public Preview app for Azure users
Microsoft launched the Public Preview add-on in its vase Azure Location Based Services. This is a wide portfolio containing several innovative geospatial service APIs, which can be easily integrated with Azure.
This has provided an excellent opportunity for developers to create advanced location-based apps and IoT. It is also helpful for creating solutions for logistic, tracking and asset management. Currently, the services include Map Rendering, Search, Routing, Traffic and Time Zones. The company has partnered with TomTom and collaborated with corporate customers, Microsoft has integrated the native location capabilities into its Azure cloud platform.
What Makes the New Azure Location Based Services from Microsoft so Useful?
The Azure LBS from Microsoft consists of an innovative set of geospatial services, in combination with a total set on global geography.
Azure Cloud Standards Compliant
The Azure LBS is designed to be easily integrated into the Azure cloud. This ensures optimum privacy, efficient usability, global access and efficient localization.
The Azure LBS solutions use advanced key-based authentication systems. Creating an Azure LBS account helps to get two authentication keys automatically. These are useful in authenticating requests to the several Azure servers located worldwide.
Easy to Use
Using Azure LBS solutions after creating the account and getting the authentication keys becomes fairly simple. You simply need to place parameters on your URL request, which helps to get relevant and faster results.
Highlights and Advantages of Azure Location Based Services
These are the distinct advantages you get when you integrate the innovative Azure LBS into your cloud-based management system:
Azure Map Control
The Azure LBS Render service allows users to request vector-based map tiles and render the data and apply styling according to client specification. This service also provides raster maps. These are efficient to embed a map image into the app or web page.
The Azure LBS Routing Service is designed to get directions to your destination. This service is able to provide ideal directions, using the extensive map data available and combining it with various scenarios. The system can help to choose the fastest, shortest and most congestion-free route to your destination.
The Azure LBS Search Service is best-suited for use in geocoding, POI searches and for reverse geocoding.
The Azure LBS Traffic Service is designed to provide real-time and updated reports on traffic on a specified route, according to the user’s query.
Time Zone Service
The Azure LBS Time Zone Service is an efficient way to know the time zones and the exact time in locations all across the globe.
These innovative services make the new Azure Location Based Services API one of the most innovative and useful tools for companies and enterprises who wish to provide better help with a location for users.
Can you find your way back if you take a wrong turn on the road to disaster? If disaster strikes, recovering from it could cost you thousands of dollars, plus lose your customer’s good faith.
Having a plan to save your business from bad things will help you get back on track.
Most businesses rely on technology to run their day-to-day processes. Think email, Word docs, customer information and ordering systems, inventory, accounting. Other companies are all about the tech. Think Uber, Airbnb, Constant Contact and many others.
So, if something disastrous happens, your business could grind to a halt, whether tech is your main business or ‘just’ how you get your work done every day.
What could go wrong? Well, there’s floods. Plus, electrical storms, hurricanes, fire and people who leave with your passwords or source code. Without a backup plan, your business could be in trouble.
What’s included in a plan?
Disaster plans can cover everything from how to get out of your store or office during a fire drill, to how to get back up and running if your servers are underwater.
Then, you can take it a step further. If you think about staying in business during a disaster, as well as recovery, you’ll be in the best shape you could be.
While it’s important to customize a plan for your business, every plan should include:
Technology asset inventory that names mission critical processes and data
Schedule for updating and testing any disaster recovery plans
Clear understanding of the trade-offs between cost and complexity
Murphy’s Law says that whatever can go wrong, will go wrong. That’s why it’s important to understand how your plan works. If you are a business decision maker, you might hand this over to your IT team. But it’s important to ask some questions to make sure you have full coverage for your business. A few questions:
Does your plan include an inventory of mission critical business processes and data?
When was the last time anyone reviewed your plan? Tested your plan?
Is cyberattack preparedness included in your current plan?
How much depends upon human intervention?
Evaluate Cloud Solutions
During a disaster, humans have other priorities than failing over their virtual machines. Automating your solution is key to ensuring success.
A cloud solution can help you recover quickly. And it’s less expensive than having your own datacenter to support and protect. It’s a practical solution for a business, whether it’s large or small. But it makes especially good financial sense for a smaller organization.
Not all cloud providers are equal, so you’ll need to do some research to compare. A few considerations:
Do they offer a hybrid solution, so that you can keep some data on premise as well as in the cloud?
Do they offer metered service so that you can save even more money by ‘turning off’ services when you don’t need them?
Is the service easy to use, with good support for your team?
Do they offer geo-redundancy?
Are they compliant with your industry?
Is the cloud safe?
But wait a minute, you might say. I’ve read about companies, even big companies, losing data in the cloud during a disaster.
It’s true, there have been times when the cloud failed companies. When this happened, it was because the data was only stored in one location. And it was based in the same region as the company. That’s an obvious mistake.
With the Microsoft cloud, you can get ‘geo-redundancy.’ This means that your data is in more than one location. So, if your area is hit with a hurricane, along with floods and electrical storms, your data would be safe in a datacenter across the country.
That also means that your company data is available even during the storm.
We’d love to meet you and discuss your plans for keeping your business running. If you’re ready right now, call us or send an email. We’re happy to set up a free consultation to review your plan.