There’s good news for Australian businesses looking to move their IT resources to the cloud with the launch last month of Microsoft’s two Australian Azure cloud computing data centres.
With the new cloud data centres – one in New South Wales, the other in Victoria Australian businesses no longer have to store their data offshore in order to take advantage of the Azure platform. For organisations concerned about data security and data sovereignty, this is a major plus.
However it is not the only one. Other benefits of Azure, and Microsoft’s Australian data centre investment, include:
Until now, Australian Azure customers had no choice but to store their data in Asia or the United States. With the opening of Australia’s two new data centres, Azure customers can expect to experience improved latency (the time it takes for data to reach its destination point). For organisations requiring fast response times this is an attractive benefit.
With Azure you can scale your IT infrastructure and applications up or down depending on the needs of your business. For organisations that rely more heavily on their IT resources during peak times Azure provides the flexibility to scale server and storage capacity to accommodate periods of increased demand.
Azure ExpressRoute enables Azure users to create private connections between the Australian Azure data centres and your on-premise infrastructure. ExpressRoute connections do not go over the internet and deliver greater speeds, enhanced reliability, better performance and higher security than other connections over the internet.
With Azure you only pay for what you use. This removes the need for sizeable up-front investments in traditional IT infrastructure projects. Azure also reduces the time investment for ongoing management and maintenance of the system, creating immediate and significant cost savings. In fact I would estimate that the cost savings with Azure amount to 20 to 40 per cent of the expenditure that could be expected with on-premise infrastructure.
With Microsoft Azure you can integrate your various applications, data and devices both on-premise and in the cloud. Microsoft Office 365, Microsoft Dynamics, Microsoft SharePoint and other Microsoft business management tools can all be integrated with Azure.
Microsoft is committed to supporting best-in-class security and encryption. By default, Azure uses industry-leading capabilities to encrypt content flowing over the internet between the customer and the Azure service. Customers can also encrypt stored data and enable additional encryption using third party solutions to prevent unauthorised access to data.
Microsoft also employs intrusion detection and prevention systems, denial of service attack prevention and conduct regular penetration testing. The Azure platform security is also aided with data analytics and machine learning tools, to help identify and mitigate threats to the Azure platform.
With the option of ExpressRoute direct connection to the local Azure data centres, you can further secure your Azure workload by extending your corporate network directly to Azure Cloud services. This effectively isolates your Azure service from the risks of accessing you applications via the internet.
Every day the arguments in favour of moving a business’s IT infrastructure to the cloud become more compelling, with over 1000 new customers signing up for Azure every day.
At Professional Advantage we’re focused on delivering a high performance, cost efficient and secure Azure offering to our customers. For the past 12 months we have been piloting Azure-based applications for our Australian and international customers. With the Australian Azure data centres now fully operational, we are ideally placed to be your Azure platform partner.
You can read more about Professional Advantage and Microsoft Azure here.